Home News The History of Street Art: From Graffiti to Global Phenomenon

The History of Street Art: From Graffiti to Global Phenomenon

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Graffiti art has a long and storied history that dates back to ancient times. From the cave paintings of Lascaux to the political murals of the Mexican Revolution, humans have been using walls as canvases for self-expression for centuries.

However, modern street art as we know it today really began to take shape in the 1960s and 70s in New York City. Graffiti artists like Taki 183 and Cornbread gained notoriety for tagging their names on subway cars and building exteriors, turning public spaces into personal galleries. These artists were often viewed as vandals by the authorities, but they were also seen as pioneers by other members of the art world who recognized the power and creativity of their work.

As graffiti culture grew, so did the tools and techniques used by artists. Spray paint became the medium of choice, allowing artists to create large-scale, vibrant murals in a fraction of the time it would take to paint with a brush. Stenciling, wheatpasting, and sticker art also became popular methods of street art, allowing for quick and easy reproduction of images.

By the 1980s, street art had evolved into a global phenomenon, with artists from cities around the world putting their own unique spin on the medium. In Europe, artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey gained international fame for their politically charged works that challenged the status quo. In Brazil, artists like Os Gemeos transformed the landscape of Sao Paulo with their colorful, surrealistic murals. And in Australia, street artists like Rone and Adnate brought a touch of urban grit to the country’s otherwise pristine cities.

One of the most significant developments in the history of street art was the rise of the art prints market. As artists gained recognition and popularity, demand for their work grew. In response, many artists began producing limited edition prints of their murals, allowing fans to own a piece of their favorite artist’s work without having to break out the spray paint themselves.

Art prints quickly became a staple in the street art world, with galleries and collectors clamoring to get their hands on limited edition prints from their favorite artists. Today, art prints are not only a way for fans to support their favorite artists, but also a lucrative market for artists themselves. Limited edition prints can sell for thousands of dollars, making them a valuable investment for collectors.

In addition to art prints, street art has also become a popular subject for fine art photography. Photographers like Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant have been documenting graffiti culture since its early days, capturing the vibrancy and energy of the urban landscape. Their photographs have not only preserved the history of street art, but also helped to elevate it to the realm of fine art.

Despite its mainstream popularity, street art still holds on to its rebellious roots. Many artists continue to operate outside of the traditional art world, eschewing galleries and museums in favor of the streets themselves. These artists see the public space as the ultimate canvas, reaching a wider audience than they ever could in a traditional art setting.

From its humble beginnings as a form of urban rebellion to its current status as a global art phenomenon, street art has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. The history of street art is a testament to the power of creativity and self-expression, and serves as a reminder that art can truly be found anywhere, if you know where to look.

And for those who want to bring a piece of street art into their own homes, art prints offer a unique opportunity to own a piece of this vibrant and dynamic art form. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a casual fan, there’s a street art print out there just waiting to be added to your collection.

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Art Locale

Ankara, Turkey
Art Locale digitizes and sells original work by local artists on high-quality, handmade canvas. Our goal is to present you with a carefully selected assortment of top-notch local art from across the globe. Enhance your living space with the finest art the world has to offer.

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