AskDefine | Define graffiti

Dictionary Definition

graffiti n : a rude decoration inscribed on rocks or walls [syn: graffito]graffito n : a rude decoration inscribed on rocks or walls [syn: graffiti] [also: graffiti (pl)]graffiti See graffito

User Contributed Dictionary



From graffiti


  • a UK /ˈgɹəˌfiː.ti/, /"gr@%fi:.ti/


graffiti (uncountable; plural); singular: graffito or graffiti.
  1. archaeology countable Informal inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., as opposed to official inscriptions.
  2. In the context of "generally|uncountable": A form of vandalism involving painted text or images in public places.
  3. In the context of "generally|uncountable": Any graffiti art produced as a result of that act of vandalism.

Usage notes

  • The singular graffito is preferred for the sense of inscriptions.
  • Either graffito or the uncountable graffiti may be heard in the context of vandalism/art. It appears difficult to determine the relative frequency of the two forms in this case, as the singular is rarely used in this context.


  • Spanish: graffiti



  1. plural of graffito, “scratched

Extensive Definition

Graffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun) is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is sometimes regarded as a form of art and other times regarded as unsightly damage or unwanted vandalism.
Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples going back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Graffiti can be anything from simple scratch marks to elaborate wall paintings. In modern times, spray paint and markers have become the most commonly used materials. In most countries, defacing property with graffiti without the property owner's consent is considered vandalism, which is punishable by law. Sometimes graffiti is employed to communicate social and political messages. To some, it is an art form worthy of display in galleries and exhibitions, to others it is merely vandalism. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly evolving artform whose value is highly contested, being reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.


Graffiti and graffito are from the Italian word graffiato ("scratched"). "Graffiti" is applied in art history to works of art produced by scratching a design into a surface. A related term is "graffito," which involves scratching through one layer of pigment to reveal another beneath it. This technique was primarily used by potters who would glaze their wares and then scratch a design into it. In ancient times, graffiti was carved on walls with a sharp object, although sometimes chalk or coal were used. The Greek infinitive γράφειν - graphein - meaning "to write," is from the same root.


The term graffiti referred to the inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, as in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii. Usage of the word has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that constitutes vandalism.
The only known source of the Safaitic language, a form of proto-Arabic, is from graffiti: inscriptions scratched on to the surface of rocks and boulders in the predominantly basalt desert of southern Syria, eastern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia. Safaitic dates from the 1st century B.C. to the 4th century A.D..
The first known example of "modern style" graffiti survives in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). Local guides say it is an advertisement for prostitution. Located near a mosaic and stone walkway, the graffiti shows a handprint that vaguely resembles a heart, along with a footprint and a number. This is believed to indicate that a brothel was nearby, with the handprint symbolizing payment.
The ancient Romans carved graffiti on walls and monuments, examples of which also survive in Egypt. The eruption of Vesuvius preserved graffiti in Pompeii, including Latin curses, magic spells, declarations of love, alphabets, political slogans and famous literary quotes, providing insight into ancient Roman street life. One inscription gives the address of a woman named Novellia Primigenia of Nuceria, a prostitute, apparently of great beauty, whose services were much in demand. Another shows a phallus accompanied by the text, mansueta tene: "Handle with care".
Disappointed love also found its way onto walls in antiquity:
Quisquis amat. veniat. Veneri volo frangere costas
fustibus et lumbos debilitare deae.
Si potest illa mihi tenerum pertundere pectus
quit ego non possim caput illae frangere fuste?
Whoever loves, go to hell. I want to break Venus's ribs
with a club and deform her hips.
If she can break my tender heart
why can't I hit her over the head?
-CIL IV, 1284.
Errors in spelling and grammar in this graffiti offer insight into the degree of literacy in Roman times and provide clues on the pronunciation of spoken Latin. Examples are CIL IV, 7838: Vettium Firmum / aed[ilem] quactiliar[ii] [sic] rog[ant]. Here, "qu" is pronounced "co." The 83 pieces of graffiti found at CIL IV, 4706-85 are evidence of the ability to read and write at levels of society where literacy might not be expected. The graffiti appear on a peristyle which was being remodeled at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius by the architect Crescens. The graffiti was left by both the foreman and his workers. The brothel at CIL VII, 12, 18-20 contains over 120 pieces of graffiti, some of which were the work of the prostitutes and their clients. The gladiatorial academy at CIL IV, 4397 was scrawled with graffiti left by the gladiator Celadus Crescens (Suspirium puellarum Celadus thraex: "Celadus the Thracian makes the girls sigh.") It was not only the Greeks and Romans that produced graffiti: the Mayan site of Tikal in Guatemala also contains ancient examples. Viking graffiti survive in Rome and at Newgrange Mound in Ireland, and a Varangian scratched his name (Halvdan) in runes on a banister in the Hagia Sophia at Constantinople.
Graffiti, known as Tacherons, were frequently scratched on the walls of Romanesque churches.
When Renaissance artists such as Pinturicchio, Raphael, Michelangelo, Ghirlandaio or Filippino Lippi descended into the ruins of Nero's Domus Aurea, they carved or painted their names and returned with the grottesche style of decoration. There are also examples of graffiti occurring in American history, such as Signature Rock, a national landmark along the Oregon Trail.
Later, French soldiers carved their names on monuments during the Napoleonic campaign of Egypt in the 1790s. Lord Byron's survives on one of the columns of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion in Attica, Greece.
Art forms like frescoes and murals involve leaving images and writing on wall surfaces. Like the prehistoric wall paintings created by cave dwellers, they do not comprise graffiti, as the artists generally produce them with the explicit permission (and usually support) of the owner or occupier of the walls.

