Graffiti art - street art

DEFINITION

Graffiti, an Italian word for 'scratches', refers to an art form most popular during the 1970s and 1980s, but still alive today. Graffiti Art results from artists who create images, usually with paint, in a manner that mirrors sloppy, undisciplined, defiant-seeming image making by street kids on the surfaces of city structures. The formal practice of graffiti goes back to the Egyptians, but was not thought of as an art form until the 1970s when artists began imitating the 'scratchings' of street teens in the New York subway stations. Some artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were acknowledged as Graffiti artists by the art world, but interest faded when Graffiti Art arrived on canvases into the galleries of New York. In the 21st century, artists such as Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee and Swoon continue the tradition. Source: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak". "ARTnews", 11/2008

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