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Know all about graffiti art!

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

As a child have you ever grabbed colors, sketches, or paints to draw on the walls of your room? You must have, we've all done it, and we've all been scolded for that too!

Well, that was still our property, but try doing this on the walls in public, and you'll be doing illegal, artistic graffiti work!

You heard it right, graffiti art is indeed illegal in most parts of the world, even though it's still so common and prominent that it has acquired the place of earning a special art form of it's own! Graffiti art is an art form which is mainly done for communicating ideas and beliefs visually, by using symbols, phrases or doodles.


The word graffiti derives from Greek and Italian origins - the Greek word 'grafhein' represents the act of writing, whereas the Italian word 'graffito' represents or means a scratch. The art form might be associated with the modern century, but it actually goes way back in the past during the times where they were found as ancient Roman ruins, and even on the 16th century dated rocks in Spain. It was also percieved in medivial churches of England.

Later in 20th century, Graffiti art made it's way back, but in a notorious way. It came to be known as the art form used by gangsters and street gangs. They used it usually as a way of marking their authority over a territory, claiming a place as theirs, boasting and idealizing the act of crimes and sometimes enraging other rival street gangs as well. Such acts spoiled the image and authenticity of graffiti art, which till date, remains unchanged in certain ways.


The art supplies mainly needed for graffiti art are spray paints, markers, and large paint brushes. On the walls that go higher, even ladders are used to reach up their and draw our hearts out! Isn't it, in a metaphorical sense, depict the heights an artist can reach to achieve his goal?

Graffiti art usually contains phrases, symbols and doodles that are made on the wall with an idea of conveying support, agitation or simply beliefs and views. Sometimes, graffiti art does not include words, instead, they have realistic paintings that makes our jaws drop.

Due to such forms of graffiti art that has a positive effect on the society, it's understandable that it can also be used as expressive artistic form that beautifies the walls and conveys strong and powerful ideas to be pondered upon.


  • Graffiti art is tremendously prominent in places like United States and Europe, where the canvases used usually are billboards and subways.

  • The 1990's witnessed the emergence of a new form of graffiti art which was called 'tagging'. It referred to the act where graffiti art was done so as to mark or claim a territory using their special, recognizable signatures or symbols.

  • New York artists Keith Haring and Jean - Michel Basquiat earned a lot of notoriety for their graffiti and used this recognition by putting it into use. As a result, they came to be known as successful painters and their works were recognized in the primary art galleries.

  • Most of the world's jurisdictions have stated graffiti art as illegal, and in some countries, the punishment one is subjected to is quite extreme.

  • However, some countries have acknowledged it as an art form deservable of being displayed, and hence, they have allocated some free walls made especially for artists to express their artistry.

  • There are a total of 1,650 free walls for graffiti art all over the world.

Phew, that was a trip down the lesser known art form, which you know a great deal about now. I wish that new artistic ideas emerge out of this and enter right into the world of your creative escape!

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