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

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

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Discussion

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

Comments

Sarahi_0123's picture
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Sarahi_0123 7 October, 2020 - 20:17

- What do you enjoy taking photos of? What photos have you got on your phone?
I would like to take pictures of nature and animals.
The photos I have on my phone are mostly landscapes and self-portraits.
- In your opinion, is dancing a form of art? And music? Why? Why not?
Yes, dancing is a way of expressing feelings and that is why I consider it art. Music together with body movements is a sublime event.

- What do you think about graffiti? Is it really art?
When the graffiti is really planned and elaborated, they are really beautiful, more when they represent situations.
- What do you think is the most beautiful work of art in the world?
For my taste The Great Wave of Kanagawa

- What do you think is the most famous painting in Mexico?
The one everyone knows is Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central.

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Samanthaaiko11's picture
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Samanthaaiko11 6 September, 2020 - 23:47

-What do you enjoy taking photos of? I like to take photos of the sky and the flowers, I also love to photograph animals.
-What photos have you got on your phone? I have many photos of myself and my family, I also have photos of beautiful landscapes.
-In your opinion, is dancing a form of art? Yes And music? Yes
Why? Because both are ways of communicating ideas and emotions.
-What do you think about graffiti? Is it really art? Yes it is, because graffiti is a way of conveying important messages or expressing personal emotions and opinions.
-What do you think is the most beautiful work of art in the world? The thinker of Auguste Rodin.
-What do you think is the most famous painting in Mexico? The flower carrier of Diego Ribera.

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Hak11's picture
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Hak11 6 September, 2020 - 19:54

What do you like to take photos of? I like to take photos of the landscapes and daily life of the city
What photos do you have on your phone? most are photos of Lubezki and some that I have taken myself
In your opinion, is dancing an art form? And music? Why? Why not?
Of course they are art, on the one hand, they are not considered fine arts for nothing, and as a personal comment, art is that expression that transmits any emotion to you, that which makes you feel something that only they can do.
What do you think of graffiti? Is it really art?
For me, of course it is a form of expression, although it depends on what graffiti it is, there are many who represent modernity on walls, and express their feelings, however there are others that are really silly, such as putting your name or a signature.
What do you think is the most beautiful work of art in the world?
The Night Star by Vincent Van Gogh
What do you think is the most famous painting in Mexico?
the portrait of Frida Khalo

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PomarRi's picture
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PomarRi 31 August, 2020 - 03:58

What do you enjoy taking photos of? What photos have you got on your phone? I enojoy taking photos of my car and my pet.
In your opinion, is dancing a form of art? And music? Why? Why not? Yes, dancing is a form of art because expresses feelings.
What do you think about graffiti? Is it really art? Yes, because it contains some meaning message to convey
What do you think is the most beautiful work of art in the world? Ammm I don't have any idea
What do you think is the most famous painting in Mexico? In my opinion is Diego Rivera

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Uriel_117's picture
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Uriel_117 24 August, 2020 - 20:10

What do you enjoy taking photos of?
I enjoy taking my pet’s photos, landscapes photos and when I go out with my friends.
What photos have you got on your phone?
In my phone I have photos about my family, friends and my girlfriend.

- In your opinion, is dancing a form of art? And music? Why? Why not?
Yes of course, the both are forms of arte because with the dancing an the music we can express feelings, emotions, whatever.

- What do you think about graffiti? Is it really art?
Well in my opinión the graffiti is also a formo a art, the people express his way of thinking or feelings but I think that these is a form of vandalism.

- What do you think is the most beautiful work of art in the world?
For me the best type of art is that of the Renaissance.

- What do you think is the most famous painting in Mexico?
I do not know what is the most famoues painting in Mexico but I think that is from Carlos Rivera.

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ADA17's picture
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ADA17 23 August, 2020 - 03:43

What do you enjoy taking photos of? I don't like take photos
What photos have you got on your phone? I like save only memes, photos with my friends and photos of my cats
In your opinion, is dancing a form of art? yes, the dance is a form of art And music? Obviously Why? Because the dance and music are a two of seven arts Why not?---
What do you think about graffiti? Is it really art? Obviously, the graffiti is a really art, and I like graffiti
What do you think is the most beautiful work of art in the world? I don't have a opinion for this question, all art is beautiful
What do you think is the most famous painting in Mexico?
I think that is Frida Kahlo or Diego Rivera, but in my opinion lack of recognition for more artists.

