Graffiti and street art isn't new. Find out about its history in this article.

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The story of street art

Modern graffiti began in big cities in the United States in the 1970s. In New York, young people wrote their names, or 'tags', in pen on walls around the city.

One of the first 'taggers' was a teenager called Demetrius. His tag was TAKI 183. He wrote his tag on walls and in stations in New York. Other teenagers saw Demetrius's tag and started writing their tags too. Soon, there were tags on walls, buses and trains all over New York.

Then, some teenagers started writing their tags with aerosol paint. Their tags were bigger and more colourful. Aerosol paint graffiti became very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. It appeared on trains, buses and walls around the world.

In the 1990s and 2000s, a lot of graffiti artists started painting pictures. Some artists' pictures were about politics. Other artists wanted to make cities beautiful and painted big, colourful pictures on city walls.

Graffiti in galleries

In some countries, writing or painting on walls is a crime. Sometimes, graffiti artists have problems with the police. In other countries, artists can draw and paint in certain places. For example, in Taiwan, there are 'graffiti zones' where artists can paint on walls. In São Paulo in Brazil, street artists can paint pictures on walls and houses. Their pictures are colourful and beautiful. Some tourists visit São Paulo just to see the street art!

In Bristol in the UK, there is a street art festival in August every year. Artists paint all the buildings in a street. Lots of people come to watch the artists and take photos. You can see exhibitions of street art in some galleries too. There have been exhibitions of street art in galleries in Paris, London and Los Angeles.

Who are the artists?

Some street artists have become famous. Here are three stars of the street art world:

  • Os Gêmeos are twin brothers from São Paulo. They paint big, colourful pictures of people on buildings. In 2007, they painted a castle in Scotland!
  • Blek le Rat is from Paris. He is famous for painting pictures of homeless people in big cities.
  • Faith47 is from Cape Town in South Africa. She paints big, colourful pictures of people and animals. She likes painting in different places and you can find her work on pavements, postboxes, buses and, of course, on walls!

The future of street art

Many street artists use the internet to look at photos of street art from around the world. They communicate with other artists online and share ideas. Some street artists are famous and you can see their pictures in galleries. We don't know about the future of street art, but it is here to stay for sure!

Robin Newton

Total votes: 263
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Discussion

What do you think about graffiti? Is it really art?

Comments

Masterofgaming's picture
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Masterofgaming 13 January, 2017 - 05:58

Hey Guys,
I liked the text a lot, because there were so many informations about the street art.
I came from Austria so this is not allowed but at some places it is allowed.
In fact the moste street Artist don't care about the rules and they paint often yust where they want.
Do you have the same opinion?
Please write me back sonn
Bye

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45 users have voted.
janafuchs's picture
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janafuchs 11 January, 2017 - 17:06

Dear community,
I think the text is really cool and has a lot of Information in it.
I wish that I'm good at drawing Graffitis but I'm not really good in art and something like that but I like to look at the Graffitis.Some People say that Graffiti is a Pollution but it's not. It is so beautiful and give a lot of Inspiration. I like it when cities have a lot of graffities because then it's more colerful. In Graz is not a lot of graffities as in america for example.
So I hope sometime Graz has also a lot of graffities
Thanks for reading my comment,
Best wishes Jana.

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45 users have voted.
sarikalt's picture
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sarikalt 10 January, 2017 - 18:42

Hey Guys, whats up?

I think about graffiti is a very interesting art.When people paint they put soul. I hope someday people understand that this is a type of art and not only unnecessary drawings
I like graffiti on the big wall, because it Looks like really nice and cool. I can not paint Graffiti at my self, becouse i'm not very good at art.This art of painting gives more colour to the grey cities, but there are also some places that covered with silly sayings and other stupid thinks.
I think the 'Graffiti zone' in Taiwan it's REALLY cool. But I don't understand the People when they are spray around the private houses.
I think that in Austria are not so much wonderful Graffitis like in other countries, becouse our peaple doesen't like Graffiti and I don't understand that, because I like Graffiti. :D

Thank you for reading,
Sarah :D

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43 users have voted.
_Hannah_'s picture
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_Hannah_ 7 January, 2017 - 16:06

