Since the dawn of human civilisation, forms of graffiti have always taken place. Right from carvings in caves, to Ancient Greek and Romans rebelling and protesting poetry across street walls. Deriving from the Greek word ‘Graafian’ the art form has taken the world by storm and played a crucial role in modern art. During the 60s the rise of the art form started to take off as ‘tags’ became more common in subways and other popular areas of New York. Throughout the early phases of modern graffiti, graffiti artists or ‘taggers’ as they were known as, were typically part of gangs and used tagging as a way to mark out their territory from other rival members. However, during the 1970s, graffiti started to become classed as an art form rather than just ‘careless scribbles’, as it started to be sold nationwide across states such as New York and Philadelphia and artists were even beginning to be commissioned for their masterpieces. Until John Lindsay, the mayor or New York at the time, declared the first war against graffiti and by the 80s it was almost impossible to display their art forms in subways and instead had to display their art elsewhere. With some of the most established artists branching out to roofs, canvases and walls around downtown New York and the war on graffiti still sparks the argument on whether graffiti is truly art or vandalism to this day.
The likes of Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Shepard Fairey have greatly influenced my work and are all closely related to the artistic history of graffiti, Jean-Michel Basquiat began his work during the revolution of graffiti at a time of anti-establishment and non-conformity to the restrictions of society at that time. With some of Banksy’s most famous pieces showcased during the early 2000s and late 90s, he inspired a whole generation of revolutionary art. My graffiti inspired pieces can be found on artbytboy.co.uk including some of my most iconic works of art such as limited edition prints and defaced bank notes here, showcasing some of the most influential figures in modern culture here