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SoyBonita04 18 August, 2020 - 20:46

I like landscape photos, they make me very inspiring.
The photos that I have in my cell are photos that I have with my family, friends, my boyfriend and personal photos.
For me, dancing and music are an art form because they both convey different emotions, they are a form of expression.
I consider that graffiti is art, because as I mentioned earlier with music and dance, it is also a form of expression that conveys different emotions. not everyone likes it and they see it well, but that does not mean it stops being a form of expression.
For me the most beautiful work of art in the world does not exist, there are many works that I like and admire but I do not consider them the most beautiful in the world.

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IsaacAguilar1108's picture
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IsaacAguilar1108 17 August, 2020 - 23:54

I like to take pictures of landscapes, the kind of photos I have on my cell phone are video games. Of course dancing is a form of body art, music seeks to convey emotions and facts as if it were a story, well the graffiti I think it shows emotions as if it were a painting. I think it's up to everyone but the personal I always like Mona Lisa. And part of Mexico would be the burning man of José Clemente Orozco.

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ADA17's picture
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ADA17 23 August, 2020 - 03:51

Hi, bro! Your pictures are wonderful, I miss you.
And I think that Jose Clemente Orozco is the good artist and the Mona Lisa is a beautiful work.

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na419777's picture
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na419777 17 August, 2020 - 18:14

I like to take pictures of animals and nature, on my cell phone I have pictures of my pet and my plants.
For me, dancing and music is a form of art, because through them emotions and feelings are transmitted.
In my opinion, graffiti is a form of painting, not so much art as such, and it is also good to see what kind of graffiti we are seeing.
I believe that the mural "La Revolución Mexicana" by David Alfaros Siqueiros is one of the most recognized works in Mexico.

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nomeaceptanombres 17 August, 2020 - 18:14

I take photos of landscapes or drawings, I have many photos of different drawings because I like them too much, music and dance if they are art forms since they express through singing or body movement different feelings that they transmit, for me graffiti can be good or bad depending on who and how it is done, the most famous mexican painting for me is prometheus by jose clemente orosco since it is very beautiful, the most famous painting in the world is the mona lisa for its enigmatic smile

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NoodleB's picture
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NoodleB 17 August, 2020 - 18:07

- What do you enjoy taking photos of? What photos have you got on your phone?
I enjoy taking photos of my pet, and on my phone most of them are mine and my friends, of good times.
- In your opinion, is dancing a form of art? And music? Why? Why not?
Of course, both are art, if they can express ways of feeling, I think it is, that's what art is about, transmitting, even if it's a bit subjective.
- What do you think about graffiti? Is it really art?
Of course it is art, all art has to be classic, besides that it has its own techniques, I think it is very original and allows you to expand with your imagination, there are no rules, and I love that!
- What do you think is the most beautiful work of art in the world?
For me the best type of art is that of the Renaissance, because there were great artists who thought that their art was worth nothing, but the truth is that they are very valuable, I love Delacroix
- What do you think is the most famous painting in Mexico?
I think we could be talking about the paintings of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in general, culturally they are very loved.

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Va351938's picture
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Va351938 17 August, 2020 - 17:45

I like to take photos of the landscapes and me, on my cell phone I usually have photos of me, landscapes and for now of tasks :(
For me dance and music are art because they have history, and a lot of culture, on the other hand, I also consider Graffiti art, since it includes a lot of creativity, history, passion, etc.
I consider the most important work in the world to be the La Gioconda or better known as The Mona Lisa, and the painting that I consider most famous in Mexico is Man on Fire (1939) José Clemente Orozco.

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Pbautista's picture
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Pbautista 2 May, 2020 - 17:18

I think that graffiti is modern art and maby some pepole use graffiti to dirty the city but in general graffiti is an art

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empty's picture
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empty 8 July, 2019 - 09:01

I think graffiti is good , but some graffitis can be rude . I hate seeing rude graffiti on the walls . I saw one on my school wall and my day was ruined . uch !

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SLMT's picture
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SLMT 16 March, 2018 - 11:24

For me, graffiti is absolutely an art.I am really interested in it. But I don’t know how to draw. It’s an essential thing for a city. A modern city’s beauty can’t be perfect without graffiti.Graffiti is the representative of youth and art.There should be a place where we can find beautiful graffiti like graffiti zone in Taiwan.In my country,Graffiti was not popular last decade and It was forbidden to draw graffiti in the city. Because most of graffiti are related to political and country’s failure.That’s why Graffiti was forbidden.But now Graffiti can be seen everywhere in my country.My faded city turns to a beautiful and colorful city because of graffiti . Graffiti is not only art but also magic.

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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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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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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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_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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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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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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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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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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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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