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Graffiti art

Graffiti art first appeared in ancient catacombs of Greece and Italy, but today the term “graffiti” is linked to hip hop culture and can also be considered defacement of property. Graffiti has been both an important form of artistic expression as well as a controversial and illegal activity. There are several different styles of graffiti art: “tags” are the artist’s signature sign; “throw ups” or “bombings” are done speedily with two to three colors; “pieces” are more intricate designs, therefore being more time consuming and are often done as an homage to someone; “wildstyle” works use various bright letters and arrows and are often found around cities; and “blockbusters” cover full walls. Modern graffiti art is most often done in spray paint, but graffiti art has moved over the years from subway cars to art studios. Jean-Michel Basquiat was an important artist who ignited the transition of graffiti art from the street to the realm of the art world. Artists such as Basquiat and Keith Haring brought the style of graffiti art into mainstream artistic practice.

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