Graffiti/Street Art Definitions
- Comes from the Italian word meaning ‘scratched.’
Street Art through history
- The first known cave drawings were found in Lascaux, France. They show scenes of livestock and are thought to document and represent everyday life.
- Ancient Roman graffiti came after and is thought to be more of a sign of rebellion.
- During World War Two came the creation of Kilroy/Chad found in Washington and the UK. It was a character that always appeared the same, which meant it was very accessible and could be used by anybody.
- During 1968 in Paris there was a civil unrest that inspired a lot of cultural, creative material.
- Urban graffiti was born in 1970’s New York and created by groups of people making there mark who thought they were under represented in the community. This era of spray can graffiti was usually found on carriages on the subway as a moving message. There was often a backwards and forwards motion of making and cleaning up the art.
- In the 1990’s graffiti was taken on in the commercial world. Some people think that this has devalued the art form as it no longer being used in the way it was intended to.
- Basquiat was the creator of SAMO, a signature used on his work and a slogan for ‘Same Old Shit.’ His work was that of rebellion and started off as a private joke. In 1977 it started to appear in Manhattan, but just two years later was the ‘death’ of SAMO. His style was very neoexpressionist and he was part of the celebrity movement of the time where he in the end died of a heroine overdose.
- Keith Haring was an activist and artist. He used bright colour, graphic bold outline and he also liked to incorporate found objects into his work. Later into his career he opened ‘Pop Shop’ which turned into a celebrity hangout. He was criticised for this but said that he did it to make his work more accessible.
- Invader was a French artist. His permanent style of graffiti was made from mosaic and his first space invader character appeared in the mid 1990’s. The positions of his pieces were very significant and in their entirety covered twenty-two countries.
- Banksy, perhaps the most famous of street artists showed a movement from street to gallery.
- Paul Curtis (Moose) uses a type of reverse graffiti. He uses a stencil that is washed out causing the dirt to be removed, causing the design to be visible. It has an environmental approach as it is cleaning rather than defacing and is only visible for a short period of time as it is non-permanent.
- Sam 3 uses only black and white paint in a silhouette style.