Dear community,

I think graffiti is real art and it´s a form of expression for many people. I hope someday people understand that this is a type of art and not only unnecessary drawings. I´m not very good in art and something like that, but I like to think about the unique and interesting graffitis. The most works from the artists have a deep meaning from their own experience and thoughts. This art of painting gives more colour to the grey cities. Street art looks very beautifully, but there are also some places that covered with swear words and other stupid things. Just on few places in Austria it´s allowed to painting on walls, anyhow I can´t understand that some artists paint at private places. I hope that in the future will be more creative graffitis than these unnecessary phrases. I think it´s a pity that in Austria not so many wonderful graffitis like in other countries.

Best wishes,
Hannah

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41 users have voted.
Gibi's picture
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Gibi 5 January, 2017 - 14:21

Hey guys,
Graffiti is in the most cities a crime. But in other countries, artists can draw and paint in certain places. Graffiti is a very beautiful art. I like the text because there is the hole history of Graffiti.
What do you think about the text ?
Let me know !

Bye! Gabriel

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41 users have voted.
happinessarg's picture
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happinessarg 8 November, 2016 - 21:37

I think graffiti is really art and a form of expresion, I like it so much. Graffiti can make the city more beautiful. I would really like to try it but I haven't yet.

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51 users have voted.
AgusFrolik's picture
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AgusFrolik 7 November, 2016 - 14:50

Graffiti is really not bad. It actually looks cool and interesting. It's really art. I think graffitis is good for the city. I think that street art in some places looks cool beautiful. In my opinion, graffitis is the most especial art and I like it. It's a formar of expresion, it's freedom and sometimes a form of protest.

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46 users have voted.
ElnahuOMG's picture
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ElnahuOMG 7 November, 2016 - 13:58

In my opinion graffiti is fantastic because is a form of expresion and sometimes a form of protest.. It is a way to be popular or to attract tourists

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50 users have voted.
lisandroiriart's picture
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lisandroiriart 17 October, 2016 - 15:57

I think that it is an art form. Graffiti allows young people to express their identity. They look stunning. I am really into graffity artists like Bansky.

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50 users have voted.
GirlFromUkraine's picture
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GirlFromUkraine 27 June, 2016 - 15:14

I think through graffiti people can pass on to others their feelings, emotions and what ever information. I think it really art.

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64 users have voted.
lia2004's picture
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lia2004 8 June, 2016 - 13:27

I think graffiti s a really art. There are many places in Moscow where we can see the street art. I would really like to try it but I didn't.

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61 users have voted.
Kity's picture
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Kity 15 May, 2016 - 10:53

I am really into graffiti artists like Banksy, however i really hate tags because they have no beauty or special meaning.

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53 users have voted.
barbiedoll10's picture
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barbiedoll10 10 April, 2016 - 12:12

Graffiti, in my opinion, is really art. They look stunning, gorgeus and they can make a place look very lively, people should dedicate more time to making their environment look better :)

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61 users have voted.
qyz1223's picture
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qyz1223 1 April, 2016 - 23:03

I think graffity is good for the city.Graffiti can let the city more beautiful and more popular.But some bad painter paint bad on the wall and make the wall so ugly.

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66 users have voted.
Raullorefer's picture
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Raullorefer 29 March, 2016 - 10:47

I think that street art in some some places looks cool or beautifull.
I like to see paintings in abandoned buildings, like facrories or walls. But when someone make a painting in your own hause or private places, that's ennoying. Doesn't matter if It's a cool painting or not.
I like that in some cities and towns there're some graffiti places, where you can go there and you can make a painting, drow something or whatevere you want. In my city, VIC, there is two big places where you can do it. One of them is a abandoned factory, and the other one is a place where twenty years ago, exploted a bomb. Now this place is the most colorfull in my city.

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64 users have voted.
Alion4ik's picture
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Alion4ik 28 March, 2016 - 22:18

I think graffiti is really beautiful art , becouse a lot of graffiti are atractive,brilliant and exactly creative. Graffiti decorate different buildings and make them more better. Also, graffiti is an art form. And today, graffiti gives colour to our grey city centres.Some of the greatest art of out time is on factory wall and urban trains.Sometimes,talanted artists can start their careers by paintings on wall. And you can see a lot of beautiful art in art gallaries and enjoy these.
But,often,you can see walls covered in stupid names and swear words or also, teenagers sometimes draw ugly graffiti.And it is not atractive.

