History of Graffiti Essays

1339 Words Mar 31st, 2012 6 Pages
The History of Graffiti
Graffiti is a form of art involving writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall in public places. Graffiti has also existed back in the Roman Empire and Ancient Greek. During the time of the Catacombs of Rome, graffiti was known as inscriptions, figure drawing that were found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins. The earliest forms of graffiti dated back to 30,000 BCE in the form of prehistoric cave paintings and pictographs using tools such as animal bones and pigments. These illustrations were often placed in ceremonial and sacred locations inside of the caves. In today’s society graffiti is a form of art that expresses underlying social and political messages and a whole
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Graffiti was also given another term “bombing” by two graffiti artists by the name of Cornbread and Cool Earl. They wrote their names all over the city gaining attention from the community and local press. It is unclear whether this concept made its way to New York City via deliberate efforts or if was a spontaneous occurrence. Cornbread used graffiti as a way to get attention from a girl he liked by “tagging” on public walls. After a while his graffiti became so popular that it reached the media and at times journalists would mention an idea that would strike Cornbread to illustrate a new form of graffiti artwork. Once he finished his “illegal masterpiece”, journalist would publish it in local magazines and or newspapers. By the late 60's a sub-culture had started in Philadelphia, it had its own distinct style of graffiti which included long letters with platforms on the bottom. Years later when it came to New York it was named "Broadway elegant". The one thing missing from the Philadelphia movement was the reputation of the subway. Eventually Cornbread stopped writing in 1972.
The first generation of Graffiti writers in New York was distinct in that they assigned a number to the name they wrote on public walls. Most numbers reflected the street that they lived on. “TAKI 183”, “FRANK 207”, “TREE 127”, “JULIO 204”, “CAY 161”, “JUNIOR 161”, “EDDIE 181” were all writers from the upper west side of

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