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ИнфоурокИностранные языкиДругие методич. материалыИсследовательская работа по теме Graffiti"

Исследовательская работа по теме Graffiti"

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  1. What does it mean graffiti?

When most people think of graffiti, they imagine "tags," or a stylized writing of a person's name. While tags are probably the most popular forms, graffiti art is much more than that. It can mean a colorful mural with a message of diversity or a black and white stencil piece protesting police brutality. In each case, graffiti art makes a statement.

In our modern world of speed and technology, an art can be any object - even an ordinary comb. That is why graffiti is becoming more and more popular nowadays. Art refers to anything that is made by someone who is considered to be an artist; however the meaning of art continues to be argued. People still debate about what is the graffiti: art or vandalism.

Graffiti means writings or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. And now some words about the history of graffiti. Graffiti have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to prehistoric cave painting on the territories of Ancient Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire, and the states of South America. For example, wall paintings were found in the catacombs of Rome and at Pompeii. These images help us to understand better ancient civilizations.

Graffiti is not a new word in our world. Graffiti is the plural form of the Italian word graffito. It is pronounced in the Italian way with the stress on the last syllable but one. The word graffiti means drawings or words scratched or painted on a hard surface especially on a wall.

There are various forms of graffiti. One of the simplest forms is that of individual markings such as slogans, slurs, or political statements. Examples of this type of graffiti commonly are found in bathrooms or on exterior surfaces, and this graffiti is usually handwritten. Another simple form is that of the tag which is a fancy, scribble-like writing of one's name or nick-name. That is, tag signifies one's name or nick-name.

There are lots of kinds of the graffiti art. I would like to tell you about seven the most creative directions. Firstly, it is a Throw up style. The aim of it consists of the transforming ordinary colored lines into letters. Usually, authors sign with the capital letter and an exclamation point. Second one is going to be the Bubble style. There are lots of opportunities to draw with the bubbled letters. There is the Blockbuster style. It is a kind of the art where you have to draw in 3D. The fourth style is named like dynamic style. It was popular in the middle of the 80s in the USA. It was important to show sketches in a movement. The fifth style is called like a Wild style. The style has not got any frames. There is a free lance of the ideas. The next one is quite modern style and it is named the Computer Roc style. The idea of it is really good. You have to draw each letter on the separate level and even overlapping others. And the last one is the Character style where the graffitist mostly draws well-known characters of the comic books. To be honest I would like to say that the real graffitist always mixes kinds of the graffiti and there are certainly more than 7 styles of it.

  1. Modern graffiti – history

The origins of graffiti go back to the beginnings of human, societal living. Graffiti has been found on uncovered, ancient, Egyptian monuments, and graffiti even was preserved on walls in Pompeii. Graffiti is the plural form of the Italian word grafficar. In plural, grafficar signifies drawings, markings, patterns, scribbles, or messages that are painted, written, or carved on a wall or surface. Grafficar also signifies "to scratch" in reference to different wall writings ranging from "cave paintings", bathroom scribbles, or any message that is scratched on walls. In reference to present day graffiti, the definition is qualified by adding that graffiti is also any unsolicited marking on a private or public property that is usually considered to be vandalism.

Graffiti did not die with ancient civilizations but have survived and live on in the modern world. During World War II and for decades after it, the phrase “Kilroy was here” was widespread around the world. (“Kilroy was here” is an American popular culture expression, often seen in graffiti. Its origin is debated. This phrase - and a funny-looking bald-headed man with a prominent nose climbing over a wall - was widely known among the U. S. residents who lived during World War II.

Graffiti writing is called tagging today. It was popular among Soviet soldiers. They left their names on the walls of the Reichstag. Lord Byron also left his name on the walls of the Castle of Chillon. These were memorial graffiti.

During the students’ protest of 1968 in Paris there appeared a lot of revolutionary slogans on the walls. People considered them as an act of vandalism.

Some researchers link the revival of graffiti in the USA with name of Taki 183. He was a messenger who lived and worked in New York City in the 1970s. While moving across the city, he left his nickname on the walls of buildings. He wrote his name and the number of the street he lived in. On July 21, 1971 The New York Times published an article under the heading “Taki 183” Spawns Pen Pals, which meant that the number of his followers was growing. Very soon hundreds of teenagers began to write their names on New York walls.

It is interesting to note that The Encyclopedia Britannica (1975) does not mention graffiti as a social phenomenon or an art style. But graffiti continued to spread the world over and have developed into a pop culture often related to hip hop music and street gangs. In my opinion, it became a sort of mural painting. (mural means wall painting).It did not take long for graffiti artists to gain popularity, and two Americans (Lee Quinones and Fab 5 Freddy) were given a gallery opening in Rome in 1979.

