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Welcome to the Graffiti Portal!


Graffiti on the banks of the Tiber river in Rome, Italy

Graffiti (plural of graffito: "a graffito", but "these graffiti") are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted, typically illicitly, on a wall or other surface, often within public view. Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and they have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

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 permission is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

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Banksy is the most famous stencil artist globally.

Banksy is the pseudonym of the world's most famous graffiti artist. Yet, he is an anonymous, English graffiti artist from Yate, near Bristol. His artwork are often satirical pieces of art which encompass topics from politics, culture, and ethics. His street art, which combines graffiti with a distinctive stencilling technique, has appeared in London and in cities around the world.

Banksy started as a freehand graffiti artist then turned to the art of stencilling because it took less time to complete a 'piece'. Banksy's stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans.

The message presented is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment or pro-freedom. Subjects include animals such as monkeys and rats, policemen, soldiers, children and the elderly. There has been much controversy about Bansky's work, with Peter Gibson, a spokesperson for Keep Britain Tidy asserting that Banksy's work is simple vandalism. Banksy has also self-published several books that contain photos of his work in various countries as well as some of his canvas work and exhibitions, accompanied by his own writings. Banksy has grown to become the most famous Stencil Artist in the World.

Despite much speculation, Banksy's true identity remains unknown...


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Elisabethmarkt Muenchen Graffiti 2.jpg
Street Art in Munich
by the Artist Won ABC. Photo by Oliver Raupach .

This work is an example of a graffiti mural, done by the artist Won ABC, on the wall of Elisabethmarkt in Munich, Germany. It shows the use of free-hand aerosol paints. This work is not painted with the use of stencils.

(A stencil can be used to protect a surface except the specific shape that is to be painted. Stencils can be purchased as movable letters, ordered as professionally cut logos, or hand-cut by artists. The speed, portability and permanence also make aerosol paint a common graffiti medium.)



Did you know...

  • ...that "Foo was here" is an Australian graffiti signature of popular culture, especially known for its use during World War Two, but also became popular amongst Australian schoolchildren of post-war generations. Foo is shown as a bald headed man (sometimes depicted with a few hairs) peering over a wall (usually with the fingers of both hands appearing to clutch over the wall as well), with the simple inscription "Foo was here".
Foo was here.
  • ...that Donald "Dondi" White (April 7, 1961 - October 2, 1998) is considered one of the most influential graffiti artists in the history of the movement?
  • ...that Flyposting is the act of placing advertising posters or flyers in illegal places. In the US, these posters are known as bandit signs, snipe signs, or street spam?
  • ...that TAKI 183 was recognized as the first writer in New York City in the early 1970s?

Related portals

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Things you can do


Street art formats

Types of Street Art, Street Art, Graffiti, Stencils Sticker art
Wheatpasting, Poster Art, Flyposting, Visual arts, Guerrilla art, Art movements, Performance art


List of Street Artists, List of Graffiti Artists, List of Stencil Artists, List of Wheatpaste Artists, List of Poster Artists, Graffiti artists Category

Graffiti culture

Activism, Graffiti artists, Culture jamming, Direct Action, Graffiti terminology, Graffiti uses, Guerrilla art, Hip hop culture, Installation art, Murals, Propaganda, Screenprinting, Spray paint art, Stencil, Ethics

Artist ideologies

Art intervention, Anarchy, Anti-consumerism, Popular culture, Community ownership, Contemporary art, Property is theft!, Punk ideology, Reclaim the Streets, Situationism, Subversion, Subvertising, Anti-war, Hip-Hop culture, Anarchism,

Street art-related

Built environment, MTA, Private Property, Public Art, Public Space, Psychogeography, Rapid transit, Street Party, Urban Planning, Vandalism, Politics, Culture, Art, Jamming, Practical jokes, Hoaxes, Reality hacking, Chaos magic, Trolling, Civil disobedience, Aerosol paints

Street art by country

Australia, Spain, Germany, United States, Italy

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






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