Graffiti: Controversial Art with a Message

Graffiti Art Paintings

Graffiti is any drawing or painting in public spaces without the permission of the property owner. Contemporary graffiti began in urban cities such as Philadelphia and New York in the 1960s and 1970s and grew alongside hip-hop street subcultures.

The earliest graffiti consisted of simple tags like “Kilroy was here” or a sketch of a bald man peeking over a ledge. Later, artists like Cornbread began tagging a variety of objects and places.


Graffiti is a form of art that is controversial. While some people consider it vandalism, others think that graffiti is a form of public expression that can beautify a city and speak to its culture.

Modern graffiti first appeared in Philadelphia in the early 1960s, where Darryl McCray (known as Cornbread) started to write his name on walls and trains. This became known as tagging, and was the beginning of the graffiti movement.

Other artists, such as Blek le Rat, began to use stencils, making it easier for them to avoid arrest. They also started to paint images, rather than just their names. This change was a significant step for graffiti, as it allowed it to become more of a visual language. These images often have a political message, like the AIDS-related piece by Keith Haring.


In addition to spray paint, graffiti artists use a variety of materials to produce their works. These include emulsion paint, which is a household product available in a wide range of colors and finishes, and stencils, which are prepared beforehand using paper or cardboard.

Stenciling is a common technique used to create intricate and detailed artworks quickly and easily, and it helped bring graffiti into the mainstream – it’s even what brought the famous Banksy into the fold!

Some graffiti artists also use mop-style markers, which have a pump valve system that allows the body of the marker to be squeezed, and drips can be produced. The most important thing to remember is that any art created on private property should be done with the permission of the owner – otherwise it could be viewed as vandalism.


Graffiti art can beautify a neighborhood and speak to the interests of a particular community. It can also be controversial, sparking debate on whether it is a form of art or merely a nuisance. To create graffiti art, you will need several tools and techniques. These include the use of spray paint, stencils and paint markers. It is important to practice your graffiti techniques before using spray paint on a wall. You should also choose your spot carefully, as graffiti on private property can be considered a form of vandalism.

The most common technique for creating graffiti is tagging. This involves writing a name or symbol in an eye-catching design that is unique to the artist. Another popular style is throw-ups, which are larger pieces of lettering in a bubble or block style. Wildstyle is a more detailed form of graffiti that requires more time and creativity to complete.


Graffiti artists use various styles to create their paintings. These styles are usually time and labor-intensive, and they can highlight social, environmental, or political themes.

For instance, Mathangi Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name M.I.A, used stenciling techniques to create her iconic Girl With Balloon image in 2002. The work was created in two locations around London and has become one of the most famous pieces of graffiti art.

Other popular graffiti styles include wildstyle, which involves creating text that is entangled and overlapping. It also incorporates different types of shapes to enhance its wild quality. Shepard Fairey uses this style in his works to convey his social and political concerns. In addition, many graffiti artists have moved from the streets to galleries and studios to showcase their talents.


Graffiti is a form of art that allows artists to express themselves. It can be creative, criminal, political, or even humorous, and it challenges societal norms without the worry of legal consequences. It can also tell a lot about an area’s politics, subcultures, and socio-economic conditions.

It can be a great way to spread a message, such as urging people to get the vaccine during a pandemic. Artists like Keith Haring used his famous ‘Crack is Wack’ mural to bring attention to the AIDS epidemic.

While some graffiti is still viewed as vandalism, others have been embraced by the art world. This has helped to raise the profile of graffiti artists, who now enjoy greater recognition than ever before. This is partly because graffiti-style paintings can be displayed in museums and galleries, alongside other forms of art.

Run back to the home screen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Graffiti: From Illegal Activity to Art and Social Expression
Next post Exploring AI’s Impact on Graffiti Art