The Grafiti is a new painting technique that consists on painting with spray on the walls, the urban objects, the urban transport and other elements of the city.
Initially, the “painted on the wall” is a quick written expression to leave a message, a protest, an idea or just someone’s name.
The evolution begins when the graffiti starts to be used as a signature (the “tag”) and to indicate the presence of someone on a site. Graffiti is not focused on ideas but on the author, who has painted a signature, knowing that this signature is famous because it is in a place where many people can see it. From here, the aesthetics of typography evolves over the design of forms, colors and composition work. All of this with illustration and paintings.
There are three ways in the graffiti style design:
1. Typographic Graffiti.
On this style we have the Tags (signatures) and the texts that generated the whole image themselves.
2. The illustrations.
Drawings and paintings of all kinds. The only thing that the various illustrations (of various painting styles) have in common is the support and the characteristics of the spray paint. Generally, the illustrations express two very strong cultural movements: the punk and the hip hop culture.
The Punk style becomes a more aggressive style with overwhelming artwork paintings, with drawings that are not well defined and elements such as blots, erasures and pictorial nervousness.
The Hip hop style generates:
2.1 – Drawings of people wearing the “Afro style” with hats, sneakers, baggy pants, etc.. (The street style hip hop comes from Afro- Americans).
2.2 – Rebel youth, dances, music and relationships in the street.
2.3 – Body gestures provocateurs. And therefore, also the shapes and deformations are expressive and rebels.
Of course the illustrations are accompanied by the signatures or tags.
3. Typographic shapes become forms on the image and gain abstraction.
Figuration or writings are no longer recognizable, this is the most abstract way in the graffiti style.
The illustration style of graffiti has evolved and has been extended by many artists “taggers”, so we have a great diversity. Each artist brings his or her own personal style. Therefore, to realize this style excludes many other forms that also use the art of graffiti. The problem is that is not the same to speak of a style “graffiti” or to talk about the technique of graffiti (where we find many different painting styles). Therefore, if we want to define a visual style as “Graffiti” I think Typefaces and some typical illustrations are the best represent this style.
There is a lots of variety and creativity, so it is better to see the pictures to understand the style. And also, without forgetting the ideas or culture Hip Hop, Rap and “underground”, which mainly emphasizes that “the street is ours.”
Graffiti in Barcelone
Graffiti on the street Matías Carrica, Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain.