Graffiti – The Writing On The Wall

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Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

Stitched PanoramaStitched PanoramaStitched PanoramaIMG_0043_AuroraHDRIMG_0113_HDR

In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner’s consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

IMG_0476_PEIMG_0684_HDRIMG_0687_HDRGraffiti in AmsterdamGraffiti in AmsterdamGraffiti in Amsterdam

Both “graffiti” and its occasional singular form “graffito” are from the Italian word graffiato (“scratched”). “Graffiti” is applied in art history to works of art produced by scratching a design into a surface. A related term is “sgraffito”, which involves scratching through one layer of pigment to reveal another beneath it. This technique was primarily used by potters who would glaze their wares and then scratch a design into it. In ancient times graffiti were carved on walls with a sharp object, although sometimes chalk or coal were used. The word originates from Greek γράφειν — graphein — meaning “to write.”
 IMG_0050Pudu Prison, Kuala LumpurPudu Prison, Kuala LumpurPudu Prison, Kuala Lumpur
A prominent feature of the infamous Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur are the mural paintings (or graffiti) on its outer walls done by former inmate Khong Yen Chong in the early 1980s. The wall murals of tropical scenes painted by the prisoners took them over a year to paint using 2000 liters of paint. The murals entitled the inmates to win a place in the Guinness Book of Records, for painting the world’s longest mural along the prison’s walls stretching out to more than 384m long and 4.5m high. For more on Pudu Prison see my other story here on Storehouse – http://www.storehouse.co/stories/y4v7-pudu-prison
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Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. 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.
Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.
 Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech RepublicLennon Wall, Prague, Czech RepublicLennon Wall, Prague, Czech Republic

The Lennon Wall is a wall in Prague, Czech Republic which was once a normal wall but since the 1980’s has been filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles songs.

In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the then communist regime of Gustav Husak. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described ironically as “Lennonism” and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Western capitalism.

The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of youth ideals such as love and peace.

The wall is owned by the Knights of the Maltese Cross, who allowed the graffiti to continue on the wall, and is located at Velkopřerovské náměstí (Grand Priory Square), Malá Strana.

 


Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia

Stuart Taylor of HighlanderImages Photography has been making images for over 25 years and can offer a diverse range of photo imaging services with a focus on Asia and a documentary/photojournalistic style. These services include planning and executing a photo shoot on location but importantly all the post-processing and image preparation needed for the specific finished media format required by the customer. Stuart’s experience and knowledge in all of these aspects makes HighlanderImages Photography a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive and professional image production service.

Stuart can be available for a variety individual assignments or projects and he specialises in areas such as photojournalism, commercial, architectural, real estate, industrial, interior design, corporate, urbex, adventure, wilderness and travel photography. Stuart can also offer some innovative and advanced techniques such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Panoramic Photography.

Final image products can be delivered as high resolution images, prints, books, multimedia slideshows, videos and DVDs. Images from this website can be purchased as prints in a variety of sizes and media, as gift items or as digital downloads.

E-Mail : staylor@highlanderimages.com
Website : www. highlanderimages.com

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