From Parietal Art to Graffiti

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  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


    The art of writting or painting on walls can be found first in the prehistoric age-under thename of parietal art,and continues to nowadays,where it can be found under the modernterm of graffiti. The word graffiti comes from the italian graffiato that can be translated-to scratch.It referes to the inscriptions,figure drawings or names found on the walls ofprehistoric caves,ancient ruins or modern buildings.

    Preistoric graffiti is called parietal art, and recently irish archeologists discovered,studying tombs in the megalithic sit-Knowth,Meath shire,contemporary to the famousStonehenge,so called-megalithic graffiti.Some drawings and inscriptions atribuited to socalled prehistoric vandals.This megalithic graffiti was found in a necropolis dated aroundthe year 3000 B.C.The drawings seem to be the artwork of 15-16 people who scrachedtheir names on the walls.The term of graffiti was first used in Ancient Rome to describe inscriptions made on thewalls of the ancient buildings.Another example of ancient graffiti can be found inAncient Greece,in Ephes or in the legendary city ofPompey. Here can be found on thewalls-ancient advertisments or comics of some important people of that time.Otherfamous examples are Chauvet Cave, in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, France Discovered in 1994

    and dating from 30,000 BC. Chauvet cave is divided in two main parts. In the first, mostpictures are red, while in the second, the animals are mostly black. The most spectacularimages are the Horse Panel and the Panel of Lions and Rhinoceroses.Cosquer Cave, nearMarseille, France,discovered by the deep-sea diver Henri Cosquer in 1985, and datingfrom 25,000 BC. The entrance to Cosquer cave is situated over 100 feet below sea level.It contains, hand stencils, charcoal drawings and about 100 polychrome paintings ofhorses and other animals.Pech-Merle Cave, Cabrerets, Midi-Pyrnes, Francediscovered in 1922, and dating from 25,000 BC,.Pech-Merle is famous for its DappledHorses, painted in charcoal and ochre on limestone.Lascaux Cave, Montignac,Dordogne, France that was discovered in 1940 and dating from 17,000 BC. Lascauxcontains seven decorated chambers with over 2000 painted images, including the

    extraordinary Hall of the Bulls which, despite its name, features mostly horses as well asthe male aurochs (wild cattle) from which its name derives. Font de Gaume, in theDordogne Valley in France,discovered in 1901 and dating from 17,000 BC. Font deGaume cave contains over 200 polychrome paintings from the Solutrean-Magdalenianculture - second only in France to Lascaux in quality - featuring some 80 bison, 40 horsesand 20 mammoths.Cueva de La Pasiega, Cuevas de El Castillo, Cantabria, Spaindiscovered in 1911 and dating from 16,000 BC.The cave of La Pasiega consists of onemain gallery, some 80 yards in length, with openings to several secondary galleries. Itscave art consists of over 700 painted images (roughly 100 deer, 80 horses, 30 ibex, 30cattle, along with reindeer, mammoth, birds and fish) including numerous abstractsymbols (ideomorphs) and engravings.Cave of Altamira, near Santillana del Mar,Cantabria, Spain ,discovered in 1879 and dating from 15,000 BC. Altamira is consideredby archeologists and art historians to be "the Sistine Chapel of Paleolithic Art", due to itshigh quality large scale wall paintings. Its ceiling is regarded as the crowning artisticachievement of the Magdalenian period. The so-called polychrome chamber houses some30 large animal pictures, mostly bison, vividly executed in red and black pigment.

  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


    Another example is the Mayan site ofTikal in Guatemala which also contains ancientexamples. Vikings also used forms of graffiti thet survive in Rome and at NewgrangeMound in Ireland.Also a varangian scratched his name (Halvdan) in runes on a banister

    in the Hagia Sophia at Constantinople.Studies show that aparently these early forms ofgraffiti have contributed to the understanding of lifestyles and languages of past cultures.

    In the Renaissance era, artists such as Pinturicchio, Raphael,andMichelangelo,when theydescended into the ruins ofNero's Domus Aurea, they carved or painted their names andreturned with the grotteschestyle of decoration.Also, french soldiers carved their nameson monuments during the Napoleonic campaign of Egypt in the 1790s.
  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


    In modern times,during war,graffiti was used by military officers in the form of vividcolour images to express obscene messages to the opponent,the drawings wherefrequently found on the armor of the tanks.

    In the present graffiti is linked to hip-hop and urban culture derived from New York City

    Subway graffiti. However, there are many other instances of notable graffiti this century.Graffiti has long appeared on railroad boxcars and subways. The one with the longesthistory, dating back to the 1920s and continuing into the present day.In 1971-New YorkTimes-published an article about the graffiti phenomenon that was born on the streets ofNew York.The article talks about a graffiti artist who signed his works under thepseudoname TAKI 183.His real identity was not known,the only thing known was that hewas called Demetrius and the number 183 was the number of the street he lived on.In 1973,the socialigist Hugo Martinez,professor at the New York City Colledge,predictedthe potential of this street artists and founded The Graffiti Artists Union, with thepourpose of promoting the talented artist of the graffiti world.The 1973 article in the-NewYork-magazine called- The Graffiti Parade-was a public recognition of the potential of

    this art form.Beginning with the year 1974 the graffiti art became known in all of the city,graffitiimages and lettering being seen in all subways and other public transports.The rapid decline of the this art began with the 80s when this phenomenon was absorbedby the commercial part and artistic market of New York.This decline is also because ofthe major changes that appeared in the american society of that time.The use of cocaineincreased and drug traffic led to weapon traffic,all of this elements made life on thestreets very dangerous.Also,the law banned selling paint to minors,and paint shop ownerswhere obligated to deposite the paint in special places making shoplifting difficult.The New York city buget for stopping graffiti increased,parks and wearhouses wherebetter garded.Electric fences where risen and so the preffered places of the graffiti artistbecame imposibil to acces.On the 12th of may 1989,the city hall issued a law that allpublic transport vehicles covered in graffiti to be taken out of use.This was the beginningof the anti-graffiti movement and of the cleaning of the city.The graffiti movement was not banned forever,all of the measures that the authoritiestook made the artist more powerfull,they created gangs that owned certain parts of thecity marked in the style used in the graffiti drawings.the fight to keep this parts of the cityled,in some cases,to firewarm conflicts.Graffiti as a way o expressing was used also by the rap music generation.Rapmusic,originally from the south of Bronx,New York,appeared around the 70s and wasinitially linked to the hip-hop music current.This movement included other forms ofmanifestation,like brek-dance and graffiti art.The import of hip-hop culture in theEuropean countries led to seizure of the values of this music culture and also,of thegraffiti phenomenon.

    Seen most of the time as a form of vandalism, Graffiti often has a reputation as part of asubculture that rebels against authority, although the considerations of the practitioners

  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


    often diverge and can relate to a wide range of attitudes. It can express a political practiceand can form just one tool in an array of resistance techniques. One early exampleincludes the anarcho-punk band Crass, who conducted a campaign of stenciling anti-war,anarchist, feminist and anti-consumerist messages around the London Undergroundsystem during the late 1970s and early 1980s.Aldo,this art form is seen as

    illegal,countries like France,who had,till the year 2000 a very bad opinion on the subjectand lead a war against this art and the ones who practice it,now supports all of the artisticgraffiti done on the national monuments,buildings,subways.Also,the director of theFrench Art Institute from Bucharest,impressed by the talent of the romanian graffitiartists,invited some of them to decorate her yard.

    Being a popular and very commercialized art form,graffiti is also used in advertisementcampaigns.In 2001, computer giant IBM launched an advertising campaign in Chicagoand San Francisco which involved people spray painting on sidewalks a peace symbol, aheart, and a penguin (Linux mascot), to represent "Peace, Love, and Linux." Howeverdue to illegalities some of the "street artists" were arrested and charged with vandalism,and IBM was fined more than US$120,000 for punitive and clean-up costs.In 2005, asimilar ad campaign was launched by Sony and executed by TATS CRU in New York,Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Miami to market its handheld PSPgaming system. In this campaign, taking notice of the legal problems of the IBMcampaign, Sony paid building owners for the rights to paint on their buildings "acollection of dizzy-eyed urban kids playing with the PSP as if it were a skateboard, a

    paddle or a rocking horse. Also,Marc Ecko, an urban clothing designer, has been anadvocate of graffiti as an art form during this period, stating that "Graffiti is withoutquestion the most powerful art movement in recent history and has been a drivinginspiration throughout my career.

  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


    Graffiti has become a common stepping stone for many members of both the art anddesign community in North America and abroad. Within the United States Graffiti Artistssuch as Mike Giant, Pursue, Rime, Noah and countless others have made careers inskateboard, apparel and shoe design, for companies such as DC Shoes, Adidas, Rebel8Osiris or Circa.Meanwhile there are many others such as DZINE, Daze, Blade, The Mac

    that have made the switch to gallery artists, often times not even using their initialmedium, spray paint.But perhaps the greatest example of graffiti artists infiltratingmainstream pop culture is by the French crew, 123Klan. 123Klan founded as a graffiticrew in 1989 by Scien and Klor, have gradually turned their work to illustration anddesign while still maintaining their graffiti practice and style. In doing so, they havedesigned and produced, logos and illustrations, shoes, and fashion for the likes of Nike,Adidas, Lamborghini, Coca Cola, Stussy, Sony, Nasdaq and more.

  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti


    In Romania graffiti became an art form begining with the year 1990,when influencesfrom the US and Europe became very significant.Some times graffiti is seen as a true artform,artists expressing themselfs in vivid colours,other times is seen just as a couple ofhideous scribbles ment to ofend others or to destroy the fresh or clean look of the walls of

    some buildings or of the subways.

    In conclusion,aldo graffiti was seen and maybe is seen,in some parts of the world asvandalism,offensive,anti-social,anti-political,in fact some of it can be considered an artform,used in advertisement campains,music,clothing.For some is a way of life,an imageof urban-modern living,a way of expressing opinion.Started in the prehistoric age,withsome scratchings and animal drawings done on cave walls with red and black paint andcharcoal, named nowadays by scientist parietal art,graffiti evolved along the ages inbeing, in modern times a underground way of fighting back to the limits imposed bysociety, in to the present where,depending on opinion,can be seen as offensive andunnecessary or as true expression of modern thinking,done in vivid and various spray-

    canned colours.

  • 7/29/2019 From Parietal Art to Graffiti