Modern graffiti

Graffiti is often seen as having become intertwined with hip hop culture as one of the four main elements of the culture (along with rapping, DJing, and break dancing). However, there are many other instances of notable graffiti this century. Graffiti has long appeared on railroad boxcars. The one with the longest history, dating back to the 1920s and continuing into the present day, is Bozo Texino. During World War II and for decades after, the phrase "Kilroy was here" with accompanying illustration was widespread throughout the world, due to its use by American troops and its filtering into American popular culture. In the sixties, its popularity was eclipsed by American graffiti proclaiming that "Yossarian lives!", a reference to the protagonist of Joseph Heller's novel, Catch-22. The student protests and general strike of May 1968 saw Paris bedecked in revolutionary, anarchist, and situationist slogans such as L'ennui est contre-révolutionnaire ("Boredom is counterrevolutionary"). A famous graffito of the 20th century was the inscription in the London subway reading "Clapton is God". The phrase was spray-painted by an admirer on a wall in an Islington Underground station in the autumn of 1967. The graffiti was captured in a now-famous photograph, in which a dog is urinating on the wall. A popular graffito of the 1970s was the legend "Dick Nixon Before He Dicks You," reflecting the hostility of the youth culture to that U.S. president. Graffiti also became associated with the anti-establishment punk rock movement beginning in the 1970s. Bands such as Black Flag and Crass (and their followers) widely stenciled their names and logos, while many punk night clubs, squats and hangouts are famous for their graffiti.

Graffiti as an element of hip hop

With the popularity and legitimization of graffiti has come a level of commercialization. In 2001, computer giant IBM launched an advertising campaign in Chicago and San Francisco which involved people spray painting on sidewalks a peace symbol, a heart, and a penguin (Linux mascot), to represent "Peace, Love, and Linux." However due to illegalities some of the "street artists" were arrested and charged with vandalism, and IBM was fined more than $120,000 for punitive and clean-up costs.
In 2005, a similar ad campaign was launched by Sony in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Miami in order to market its handheld PSP gaming system. In this campaign, taking notice of the legal problems of the IBM campaign, Sony paid building owners for the rights to paint on their buildings "a collection of dizzy-eyed urban kids playing with the PSP as if it were a skateboard, a paddle or a rocking horse."
Keith Haring was another well-known graffiti artist who brought Pop Art and graffiti to the commercial mainstream. In the 1980s, Haring opened his first Pop Shop: a store that offered everyone access to his works—which until then could only be found spray-painted on city walls. Pop Shop offered commodities like bags and t-shirts. Haring explained that, "The Pop Shop makes my work accessible. It's about participation on a big level, the point was that we didn't want to produce things that would cheapen the art. In other words, this was still art as statement".

