History of Graffiti
Graffiti has an interesting history of revolution, art, vandalism, and more. Graffiti is much more than vandalism, but unfortunately, it came to be associated with crime which made it a sort of taboo art form that few people appreciated.
Graffiti started in Philadelphia during the 1960s and made its way to New York mainly by subway car. Graffiti was seen on buses, walls, trains and more but only really go noticed in the 1970s. It is widely agreed that 1970 and 1971 were the time of graffiti and this is when this fascinating culture was created and evolved.
Some of the best-known graffiti artists of that time include Tracy 168 and TAKI 183. They were the first artists to really draw attention and even got the media to sit up and pay attention. These artists started the naming convention of adding their street number to their nickname. This was their calling cards and what they would write on trains and buses. For the most part, bubble lettering was used and became the way we all know and think about graffiti. Some other well-known graffiti artists from this time include DONDI, Zephyr, and PHASE 2.
As the graffiti trend grew, it became competitive and the artists felt they needed to make more of a statement and show what they can do. From about 1974, artists like Tracy 168, BLADE ONE, and others started expanding their work to include illustrations, cartoons, scenery, etc. They created elaborate murals on subway cars to show what they can do. This led to the development of spray techniques and new ways of writing letters.
The violence associated with graffiti due to graffiti gangs and territory wars, made the police get involved and a 4-year long project to clean the subways was started. The culture was diminishing as it became difficult to buy supplies and find suitable subway cars to paint. This is when the graffiti culture burst into the cities and became wall art.