What is Graffiti?

The word graffiti actually has Italian roots to the word graffiari, meaning to scratch or scrawl.  Most artists associated with the art of graffiti actually oppose this word because it considered undignified.  Most artists instead prefer the term “writer”.  “Writing” is associated with the art and practice of stylizing letters or words and also with its’ illegal nature.  Styles writers can use include: wildstyle, cartoon, realistic, 3D, stencil, bubble, and block among many more.  Graffiti types used are: tags, throwups, and character pieces to name a few.  The platforms that writers can utilize are endless as well.  Almost any surface is fair game, but to give some examples I  would include trains, subways, tunnels, rooftops, walls, and automobiles.  Styles, types, and platforms will be discussed further in the visual rhetoric page as well as under the topic of communication.  Most people will use whatever is readily accessible in order to write.  It’s most common to use spray paint, markers, or inks-anything that stands out and drys fast.  It is important to understand that graffiti has a broad history but I personally will be examining the writers from the late 1960’s/early 1970’s up until the current year of 2012.


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