Global developments

South America

There is a significant graffiti tradition in South America most especially in Brazil. Within Brazil, Sao Paulo is generally considered to be the current centre of inspiration for many graffiti artists worldwide.
Brazil "boasts a unique and particularly rich graffiti scene...[earning] it an international reputation as the place to go for artistic inspiration." Graffiti "flourishes in every conceivable space in Brazil's cities." The "sprawling metropolis," and to "Brazil's chronic poverty," as the main engines that "have fuelled a vibrant graffiti culture." The Israeli West Bank barrier has become a site for graffiti, reminiscent in this sense of the Berlin Wall. Many graffiti artists in Israel come from other places around the globe, such as JUIF, from Los Angeles, and DEVIONE from London. The term, "נ נח נחמ נחמן מאומן" ("Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman") is commonly seen graffitied around Israel.

Modern experimentation

Modern graffiti art often incorporates additional arts and technologies. For example, Graffiti Research Lab has encouraged the use of projected images and magnetic light-emitting diodes as new media for graffiti writers. The Italian artist Kaso is pursuing regenerative graffiti through experimentation with abstract shapes and deliberate modification of previous graffiti artworks.

Characteristics of common graffiti

See also Graffiti terminology
Some of the most common styles of graffiti have their own names. A "tag" is the most basic writing of an artist's name in either spray paint or marker. A graffiti writer's tag is his or her personalized signature. "Tagging" is often the example given when opponents of graffiti refer to vandalism, as they use it to label all acts of graffiti writing (it is by far the most common form of graffiti). Tags can contain subtle and sometimes cryptic messages, and might incorporate the artist's initials or other letters. As well as the graffiti name, some artists include the year that they completed that tag next to the name, so that Tox, an artist from London, becomes Tox03, Tox04, etc. John Tsombikos claimed subsequent to his arrest that his "Borf" tag campaign, which gained recognition for its prevalence in Washington, D.C., was in memory of a deceased friend.
The murals of Belfast and of Los Angeles offer another example of official recognition. In times of conflict, such murals have offered a means of communication and self-expression for members of these socially, ethnically and/or racially divided communities, and have proven themselves as effective tools in establishing dialog and thus of addressing cleavages in the long run. The Berlin Wall was also extensively covered by Graffiti reflecting social pressures relating to the oppressive Soviet rule over the GDR.
Many artists involved with Graffiti also are concerned with the similar activity of Stencilling. Essentially, this entails stenciling a print of one or more colors using spray-paint. Graffiti artist John Fekner, called "caption writer to the urban environment, adman for the opposition" by writer Lucy Lippard , was involved in direct art interventions within New York City's decaying urban environment in the mid-seventies through the eighties. Fekner is known for his word installations targeting social and political issues, stenciled on buildings throughout New York.
In the UK, Banksy is the most recognizable icon for this cultural artistic movement and keeps his identity secret to avoid arrest. Much of Banksy's artwork can be seen around the streets of London and surrounding suburbs, though he has painted pictures around the world, including the Middle East, where he has painted on Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side. One depicted a hole in the wall with an idyllic beach, while another shows a mountain landscape on the other side. A number of exhibitions have also taken place since 2000, and recent works of art have fetched vast sums of money.

