When you think of graffiti what comes to mind? Drawings on the side of a building? Scribbles on the side of a train?
When I think of graffiti, I don’t think about Ancient Egypt or Greece, but that is exactly where/when graffti or “graffito” originates from. Graffiti means writing or drawings that are scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.
Dating back centuries, people would scratch figure drawings or scripts on walls to tell a story or leave a message.
(Poetry graffito from the stairwell of the House of Maius Castricius, Pompeii. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113411831/why-ancient-roman-graffiti-is-so-important-to-archaeologists-010516/#hwlMXZwiiFOsYGth.99)
During the Enlightenment and Renaissance eras, the interest in graffiti declined as sculptures and the use of canvases became popular.
Unfortunately, it’s not until World War I and World War II that graffiti resurged and took a new form.
(1918? “Never again”)
Rather than being scratched onto the wall the use of aerosol paint, also referred to as spray paint, became popular. Soldiers would spray paint their planes with messages or symbols.
This form of graffiti is still popular today as popular artists such as BANKSY integrate spray paint with stencil techniques.
Banksy – Follow Your Dreams – Cancelled
While the history of graffiti wasn’t always a pretty one, we embrace its past and welcome the future. As you see, graffiti was always meant to tell a story/message. Each piece of work tells a different story and it’s up to us to leave a positive message behind.
We’ve incorporated graffiti into our new Color + Build kits to highlight words of positivity because that’s the message and mark we want to leave.
Take a stroll this weekend and show us some of the cool graffiti you see by tagging us @PaperPunk. And if you’re feeling up to the challenge, #MakeSomething.