Library of
Design, Art and Idea

What is Graffiti?

25.02.2015
Vol. 4

It is possible to say that the first forms of graffiti, hundreds of forms of which we see in the city today, actually date back to the caves where hieroglyphs had been carved by animal bones and pigments ever since the beginning of humanity; and continued from the tradition of wall writings found in Pompei, Egypt and Rome, and reached until today.

Where is graffiti in history? Cave of Altamira Archeologists named the writings, figures and drawings as graffiti that were found in Pompei, Egypt and Roma catacombs. [1] In addition, names, slogans and all other messages written in public areas are also called graffiti in archeology. [2] The word “graffiti” is the plural form of the word “grafficar” in Italian which means drawing, pointing, etc. In today’s daily life, graffiti has its roots only inside the city. It is a form of street art enjoyed by drawing tags that are written in stylized letters and various characters by spray paints and markers on the walls of the city, train stations, trains. It is possible to say that the first forms of graffiti, hundreds of forms of which we see in the city today, actually date back to the caves where hieroglyphs had been carved by animal bones and pigments ever since the beginning of humanity [3]; and continued from the tradition of wall writings found in Pompei, Egypt and Rome, and reached until today. Watch out , Taki 183 and Modern Graffiti Comes! Today’s modern graffiti took its current form by the young who started to draw their nicknames or names followed by the number of the street the live in on the walls by inerasable markers at the end of the 1960s: Taki183. The beginning of modern graffiti appearing in New York is attributed to a Greco-American young postman in the name of Demitrius nicknamed Taki 183. The taki comes from his name Demetaki and the 183 come from one of the streets of Washington Height in North Manhattan numbered 183. However, it is not possible to say that Taki 183 was the first graffiti artist or king. Taki 183 is the first graffiti artist discovered by the media. [4] When graffiti came around, there were names such as Julio 204, Frank 207, Joe 136 besides Taki 183. Taki 183 already said to New York Times on 21 July 1971: “I took this form of drawing from Julio 204, but Julio 204 did this job only for 2 years, and then he got caught.” [5] Many young people wanted to become famous like Taki 183 at first in the United States of America after Taki 183 became famous through the media. Then metros, walls and any area open to the public started to have graffiti on them. Between the ‘70s and ‘80s graffiti reached its golden age and many artists emerged from that period. Graffiti styles also changed in that period. Used sometimes also by gangs to mark their regions, graffiti showed itself generally as a means of expression for ordinary people among the public. The years between 1970 and 1980 witnessed many graffiti artists, who made a difference by their styles and activeness, such as Seen, PJ, Duster, Dondi, Blade, Chino, Iz the Wiz. Graffiti Cross the Atlantic! Two documentaries were shot on street life and hip-hop culture, one of them being “Style Wars” in 1982, and the other “Wild Style” in 1983. They were also the first steps into the matter of making graffiti commercial, as well as the first projects by which graffiti and street life were largely moved to the media. Since the mid-1980’s the United States of America have taken serious precautions against on the subject of graffiti. Even though the precautions taken in the homeland of graffiti slowed down the graffiti art, the graffiti documentaries such as Wild Style, and Style Wars helped spread graffiti across the Europe. The graffiti art started to spread over the world especially after 1990 when the world’s borders started to lose their effect.
Vol. 4
Dadatart Raif Kara Interview