And with three little words, graffiti entered its next phase




I’ve just spotted the most amusing piece of graffiti I’ve seen in an age (sorry Banksy, dear). Someone has gone out of their way to write ‘huge breasted robot’, in small scale, on a wall near Essex Road train station. And this comes just after the announcement that the number of graffiti incidents reported to the British Transport Police has fallen 63% since 2007... INTERESTING.

Graffiti started off as a way to use words in a public space to get a message across. In times of old, graffiti displayed phrases of love declarations, political rhetoric and other notions that are simple in comparison to today’s popular messages of social and political ideals.

Having said that, the accepted ‘first piece of graffiti’ is an advert for a prostitute, so I guess its ‘simplicity’ is subjective.

But since the rise of graffiti art in the 60s, and the astronomic snowballing it did in the politically-charged early noughties, the definition of this means of self-expression has changed. What used to be a written art form has become an aesthetic art form. The artists moved in, and the ‘writers’, if we’ll call them that (let’s, just for the sake of argument), have moved out.

Don’t believe me? Google image search ‘graffiti. Almost every piece of graffiti is a picture. And with the rest, the only purpose of a single word (often something like ‘real’) is to stubbornly anchor it to the written-graffiti style of the past.

Look at it. That piece of graffiti is not about the word, but how the letters look.

The graffiti of tomorrow will continue to be aesthetic and in the present, we’re just left with a huge-breasted robot. Political messages have found a much louder voice on the internet, and now the street is the domain of the artist. Some pieces of graffiti will have the same messages as their written counterparts, some will have different ones, but the story we’re telling now is all about the aesthetic.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...