Welcome to our online ARTicle !
space for our weekly column about anything interesting on the
S.A.art scene !!!
|graffiti ( graffito ) writing or drawing scribbled, scratched, or sprayed on a surface.|
|Graffiti was a popular art
form during the 70 an the 80's made famous by the teenage groups in the subways of New
York. The South African roots of Graffiti can be traced back to our own Bushmen paintings
in the various caves in South Africa.
Sometimes these " pieces " ( from master pieces ), depict hidden messages or political statements and comment on everyday issues. Most of the artists paint and work under nicknames as not to be identified.
|Trains, buildings, subways or
any surface serve as canvas for the Graffiti artist where he can work undisturbed for a
while. The artist's medium consists mainly of spray paints from spray cans as these can be
used to cover a large area in a short period of time. The artists work under harsh and
sometimes dangerous conditions to complete their pieces. Graffiti is still seen as a
crime especially because it is executed on public or private property. The Artists
work in pairs or groups and while the one is doing the work the others are standing
guard. Graffiti can also be described as aerosol art or wall art by anonymous street
One of the most famous Graffiti artists was the late Jean Michael
|The lowest form of Graffiti is
where the writer makes use of text in stead of pictures and here jokes and metaphors
are sometimes used to convey the message. The finest examples are however of high
quality. Some works are well planned in advance.
|The age old debate of whether
this is art or a crime all depends on the viewer. Graffiti artists create pieces without
knowing whether it will ever be seen by anybody or even how long it will survive before it
is " destroyed " or cleaned up. Cape Town recently staged the first
exhibition of Graffiti in South Africa to honor these unknown artists.
All images used in this article were taken in and around Cape
Town. It is only lately in South Africa that trains became the target for
these adventurous artists. Works are done spontaneously without a commercial incentive and
with no room left to correct mistakes. The artists take a keen interest in their
fellow graffiti artist's work and tries to create the ultimate masterpiece.
The fact that lately some of the big airline companies have been using graffiti artists to decorate their planes maybe hint at that this artform is finally being recognized.
|all images ©
vgallery : not to be reproduced without permission
international graffiti images
other graffiti links