Radical and political

Graffiti often has a reputation as part of a subculture that rebels against authority, although the considerations of the practitioners often diverge and can relate to a wide range of attitudes. It can express a political practice and can form just one tool in an array of resistance techniques. One early example includes the anarcho-punk band Crass, who conducted a campaign of stenciling anti-war, anarchist, feminist and anti-consumerist messages around the London Underground system during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In Amsterdam graffiti was a major part of the punk scene. The city was covered with names as 'De Zoot', 'Vendex' and 'Dr Rat'. To document the graffiti a punk magazine was started called Gallery Anus. So when hip hop came to Europe in the early 1980s there already was a vibrant graffiti culture.
The developments of graffiti art which took place in art galleries and colleges as well as "on the street" or "underground", contributed to the resurfacing in the 1990s of a far more overtly politicized art form in the subvertising, culture jamming or tactical media movements. These movements or styles tend to classify the artists by their relationship to their social and economic contexts, since, in most countries, graffiti art remains illegal in many forms except when using non-permanent paint. Since the 1990s a growing number of artists are switching to non-permanent paints for a variety of reasons -- but primarily because is it difficult for the police to apprehend and for the courts to sentence or even convict a person for a protest that is as fleeting and less intrusive than marching in the streets. In some communities, such impermanent works survive longer than works created with permanent paints because the community views the work in the same vein as that of the civil protestor who marches in the street -- such protest are impermanent but effective nevertheless.
In some areas where a number of artist share the impermance ideal, there grows an informal competition. That is, the length of time that a work escapes destruction is related to the amount of respect the work garners in the community. A crude work that deserves little respect would invariably be removed immediately. The most talented artist might have works last for days.
Artists whose primary object is to assert contol over property -- and not primarily to create of an expressive work of art, political or otherwise -- resist switching to impermanent paints.
Contemporary practitioners, accordingly, have varied and often conflicting practices. Some individuals, such as Alexander Brener, have used the medium to politicize other art forms, and have used the prison sentences forced onto them as a means of further protest.
The practices of anonymous groups and individuals also vary widely, and practitioners by no means always agree with each others' practices. Anti-capitalist art group the Space Hijackers, for example, did a piece in 2004 about the contradiction between the capitalistic elements of Banksy and his use of political imagery.
A 2006 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum displayed graffiti as an art form that began in New York's outer boroughs and reached great heights in the early '80s with the work of Crash, Lee, Daze, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
It displayed 22 works by New York graffiti artists, including Crash, Daze and Lady Pink. In an article about the exhibition in Time Out Magazine, curator Charlotta Kotik said that she hoped the exhibition would cause viewers to rethink their assumptions about graffiti. Terrance Lindall, an artist and executive director of the Williamsburg Art and Historic Center, said regarding graffiti and the exhibition:
"Graffiti is revolutionary, in my opinion," he says, "and any revolution might be considered a crime. People who are oppressed or suppressed need an outlet, so they write on walls—it’s free."
In Australia, art historians have judged some local graffiti of sufficient creative merit to rank them firmly within visual art. Oxford University Press's art history text Australian Painting 1788-2000 concludes with a long discussion of graffiti's key place within contemporary visual culture, including the work of several Australian practitioners.

Gang relations with graffiti

Groups that live in industrial or lower socio-economic areas may use graffiti for various purposes, especially if there are many groups populating one specific area or city. The main use is to mark their territory or "turf" by tagging a space such as a wall on building near or on the boundaries of a gang's turf to inform other gangs of their presence. Usually, this type of tag will have the name of the gang. They are also used to communicate with other gangs, usually to warn them of a coming assassination of a certain member, by either writing the member's street name and crossing it out, or by finding tags by the member and crossing them out.
If a gang overwrites another gang's tag, it is also the symbol of a takeover of a gang's turf or a sign of aggression toward the gang. While most cities now take measures to prevent this, such as washing or erasing tags, it was much more common in the mid 1980s when crime waves ran high.
Currently, a graffiti group The Public Animals (TPA) has assumed the role of a federation of sorts. Founded in late 1976 to early 1977, TPA is at the forefront of unifying former rivals between crews, cliques or gangs. Under the TPA umbrella, many graffiti artists from all over the world and from different associations have found the ability to peacefully unite and perform their art form without the obligatory allegiance to a particular group of individuals whose philosophies may be limited by territories, nationalities, or personal viewpoints. The leader of The Public Animals, JOEY TPA, maintains a simple yet effective philosophy in that the global aspect of art is evolving and that as artists, there is more to be had in unifying rather than dividing.

