Graffiti: Vandalism switched to modern-day art

With the evolution of modern day visual arts, we’ve seen the movement of it shift from paints and oils on canvas to the digital mediums such as graphics and code. But one physical art form that’s really had a shift over the last few years is Graffiti. Graffiti is more commonly associated with an expression of vandalism and is seen as a way to mark a person or group’s presence in a community generally to intimidate the public or other groups, mark reputation or to deface property. When we think Graffiti we think about America and it would take us on a journey to New York  that dates back to the 1970s. Here we meet one of the historical founders of modern day graffiti.

In 1971 The New York Times wrote their first article about a young man that was tagging his name all over the city using spray paint. This man became known as Taki183. It was this mass tagging that would be the start of many years of dispute between the local city councils and his followers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 8.37.33 AM

In the article it expresses the nuisance and highlights the vandalism of his actions. It was this publicity stunt that would inspire many other young men to take their pens and spray paint to begin vandalising and tagging cities all across America.

Since 1971 we’ve seen Graffiti evolve from just simple tagging, to a more creative expression. We see the introduction to colour and trademark style in the form of bubble like writing. This will become the foundation, and distinction that graffiti will carry through in modern day art.

Graffiti in Detroit 

Over the many years these artists have worked towards expression and perfection and in 2016; 45 years later we begin to see so many different countries outside of America begin to take on Graffiti and public art. Graffiti has spread like wild fire and is now trending with popularity. Here are some examples of how other cities in the world have adapted and helped lead the change from vandalism to modern day art.

Hosier Lane – Melbourne Australia 

Graffiti in Melbourne : the tree in hosier lane
Hosier lane is the Melbourne mecca of the graffiti movement. 

Taganga Colombia 

Even small villages like Taganga in Colombia are getting in on the trend

Amsterdam Netherlands 

Graffiti giving personality to the streets of Amsterdam!

It’s interesting to see the transition of this modern day art with people becoming very adaptive to the idea of giving colour and personality to buildings that are either worn down or are very bland in colour. Graffiti is becoming an art form that is transforming the vibes of a city and giving each local artist a chance to showcase their skills and cultural influences; evolving and changing the styles of the original form. Graffiti over the course of the last 45 years has been switched up and changed to represent the people the their culture and the influences of the locality. Graffiti has become an expression of a city and the talents that reside, but ultimately, graffiti is now a way for each individual city or town to be unique, different and creative.

Are you an artist or have an opinion on the social transition of the modern arts? We’d love to hear from you!




3 Comments Add yours

  1. PhotoKaz says:

    I personally love graffiti when it’s done well and becomes part of the vibe of the neighbourhood. I see you used my photo from Amsterdam, I shot some cool graffiti in Santiago, Chile as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree with you! Graffiti is such a beautiful art form that has very quickly evolved with society and it’s absolutely fascinating to see what it brings to the local community! Your shots are awesome and I would love to honour you that took them! Do you have Facebook? I would love to tag you as the photographer in a Facebook post!


      1. PhotoKaz says:

        I only have a personal facebook site. If you want to tag me just use my blog: Thanks, and glad you appreciate graffiti like art 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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