Many graffiti artists began to work for commercial firms. For example, graffiti on buses and trolley buses are advertisements.

  1. Who does the graffiti Art?

People do graffiti for many reasons. Graffiti markings have been around since the beginning of time, remnant of early graffiti can be seen in caves all over the world. It represents a human desire and need for communication, and in some cases the simple display of existence. A tag or a mural for graffiti artists is an advertisement for an individual--the goal is to get your name known. You have to have a marketing strategy, what will be the most effective way of getting your name (product) well known, everywhere! Sound familiar? Well it should, because that is exactly what all of us are doing on twitter every day, facebook or any other medium that we use to promote ourselves, our business etc. Companies with money use billboards and TV ads, people with less or no money in the 70's, 80's, and 90's used a marker.

I will talk about 3 individuals that brought street art to the mainstream.

Taki 183

What better place to start than Taki 183, who some call the godfather of modern graffiti. TAKI 183 is one of the most influential graffiti writers. His "tag" was short for Demetaki, a Greek alternative for his birth-name Demetrius, and the number 183 came from his address on 183rd Street in Washington Heights. He worked as a foot messenger in New York City and would write his nickname around the New York streets that he frequented during the late 1960s and early 1970s.


Andrew Zephyr Witten is a graffiti artist, lecturer and author from New York City. He began creating graffiti in 1975 and first signed using the name "Zephyr" in 1977. He has been identified as a graffiti "elder", who along with Futura 2000, Blade, PHASE 2, Lady Pink and TAKI 183 invented styles and standards "that continue to be used and expanded upon today". His works can be seen in the Hip-hop culture documentary Style Wars and he was featured as himself in the landmark hip-hop motion picture Wild Style. 


Banksy is the name of a graffiti artist from Britain. Nobody knows his real name and few people have seen him. He has become famous for his street art, which has appeared in London and other cities around the world. He has stay unknown because graffiti is illegal. Nobody has caught him yet. One of the most famous graffiti artists, Banksy, has had his work shown in galleries such as Sotheby's in London. Despite his anonymity, the British artist has gained tremendous popularity. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have purchased his work for a hefty price.

What is Graffiti Vandalism?

The question “When does graffiti become art?” is meaningless. Graffiti is always vandalism. By definition it is committed without permission on another person's property, in an adolescent display of entitlement. Whether particular viewers find any given piece of graffiti artistically compelling is irrelevant. Graffiti’s most salient characteristic is that it is a crime.

Graffiti vandalism is figures, letters, drawings or stickers applied, scribbled, scratched, etched, sprayed or attached on or to the surface of any premises, structure, or other property. Graffiti vandalism is a crime and carries serious consequences. There are many different types of graffiti vandalism. 
Less than one per cent of graffiti in Calgary is gang related.
The most common type of graffiti vandalism is the Hip Hop graffiti which consists of hand scribbles, bubble type lettering or complex works. Communicative graffiti vandalism is about conveying a message, usually about political views.

How does graffiti vandalism affect individuals

Graffiti vandalism is more than just words or symbols sprayed. Graffiti without permission is an act of vandalism that costs millions of dollars to remove, or cover, every year. Every dollar spent on graffiti vandalism removal is a dollar that could be used on other badly needed programs.

If not immediately removed, graffiti vandalism sends out a message that "nobody cares" about the area. It also causes the area to look unsafe and makes people concerned about their personal safety. This creates an open invitation for more littering, loitering and other graffiti. It may also lead to an increase in other crimes and/or acts of violence.

Areas filled with graffiti vandalism are less appealing to those who may be looking to buy or rent property. Houses becomes more difficult to sell and values are reduced.

Why do people do graffiti vandalism?

Graffiti vandalism research shows that it is about the vandal's ego. It has very little to do with creating and more to do with individual recognition. The vandals are attempting to create a recognizable name for themselves within their subculture and demonstrate just how risky their acts are.


Everyone can participate in graffiti eradication. There is an organization which is considered to make a graffiti cleanup. T.A.G. or TOWNS AGAINST GRAFFITI is a landmark cooperative program formed through a public partnership between States. This program has been made possible by the dedication and cooperation of the governing bodies of all the participating towns. T.A.G. believes that its three pronged approach like criminal enforcement, graffiti legislation, community awareness and involvement will make sure that T.A.G. includes a litter clean up program. Using non-violent offenders from the corrections system, T.A.G. cleans up large public areas and major highway.