Government responses

North America

Graffiti advocates perceive graffiti as a method of reclaiming public space or to display one's art form, their opponents regard it as an unwanted nuisance, or as expensive vandalism requiring repair of the vandalized property. Graffiti can be viewed as a "quality of life" issue, and its detractors suggest that the presence of graffiti contributes to a general sense of squalor and a heightened fear of crime.
In 1984, the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network (PAGN) was created to combat the city's growing concerns about gang-related graffiti. PAGN led to the creation of the Mural Arts Program, which replaced often hit spots with elaborate, commissioned murals that were protected by a city ordinance, increasing fines and penalties for anyone caught defacing a mural.
The Philadelphia Subway line also features a long standing example of the art form by way of the broad and spring garden stop, along the broad & ridge (to 8th and market) line. Which while still existing, has long been quarantined, and has featured tags and murals that have existed for upwards of 15years.
Advocates of the "broken window theory" believe that this sense of decay encourages further vandalism and promotes an environment leading to offenses that are more serious. Former New York City mayor Ed Koch's vigorous subscription to the broken window theory promoted an aggressive anti-graffiti campaign in New York in the early eighties, resulting in "the buff"; a chemical wash for trains that dissolved the paint off. New York City has adopted a strenuous zero tolerance policy ever since. However, throughout the world, authorities often, though not always, treat graffiti as a minor nuisance crime, though with widely varying penalties. Roof tops became the mainstream after the trains died out.
In 1995 Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York set up the Anti-Graffiti Task Force, a multi-agency initiative to combat the perceived problem of graffiti vandals in New York City. This began a crackdown on "quality of life crimes" throughout the city, and one of the largest anti-graffiti campaigns in U.S. history. That same year Title 10-117 of the New York Administrative Code banned the sale of aerosol spray-paint cans to children under 18. The law also requires that merchants who sell spray-paint must lock it in a case or display cans behind a counter, out of reach of potential shoplifters. Violations of the city's anti-graffiti law carry fines of $350 per count. Famous NYC graffiti artist Zephyr wrote an opposing viewpoint to this law.
On January 1, 2006, in New York City, legislation created by Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. attempted to make it illegal for a person under the age of 21 to possess spray-paint or permanent markers. The law prompted outrage by fashion and media mogul Marc Ecko who sued Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilmember Vallone on behalf of art students and legitimate graffiti artists. On May 1, 2006, Judge George B. Daniels granted the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction against the recent amendments to the anti-graffiti legislation, effectively prohibiting (on May 4) the New York City Police Department from enforcing the restrictions. A similar measure was proposed in New Castle County, Delaware in April 2006 and was passed into law as a county ordinance in May 2006.
Chicago's mayor, Richard M. Daley created the "Graffiti Blasters" to eliminate graffiti and gang-related vandalism. The bureau advertises free cleanup within 24 hours of a phone call. The bureau uses paints (common to the city's 'color scheme') and baking-soda based solvents to remove some varieties of graffiti.
In 1992, an ordinance was passed in Chicago that bans the sale and possession of spray paint, and certain types of etching equipment and markers. One of the first suspects to be identified by the system as being responsible for significant graffiti vandalism was Daniel Joseph Montano. He was dubbed "The King of Graffiti" for having tagged close to 200 buildings in the city.


