Graffiti to street art
It's all over the place. From miserable scrawls to world class artists. Scribbles on a brick to entire sides of buildings. We've become used to it, but where did it start?
Modern graffiti has roots. Not quite what you'd think. The one that stuck was from World War II. If there ever was a Kilroy, it's lost in time. Yet, the tiny little line drawing sprung up all across Europe during the Allied Invasion and subsequent freeing it from Nazi domination. You can still find it appearing in various places.
Most of what we see today, can be traced back to New York City. Gangs, apparently, would make their marks to establish the boundaries of their territory - bit like a dog pissing on a tree.
One of them though, broke out of the box and changed the world. I first saw this many years ago, sitting on the side of a water tower - blaring out its simple message.
It took years before anyone found out who Chico was, or what it meant. Chico lived on 76th Street. People still copy this, with things like Doreen 128, but Chico was the original. Some years later graffiti began to appear all over New York's subway cars and the concept spread around the world.
Then we have the fully blown street art, some commissioned by companies, others allowed on the sides of buildings or pavements.
There are still the clandestine artists, doing their stuff all over the place. But now the quality of the artwork is great. It's come a long way since Kilroy and Chico.
May 05, 2015