Firstly, Happy New year!
As my first post of 2011 I promise you much of the same for this year...which is empty promises and half finished work! So do keep coming back for that.
My brain has been everywhere this year, with so much going on, so I decided to have this piece of writing as my first post in an attempt to get rid of some of the clutter in my head.
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I should mention I write this as an observer, I have never been a graffiti artist, but I have always been an admirer and a fan.
The 70s saw the modern form of graffiti as a radical form of political protest.
By the 80s graffiti had been embraced by the lower-classes. Graffiti appeared all over major cities as an striking statement of 'we are here and we will not be ignored'.
By the late 80s graffiti had become amalgamated with hip-hop music, the more commercially successful hip-hop became so to did graffiti.
In the 90s graffiti had a short spurt in the main stream media, as more and more commercial designers incorporated faux-graffiti in their work.
The late 90s and early 00s saw a new age of graffiti artist; more conscious of how main stream media works. Some artist started to produce work more consistent in style, making their pieces more recognisable, in turn creating a brand for themselves.
By the mid 00s graffiti 'branding' had caught on, as more and more graffiti artist were adopting this approach. Now coming from all classes and creative fields, more people were using public property as their billboards. So much so that the humble graffiti artist had his name changed to 'street artist'.
By the late 00s we had seen the meteoric rise of some of the best and more prolific street artist. With many becoming house-hold names, and selling their work for thousands of pounds. Street art had become a cash cow, and it's origin or purpose did not matter.
Though the 00s saw graffiti and the street art movement at it's most commercial, it also saw the greatest appreciation from more classes then ever before. Many government councils even expressing their pride that their borough had graffiti by so-and-so.
As all things that rise and peak, inevitably fall. I personally feel graffiti has been at saturation point for quite some time now. Those with foresight got out at the right time and diversified. With that said, as the pattern shows, there is always a need for graffiti. In my opinion, it merely needs to rest in the shadows for a little while before it can truly make a statement again.