In Europe, community cleaning squads have responded to graffiti, in some cases with reckless abandon, as when in 1992 in France a local Scout group damaged two prehistoric paintings of Bisons in the Cave of Mayrière supérieure near the French village of Bruniquel in Tarn-et-Garonne, earning them the 1992 Ig Nobel Prize in archaeology.
In September 2006, the European Parliament issued the European Commission to create urban environment policies in order to prevent and eliminate dirt, litter, graffiti, animals' excrement and excessive noise from domestic and vehicular music systems in European cities, along with other concerns over urban life.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 became Britain's latest anti-graffiti legislation. In August 2004, the Keep Britain Tidy campaign issued a press release calling for zero tolerance of graffiti and supporting proposals such as issuing "on the spot" fines to graffiti offenders and banning the sale of aerosol paint to anyone under the age of 16. The press release also condemned the use of graffiti images in advertising and in music videos, arguing that real-world experience of graffiti stood far removed from its often-portrayed 'cool' or 'edgy' image.
To back the campaign, 123 MPs (including Prime Minister Tony Blair) signed a charter which stated: Graffiti is not art, it's crime. On behalf of my constituents, I will do all I can to rid our community of this problem. However, in the last couple of years the British graffiti scene has been struck by self-titled 'art terrorist' Banksy, who has revolutionized the style of UK graffiti (bringing to the forefront stencils to aid the speed of painting) as well as the content; making his work largely satirical of the sociological state of cities, or the political climate of war, often using monkeys and rats as motifs.
In the UK, city councils have the power to take action against the owner of any property that has been defaced under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 (as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005) or, in certain cases, the Highways Act. This is often used against owners of property that are complacent in allowing protective boards to be defaced so long as the property isn't damaged.


In an effort to reduce vandalism, many cities in Australia have designated walls or areas exclusively for use by graffiti artists. One early example is the "Graffiti Tunnel" located at the Camperdown Campus of the University of Sydney, which is available for use by any student at the University to tag, advertise, poster and create "art". Advocates of this idea suggest that this discourages petty vandalism yet encourages artists to take their time and produce great art, without worry of being caught or arrested for vandalism or trespassing. Others disagree with this approach, arguing that the presence of legal graffiti walls does not demonstrably reduce illegal graffiti elsewhere. Some Local Government Areas around Australia have introduced "anti-graffiti squads", who clean graffiti in the area, and such gangs as BCW (Buffers Cant Win) have taken steps to keep one step ahead of local graffiti cleaners.
Many state governments have banned the sale or possession of spray paint to those under the age of 18 (age of majority). However, a number of Local Governments in Victoria have taken steps to recognize the cultural heritage value of some examples of graffiti, such as prominent political graffiti. Tough new graffiti laws have been introduced in Australia with fines of up to $26,000 AUS and two years in prison. The fine for carrying a spray that you cannot give a legal reason for carrying is $550 AUS.
Melbourne is a prominent graffiti city of Australia with many of it's lanes being tourist attractions, such as Hosier Lane in particular, a popular destination for photographers, wedding photography and backdrops for corporate print advertising. The Lonely Planet travel guide cites Melbourne's street are as a major attraction. Everything including; Sticker Art, Poster Art, Stencil Art and Wheatposting can be found in many places throughout the city. Prominent street art precincts include; Fitzroy, Collingwood, Northcote, Brunswick, St. Kilda and the CBD, where stencil and sticker art is prominent. As you move further away from the city, mostly along suburban train lines, graffiti tags become more prominent. Many international artists such as Banksy have left their work in Melbourne and in early 2008 a perspex screen was installed to prevent a Banksy stencil art piece from being destroyed, it had survived since 2003 through the respect of local street artists avoiding posting over it.


In China, Graffiti was used by Mao Zedong's Communist Party to stoke the fires of revolution.
Graffiti made the news in 1993, over an incident in Singapore involving several expensive cars found spray-painted. The police arrested a student from Singapore American School, Michael P. Fay, questioned him and subsequently charged him with vandalism. Fay pleaded guilty for vandalizing the car in addition to stealing road signs. Under the 1966 Singapore Vandalism Act, originally passed to curb the spread of communist graffiti in Singapore, the court sentenced him to four months in jail, a fine of 3,500 Singaporean dollars (US $2,233 or GB £1,450), and a caning. The New York Times ran several editorials and op-eds that condemned the punishment and called on the American public to flood the Singaporean embassy with protests. Although the Singapore government received many calls for clemency, Fay's caning took place in Singapore on May 5, 1994. Fay had originally received a sentence of six lashes of the cane, but the then President of Singapore Ong Teng Cheong agreed to reduce his caning sentence to four lashes.
Graffiti in Shenzhen is getting more and more prominent. Punishment would usually require a $1000 fine, and to clean up the wall, which, as one Chinese graffiti artist said "it's a piece of cake". The local authorities in Shenzhen don't really consider graffiti as a problem.

