Today, most people associate graffiti with vandalism and malicious destruction of property. However, graffiti has existed from the historic times and it’s a great way of learning about different cultures and history. Humans have been creating art in public spaces and this is evident in Egyptian sculptures as well as the cave paintings in done in France. As an artist with a zeal for doing street art on buildings, am passionate about this art.
Even when these works of art are not conveying a specific or an easy to understand the message, they do tell the beholder that an artist was there. The popularity of graffiti came by after the World War II when an artist known as Jackson Pollock painted an abstract painting that changed how people viewed abstract art.
Modernism and graffiti
When it comes to defining graffiti, you need to look back to the 70’s when artists in New York started creating tags and it developed into a movement that was quite competitive. When institutions of fine arts were doing away with modernism, graffiti had been growing at an alarming rate but it developed outside the galleries and museums. Basically, it thrived in areas with low-income populations and most people see it as a serious reaction to modernism in art.
The economic disparities came as a result of implementing housing projects that separated people from economic opportunities available in major towns. With time, people living in these areas were being looked down upon and this led the artists to start protesting through art. Normally, they were using indelible felt pens and spray paint. Letterforms and words are used to convey the message because words have immense power.
Art institutions and graffiti culture
When applied in an exhibition, graffiti can be loosely defined as spray painting or writing of words and letters both legally and illegally. There is also a new breed of art that is using obscure letterforms and it also evolving at a higher rate.
As graffiti continued to develop and artists were experimenting with new styles, modernism successfully gave rise to postmodernism. The movement which was anchored in philosophy started questioning art. They questioned the existing institutions of art as well as the fact that the fine-arts community was majorly dominated by white males. In addition, there was an immense critique of artwork being seen as financial assets and women being used as constant symbols of beauty by artists. While this was happening, graffiti artists were busy perfecting their skills and widening their reach in towns on a nice clean surface.
What is the future of graffiti?
The idea of sustainability can’t be ignored by communities and governments globally. The same case applies to the future of graffiti. While this form of art has been around for thousands of years, the current version has improved and evolved over time.
There are multiple forms of modern art that fit the definition of graffiti but deciding what is acceptable as constructive art depends on a particular society. However, since the communities are becoming more conscious about the importance of art, it’s important to consider how sustainable these art forms are. As such, all controversial topics need to be addressed with care and open minds.