  1. Graffiti: art or vandalism?

There is graffiti in almost every city in the world. A lot of people look at graffiti and think of it as being harmless and it doesn’t hurt anybody. And some of it is kind of fun to look at, for sure. But from the viewpoint of the property owner, it’s a nuisance. Graffiti art is many things: A statement. Self-expression but also vandalism. Cultural, but a pain for those who have to clean it from their property. Thought-provoking, but also annoying. Complex, but simple. Misunderstood, and a crime.

It is these contradictions that draw people’s attention to graffiti, even while knowing that the conventions it breaks sometimes include the law.Can we do graffiti where we want these days? Not exactly. It is illegal to draw on somebody’s property so make sure you find a legal wall.

From my point of view, graffiti is a form of expression, and artists should be free to make their thoughts and beliefs public. Serving as a way to avoid violence, graffiti is an outlet for many to express their feelings. Making street art illegal limits the freedom of artists to create influential masterpieces. Graffiti artists create influential masterpieces. Graffiti artists create works that reflect struggles and at many times display political and social messages.

But the question is did graffiti become art? I think that graffiti is art or an art style at least, a form of self-expression, communication or protest, often anonymous but always public.

Like all other artistic forms, graffiti has experienced movements or changes in style. From the first tag scribbled on a subway train to the large, complex mural on a billboard, the movement has experienced change. The tools and the means have changed as well. Markers were traded in for spray paint, and stencils and stickers were introduced to make pieces easier to execute in a hurry.

The messages have also evolved. Graffiti has always been somewhat political, but it has come a long way from simply tagging one's name to parodying world leaders to make a statement.

This is further proof that graffiti is a form of art and not just a result of random acts of vandalism. The graffiti community moves in different directions and the resultant artwork moves with it.

  1. Practical part of report

  1. It was for me interesting to study how the things are in our town. And it was consciously to me to learn that the School of Arts in our town is also keen on graffiti as Art.

I asked the principal of this school to help me in my survey. So I interviewed 2teachers of this school. The question was: Is Banksy's work vandalism?How do you feel about his works?” I have put their answers in the table.

Of course its not vandalism! Every building that Banksy chooses to put his art on instantly becomes famous. That building will get more recognition then it would have ever gotten before. His/her art is not obnoxious, it's simple. Banksy isn't just any other person doing graffiti, he/she has books and galleries. Ask any building owner if they mind that Banksy chose them to put his/her art on and I guarantee they wouldn't mind.

Graffiti is a way for people to express their right of freedom and the first amendment. Graffiti is like the art in a museum only you don't have to pay to see it, you can drive by the side of the road and see some marvelous art work on your way to work.

Yes, Banksy's work is vandalism to begin with

 Banksy’s work is pure vandalism since it is direct violation of personal property. Work done by Bansky is not only vandalism in the sense of intellectual property rights but it also is responsible for making people follow the trend and try to deface the art which in turn is vandalism in it's own self. Graffiti is not an art. The definition of art is: skill acquired by experience, study, or observation.
Does it take skill to take a bunch of paint and throw it on a wall? Graffiti is a crime, not an art. Graffiti is done by people who want to cause trouble.

Thanks for their answers. Each of them has a point which is important to vote for and to prove opinion. According to the table I can say that graffiti is an art when it is used in the correct areas. When there is a building with just one name and it is vandalism.
But overall Graffiti can be a beautiful thing, which also is a good way for one to express them, to feel free.

  1. In the second part of my practical work I made some surveys among my classmates.

The question was «Do you know what a green graffiti is ? ». Out of fifteen people who I asked seven said that they knew, two of them guessed and six confessed they did not know what a green graffiti is.

The right answer was: “Green graffiti are masterpieces crafted in moss and grass”. The results I got from my servey show that the number in the field of graffiti are 50 to 50.

  1. Conclusion

To conclude, I strongly believe that graffiti is developing more and more as Art.

Graffiti have traveled a long way from prehistoric cave paintings to rude, offensive or memorial lettering which is known today as tagging and a complex pop culture which has a strong influence on design, illustration, advertising and the political life. Graffiti is changing form a bad omens to pieces of art. The cons of graffiti have held it back but with proper use graffiti can be beautiful. However if people continue to spray graffiti on other people’s property, graffiti’s image will stay negative in some people’s views. Raising awareness of the true form of graffiti is vital in improving graffiti’s image. Jackson Pollock once said: “Painting is a self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” And, it is true.

During my work on this report I have known a lot of interesting facts about graffiti. I had an opportunity to admire with masterpieces of the graffiti. The world is a canvas for graffiti artists, and they should feel free to cover it as they please.


  1. http://www.graffiti.org 

  2. http://www.martinezgallery.com

  3. Castleman, Craig. Getting Up. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1982.

  4. Cooper, M. and Chalfant, H. Subway Art. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1984, pg. 32.

  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti

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