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Graffiti Facts

There’s nothing new about Graffiti as it has been around for centuries. This page will inform you more about graffiti.

Graffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun. Also known as Graff) is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, ancientromangraffiti200x200 scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

In modern times, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities.

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Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

egyptIangraffiti220w Graffiti and graffito are from the Italian word graffiato ("scratched"). "Graffiti" is applied in art history to works of art produced by scratching a design into a surface. A related term is "sgraffito", which involves scratching through one layer of pigment to reveal another beneath it. This technique was primarily used by potters who would glaze their wares and then scratch a design into it. In ancient times graffiti was carved on walls with a sharp object, although sometimes chalk or coal were used. The word originates from Greek γράφειν — graphein — meaning "to write."

The term, graffiti, referred to the inscriptions, figure drawings, and such, found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, as in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii. Use of the word has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that constitutes vandalism.

The only known source of the Safaitic language, a form of proto-Arabic, is from graffiti: inscriptions scratched on to the surface of rocks and boulders in the predominantly basalt desert of southern Syria, eastern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia. Safaitic dates from the first century BC to the fourth century AD.

Modern-style graffiti

The first known example of "modern style" graffiti survives in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). Local guides say it is an advertisement for prostitution. Located near a mosaic and stone walkway, the graffiti shows a handprint that vaguely resembles a heart, along with a footprint and a number. This is believed to indicate that a brothel was nearby, with the handprint symbolizing payment.

The ancient Romans carved graffiti on walls and monuments, examples of which also survive in Egypt. Graffiti in the classical world had different connotations than it carries in today's society concerning content. Ancient graffiti displayed phrases of love declarations, political rhetoric, and simple words of thought compared to today's popular messages of social and political ideals. The eruption of Vesuvius preserved graffiti in Pompeii, which includes Latin curses, magic spells, declarations of love, alphabets, political slogans, and famous literary quotes, providing insight into ancient Roman street life. One inscription gives the address of a woman named Novellia Primigenia of Nuceria, a prostitute, apparently of great beauty, whose services were much in demand. Another shows a phallus accompanied by the text, 'mansueta tene': "Handle with care".

Advent of aerosol paint

Rock and roll graffiti is a significant sub genre. A famous graffito of the twentieth century was the inscription in the London tube claptonisgod220x244 reading "Clapton is God" in a link to the guitarist Eric Clapton. The phrase was spray-painted by an admirer on a wall in an Islington Underground station in the autumn of 1967. The graffiti was captured in a photograph, in which a dog is urinating on the wall. Graffiti also became associated with the anti-establishment punk rock movement beginning in the 1970s. Bands such as Black Flag and Crass (and their followers) widely stenciled their names and logos, while many punk night clubs, squats, and hangouts are famous for their graffiti. In the late 1980s the upside down Martini glass that was the tag for punk band Missing Foundation was the most ubiquitous graffito in lower Manhattan, and was copied by hard core punk fans throughout the US and West Germany.

Tag

Some of the most common styles of graffiti have their own names. A "tag" is the most basic writing of an artist's name, it is simply a handstyle. A graffiti writer's tag is his or her personalized signature. Tagging is often the example given when opponents of graffiti refer to any acts of handstyle graffiti writing (it is by far the most common form of graffiti). Tags can contain subtle and sometimes cryptic messages, and might incorporate the artist's crew initials or other letters.

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One form of tagging known as "pissing" is the act of taking a refillable fire extinguisher and replacing the contents inside with paint, allowing for tags as high as approximately 20 feet (6.1 m). Aiming and keeping a handstyle steady in this form of tagging is very difficult, usually coming out wavy and sloppy.

Another form is the "throw-up", also known as a "bombing" which is normally painted very quickly with two or three colors, sacrificing aesthetics for speed. Throw-ups can also be outlined on a surface with one color. A "piece" is a more elaborate representation of the artist's name, incorporating more stylized letters, usually incorporating a much larger range of colors. This of course, is more time consuming and increases the likelihood of the artist getting caught. A "blockbuster" or "roller" is a large piece, almost always done in a block-shaped style, done simply to cover a large area solidly with two contrasting colours, sometimes with the whole purpose of blocking other writers from painting on the same wall. These are usually accomplished with extended paint rollers and gallons of cheap exterior paint.

A more complex style is "wildstyle", a form of graffiti usually involving interlocking letters and connecting points. These pieces are often harder to read by non-graffiti artists as the letters merge into one another in an often-undecipherable manner.

Some artists also use stickers as a quick way to do catch ups. While certain critics from within graffiti culture consider this lazy, stickers can be quite detailed in their own right and often, are used in conjunction with other materials. Sticker tags are commonly executed on blank postage stickers, as these can easily be acquired with no cost on the writers part.

Many graffiti artists believe that doing complex pieces involves too great an investment of time to justify the practice. Doing a piece can take (depending on experience and size) 30 minutes to months on end, as was the case for Saber MSK while working on the worlds largest graffiti piece on the LA river.

Another graffiti artist can go over a piece in a matter of minutes with a simple throw up. This was exemplified by the writer "CAP" in the documentary Style Wars, who, other writers complain, ruins pieces with his quick throw ups. This became known as "capping" and often is done when there is a "beef" – conflict between writers.

 

Find out even more about graffiti by going to our second page of Graffiti Facts

 

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Graffiti Busters, a division of Lightning Mobile, Inc. of Denver is available to come to you almost anywhere in Colorado! Just some of the cities and towns we cover: Colorado Springs - Aurora - Lakewood - Fort Collins - Arvada - Pueblo - Westminster - Boulder - Thornton - Greeley - Longmont - Highlands Ranch - Loveland - Southglenn - Grand Junction - Littleton - Broomfield - Wheat Ridge - Englewood - Northglenn - Ken Caryl - Security - Widefield - Castlewood - Columbine - Parker - Lafayette - Commerce City - Brighton - Castle Rock - Louisville - Sherrelwood - Clifton - Golden - Pueblo West - Canon City - Fountain - Cimarron Hills - Durango - Black Forest - Welby - Montrose - Federal Heights - Sterling - Greenwood Village - Fort Morgan - Berkley - Fort Carson - Windsor - Steamboat Springs -Limon - Henderson - Trinidad - Vail - Aguilar - Berthoud - Kersey - Fleming - Sheridan - Montezuma - Olathe -Westcliffe - Palisade - johnstown - Cortez - Granada - Eads - Holyoke - Louisville - Poncha Springs - Leadville - Salida - Hot Sulphur Springs - Lakeside - Cedaredge - Grover - Nederland - Nucla - Vilas - Yampa - Starkville - Arriba - Brush - Holly - Parachute - Red Cliff - Ouray - Stratton - Rye - Georgetown - Bennett - Avon - Florence - Monte Vista - Minturn - Hotchkiss - Cherry Hills Village - Boone - Carbondale - Hudson - Nunn - Rockvale - Manitou Springs - Haxtun - Castle Pines North - De Beque - Grand Lake - Orchard City - Flagler - Yuma - Akron - Mountain View - Raymer - Iliff - Meeker - Platteville - Ovid - LaSalle - Elizabeth - Bonanza - Del Norte - Cripple Creek - Bow Mar - Central City

Colorado Graffiti Blusters covers all the counties of Colorado, which include: Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Delta, Denver, Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Elbert, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Jefferson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, La Plata, Lake, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Ouray, Park, Phillips, Pitkin, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel, Sedgwick, Summit, Teller, Washington, Weld, Yuma County

 

 

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Ancient Greek Political Graffiti

Graffiato found in Egypt with markings from many eras

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Clapton is God

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