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58 users have voted.
Karp1shka3715's picture
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Karp1shka3715 28 March, 2016 - 19:43

I think graffiti is imaginative and beautifully done. Also graffiti give colour to our grey city centres. For somebody graffiti brings adrenaline. One day people will understand that some of the greatest art of our time isn't in galleries, but on the street. Graffiti holds more emotions. It's fun, radical and free.

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65 users have voted.
Mandarin8's picture
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Mandarin8 28 March, 2016 - 21:14

I guess that graffiti is a new modern art.I think that different pictures on the usual walls are interesting but I can not stand when I see words like "I love u".It is look ugly.I hope that people will understand this beautiful art.
So,I expect to see an imaginative and attractive graffiti in our boring life.

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62 users have voted.
cloudlet's picture
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cloudlet 28 March, 2016 - 19:41

I think graffiti is attrecrive and funny. They give colours in our lives. Painting graffities it is a good way to express feeings and make city more prettier. And I don`t understand why grafitties are illegal.

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61 users have voted.
ALIONAANDALINA's picture
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ALIONAANDALINA 28 March, 2016 - 18:54

I think that graffiti is really art. A lot of graffiti is creative, imaginative and fantastic. Artists can decorate gray buildings, where nobody lives and it will looks very attractive.But unfortunately, graffiti is illegal and some people think that it is vandalism.
p.s kaydanyuk alina(homework)

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61 users have voted.
V_s's picture
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V_s 28 March, 2016 - 17:33

I think graffiti is really art. Graffiti allows young people to express their identity. Some graffiti is fantastic and you don't have to pay to see it. I think people will understand one day that graffiti is great art.

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50 users have voted.
Marinella's picture
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Marinella 27 March, 2016 - 12:34

I think that is very cool graffiti and youth. I do not see anything wrong with graffiti because graffiti because people transfer their feelings and emotions. I think that graffiti is an art and we do not blame him.

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60 users have voted.
ice_cream's picture
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ice_cream 26 March, 2016 - 19:19

Graffiti is an art form. It's radical, it's fun and it's free. A lot of graffiti is beautiful and imaginative. And it's true that some talented artists started their careers by painting on walls. I think today graffiti gives colour to our grey city centres. One day people will understand that some of the greatest art of our time isn't in galleries, but on the street.

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72 users have voted.
melon01's picture
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melon01 26 March, 2016 - 18:27

Graffiti is an art form which has existed for a long time. I think the graffiti is colourful, fantastic and attractive. But, on the other side, some graffity artists risk thier health when they paint. There are such cases that we see wals covered in stupid names and swear words. I hope that in the future there will be more good pictures than these absurd phrases.

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58 users have voted.
Apple2016's picture
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Apple2016 26 March, 2016 - 14:23

I think that graffiti it's very cool.Graffiti is a modern art.There are many graffiti on the streets:on the old buildings and on the fence.That pic are amazing.I like the graffiti but i don't like doing by myself.

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57 users have voted.
sims7887's picture
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sims7887 25 March, 2016 - 20:52

I think,graffiti is good,because some graffiti very beautiful.Graffiti it is real art.We can see everything modern pictures.

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56 users have voted.
robod's picture
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robod 23 March, 2016 - 11:30

Graffity is very beautiful art in our life.Some people say that graffity is vandalism and crime because people hurt by this corrupt nature and the wall of the building.And they think that graffity is bed for health.As for me I think graffiti is really exquisite creations in our life.

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60 users have voted.
Hansolo23213's picture
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Hansolo23213 18 March, 2016 - 11:46

I believe that some graffiti are attractive. They decorate gray places. They cause positive emotions.
It can help really talented people to improve their art skills. It can help teenagers to show their feelings and to self a sure.
On the other hand graffiti is a kind of vandalism.Not all graffiti are so attractive,some of them are ugly.
They spoil some buildings especially private houses.So it deal really big damage for city.
Communal services spend really big money to repaint some buildings.

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64 users have voted.

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