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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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karp12 24 March, 2016 - 16:32

So, I think graffiti was absolutely fantastic. It is radical, fun and feautiful. Graffiti gives colour to our grey city centres and holds more emotions. For somebode graffiti brings adrenaline. Graffiti is cool. It is really art.

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Ollya 18 March, 2016 - 11:42

Graffiti is it very beautiful art,because when people draw graffiti they put soul and some people wont show yourself as a creative person,I think draw graffiti it is very hard work,because you should have a kind of picture of the world.
Best wishes Ollya)

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Iruna's picture
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Iruna 18 March, 2016 - 11:40

I think about graffiti is the most special art and i like this.Graffiti is very interesting art.When people paint they put soul.I like graffiti on the big wall.Graffities are really cool:)
Best wishes,Ira:)

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t_korn_'s picture
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t_korn_ 18 March, 2016 - 10:50

so,I think that is really art. Because a lot of graffiti is like a masterpieces.I think that is a good way to show your own.Some graffiti paints on buildings were nobody lives , so it decorate this buildings.But,so sad think,that graffiti is illegal.

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joesir's picture
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joesir 30 December, 2015 - 11:42

i think graffiti is beautiful ,it makes the city modern
yes,the walls of the streets in my city may have some graffiti
the graffiti may attract people to see
personally, i think the police should stop bad graffiti artists because their art works are ugly

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joesir's picture
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joesir 30 December, 2015 - 11:32

yes,because a lot of graffiti is beautiful, i think a beautiful painting that stays on the wall or other places is better than nothing on the wall.
they are mainly on the wall in back streets in hong kong.
the police shouldn't stop graffiti artists because it is an art and we should set up a graffiti zone to allow teenagers to draw, like Taiwan.

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shamim 27 December, 2015 - 19:20

Yes, that is an art, a really nice & conceptual art. In the past years some of street artists have painted pictures about war in various places until show war and its results to people in around the world about.

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