Graffiti are writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or (spray) painted on a wall or other surface, often within public view
Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. They have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire and as we now know, even further to the days of Indonesian cave painting, some 40.000 years ago.
Graffiti may express underlying social and political messages. A whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles.Within hip-hop culture, graffiti have evolved alongside it’s music. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities.
Before Rudy Giuliani’s “quality of life” campaign, the city and it’s transportation system were covered in fantastic graffiti which accumulated over decades but was then immediately removed once he took office, “to make a point” and “free New Yorkers from visual harassment … ” as he called it. Today you have to walk far and deep into Brooklyn or Queens to still get a glimpse of that era.