If we want to talk about graffiti, we have to present, how this kind of art has been developed in the US. It’s because that’s where graffiti is rooted in. However, for now, it has become an intrinsic element of urban iconosphere in all the world.
As a first form of the street art of XX century, we can consider so-called “Cholo writing”, although it’s often overlooked by modern reaserchers. This term relates to teritorial tags written by Latino gangs on the walls in districts of LA and other cities in California. These tags were called “placas”. Their form had a collective character, and their main purpose was to show, that a particular gang regard a district as its own. The handstyle tags had to ward off the other groups, to not start their activity in this area. Frequently, on the walls a kind of war was going on. “Placas” of one group has been striked out by other groups, then they marked this territory with their own tags. Catching a person when striking out a tag of particular may prove insanely hazardous. At the begininnig districts were marked using brushes, until spray was spray paint was invented (which made work a lot easier).
First official forms of modern graffiti already appeared in the '60s in the city of Philadelphia. The writers called Cornbread and Cool Earl were active there - nowadays, they are considered as genre precursors. The place, where graffiti become imted, important and its development was accelerated is New York. This city is considered as the cradle of modern street art. First tags in New York already appeared towards the end of '60s with emergence of waterproof markers. The main space, which was occupied by writers was cars of New York Subway. As a special breaktrough in the field of street art development, we can recognize 1971, when on the pages of The New York Time was published an article about young Greek called Demtraki. He worked as a messenger, which gave him vast possibilities for leaving his ciphred signature TAKI 183, created from his last name and number of his address. Thanks to this article, not only Demetrius became famous, but his art discipline as well, which has started growing up more rapidly.
Great number of writers caused thate becoming famous got wildly difficult. The creators were forced to do something, which would allow them stand out in the crowd. Tags, the essence of which are signatures, has started evolving. In time, a new form of graffiti known as masterpiece has appeared. Main role was played not by the signature itself, but aesthetics, scale and way the graffiti was made. It is hard to determine, who made the world's first masterpiece. As one of the most classic masterpieces is considered STAY HIGH 149. Specifically, several elements were used here: a join forming horizontal line in the letter H, and halo inspired by TV series "The Saint".
To be continued...