Documentaries and films

  • 80 Blocks from Tiffany's (1979), A rare glimpse into late '70s New York towards the end of the infamous South Bronx Gangs. The documentary shows many sides of the mainly Puerto Rican community of the South Bronx including. reformed gang members, current gang members, the police, and the community leaders who try and reach out to them.
  • Stations of the Elevated (1980), the earliest documentary about subway graffiti in New York City, with music by Charles Mingus
  • Wild Style (1983), a drama about hip hop and graffiti culture in New York City
  • Style Wars (1983), an early documentary on hip hop culture, made in New York City
  • Bombing L.A. (1989), An award-winning documentary about Los Angeles graffiti artists.
  • Sprayed Conflict (1994), a documentary about Melbourne graffiti artists featuring well-known Australian graffiti writer Duel.
  • Quality of Life (2004) a graffiti drama shot in the Mission District of San Francisco, starring/co-written by a retired graffiti writer.
  • Piece By Piece (2005), a feature length documentary on the history of San Francisco graffiti from the early 1980s until the present day.
  • Infamy (2005), A feature-length documentary about graffiti culture as told through the experiences of six well-known graffiti writers and a graffiti buffer.
  • NEXT: A Primer on Urban Painting (2005), a documentary about global graffiti culture
  • RASH (film) (2005), a feature documentary about Melbourne, Australia and the artists who make it a living host for illegal artwork called street art.
  • Bomb the System (2006), a drama about a crew of graffiti artists in modern day New York City
  • Jisoe (2007), a documentary on Melbourne graffiti artist Jisoe.
  • BOMB IT (2007), a graffiti and street art documentary filmed on 5 continents.
  • SprayMasters (2007), a documentary feature with late '70s NYC subway graffiti and interviews with Lee Quinones, Futura 2000, Lady Pink, and Zephyr.


External links

graffiti in Arabic: جرافيتي
graffiti in Asturian: Grafiti
graffiti in Min Nan: Graffiti
graffiti in Belarusian: Графіці
graffiti in Bulgarian: Графити
graffiti in Catalan: Grafit (art)
graffiti in Czech: Graffiti
graffiti in Welsh: Graffiti
graffiti in Danish: Graffiti
graffiti in German: Graffiti
graffiti in Estonian: Grafiti
graffiti in Modern Greek (1453-): Γκράφιτι
graffiti in Spanish: Grafiti
graffiti in Basque: Graffiti
graffiti in Persian: دیوارنویسی
graffiti in French: Graffiti
graffiti in Korean: 그라피티
graffiti in Armenian: Գրաֆֆիտի
graffiti in Croatian: Grafiti
graffiti in Indonesian: Grafiti
graffiti in Italian: Graffiti writing
graffiti in Hebrew: גרפיטי
graffiti in Georgian: გრაფიტი
graffiti in Latvian: Grafiti
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graffiti in Dutch: Graffiti
graffiti in Japanese: 落書き
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graffiti in Narom: Graffiti
graffiti in Low German: Graffiti
graffiti in Polish: Graffiti
graffiti in Portuguese: Grafite (arte)
graffiti in Romanian: Graffiti
graffiti in Russian: Граффити
graffiti in Simple English: Graffiti
graffiti in Slovak: Graffiti
graffiti in Serbian: Grafiti
graffiti in Serbo-Croatian: Grafiti
graffiti in Finnish: Graffiti
graffiti in Swedish: Graffiti
graffiti in Thai: กราฟฟิตี
graffiti in Vietnamese: Graffiti
graffiti in Ukrainian: Графіті
graffiti in Chinese: 塗鴉
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