written by admin on May 06, 2012
Depending on how you define it, the history of graffiti can go as far back as the cavemen writing petroglyphs in caves. The modern concept of graffiti, spray painting on public properties, broke onto the scene in the late 1960s on the subway cars of New York City.
Taki 183, a messenger from the Washington Heights area, had been drawing his name in thick black marker on just about anything he came in contact with on his travels throughout the city, especially the inside and outside of subway cars. Everybody saw the tag, but it wasn’t until 1971 when the New York Times did an article about him, that the practice caught on. Kids throughout the city began emulating Taki 183, hoping they could gain the same notoriety.
The subculture of modern graffiti was born out of the ‘style wars’ of the 1970s, The Golden Era. Artists wanted to out do each other with bigger and better tags on the sides of buildings, expanding from the subway car, though the subway car was still a major blank canvas. Spray paint cans replaced black markers and artists met to go over sketches to approve or disapprove of others work. During this time the practice spread outside of New York City across the country.