Graffiti and its Origins
The earliest forms of graffiti date back 30,000 years in the
form of prehistoric cave paintings and pictographs using
tools such as animal bones and pigments.
This was found in
Modern graffiti has
with the Hip Hop
movement, but it has
always been politically
Subway graffiti developed
in the 1960’s, when
‘tagging’ their names
on abandoned freights.
The artist usually
adopts a new name to
1980's and Hip Hop
The 1980's saw the
emergence of Hip Hop,
and with this a new form
of graffiti. Stencils and
spray paints were used to
create quick, sharp
designs. This design» by
Shepard Fairey, was a
popular image and is now
used as a logo.
Graffiti and Hip Hop culture
between graffiti and hip
hop culture arises both
from early graffiti
artists engaging in
other aspects of hip
Anonymous artist, 1994»
Hip Hop artists such as Fab Five Freddy started
making graffiti more popular, staging street 'dance-
offs' and rap wars. Street artists would cover
abandoned buildings and subway stations with their
Basqiuat was famously
associated with the
New York graffiti and
hip hop scene during
the 1980's. His
'SAMO' tag can be
seen around New
Basqiuat, Untitled (skull) 1981
Basqiuat used painterly
strokes and vibrant
referenced his graffiti.
Artists such as Banksy have popularised Graffiti.
This has divided die-hard graffiti fans! Banksy's
work can be seen around Bristol and London.
Text Art and Graffiti
Graffiti culture has also been an influence on
modern art. Mark Titchner's 'messages' are
aesthetically very much in the style of street
Mark Titcher Tiny Masters (2007)
In groups of 2 or 3, answer these questions.
1. Which scene did Basqiuat become involved with?
2. How would you say graffiti influenced his work?
3. Where is graffiti said to originate from?
4. How many years ago were the first examples of
1. Basqiuat was involved with the New York hip hop
scene in the 1980's.
2. Open to discussion!
3. Ancient Greece. Symbols and phrases were found
4. 30,000 years BC
Aims and Objectives
Aim/s: To collaborate in the creation of a mural, which references
Text/Graffiti art, each creating your own 'tag'.
Objective/s covered in this lesson:
Collaborate effectively, deciding on the overall design of the mural as a
Experiment with techniques and materials using mixed media
Conduct visual research into 2 contemporary artists who use text and
document these in journal/sketchbook (as a homework task)