Humans have been expressing themselves by scribbling on walls since prehistoric times. In the 1970s this evolved into what today we call graffiti art. Street culture and graffiti are well-known for being provocative, appealing, bold, and uncompromising. Originally used by gangs to mark their territory in urban areas, graffiti art has become a rich medium for unrestricted expression of ideas.
Fame and respect are what drive graffiti artists. Once the interest in this form of street art has been developed, a name has to be carefully chosen. Financial rewards are secondary, it’s the notoriety that functions as adrenaline for these very independent artists.
The most famous graffiti practitioner would probably be “Banksy,” a pseudo-anonymous British artist whose works focus on such topics as politics, culture, and ethics. Amongst female artists, Swoon has made a good name for herself as a street artist. Some of the other famous graffiti artists are Michael Tracy (also known as TRACY168), Lady Pink, Steve Powers (also known as ESPO), Seek, Ket, Blu, Dondi White, and Blek Le Rat.
by Samarpita Mukherjee-Sharman
Samarpita Mukherjee-Sharma is a journalist-turned-freelance writer who also uses her writing and editing skills for a UNESCO project Youth Leader Magazine. Based in Central India with her husband, she is a voracious reader who loves everything about books and leisure reading and has been published various times in a leading English newspaper in India. Samarpita is also one of the 6 Indians who won the United Nations Voluntary Award for Youth Leader India for 2010. She is also the editor for an online magazine, 21Fools.