Graffiti has existed since the beginning of time, but it took a disturbing path during the last 50 years.
In the United States of America, especially in New York City, at the end of the 70’s, Graffiti appeared under a new form. Names of individuals or related to a gang, group, or crew could be seen on the walls of all major cities, written with spray cans and markers. A simple signature emerged: the tag was born. Then the letters got bigger, had more colors and were vibrant in its style, the beginning of graffiti pieces. This incredible rise in the graffiti phenomenon spread all over the US within a couple of years and the competition started to be seen or recognized on the street.
Therefore, young artists began using more stylish letters and characters with painted background to distinguish themselves from others. At that time, public transportation was the best way to have their name traveling through the city to gain recognition for free. As a result, trains became a new playground for the art scene and these young artists. When some avant-guardists saw in these tags, and graffitis in general, a new art form, opposite to the majority of people, who mistook it as vandalism and damaging to the citie’s surroundings.
Nowadays, graffiti and street art have never been more successful and popular. Many exhibitions, workshops, events and auctions took place, in Berlin and all over the world. Consequently, the expression “vandal” was replaced by the word “graffiti artist”.
Yet, nobody can deny the fact, that our environment lives with this form of expression and its codes. Every day, graphic arts, advertising, fashion and many other fields use the codes of these urban creations, while they are still considered as acts of vandalism and punished by law. However, this subculture is being considered as a major movement in contemporary art and perhaps the last significant culture of the 20th century.