The word graffiti is a word that originated in the Italian language and became very popular when the art of American street culture began to be incorporated , as well as some hip hop movements and urban tribes . It is seen by many cultural groups as one more form of expression, but with greater intensity


What is a graffiti?

A graffiti is a type of inscription or drawing that is generally made in a place considered to be public and that are made without any type of authorization from the property owners or the governments of the area.


Graffiti Features

Graffiti is seen worldwide as a type of artistic expression in which humor and criticism are reflected. Among the main characteristics that can be observed in graffiti, the following are mentioned:

  • Graffiti can have various types of meanings and range from statements of feelings , expressions related to politics , and messages of any kind.
  • Currently graffiti are produced using colored paints in spray although it is also common the use of materials depending on the technique used.
  • Sometimes they are seen as a type of vandalism since most of them are carried out in places where the artists do not have permission to paint.
  • They tend to reflect irony , the ideology of a social group or a people and the reality in which we live today.
  • The technique belongs to the group of free painting , which is characterized by being anonymous and being considered illegal.
  • Some graffiti, although not most, may have a ” tagg ” which is the way in which the authors make themselves known. It is a type of signature that is placed on the walls where the graffiti has been made.
  • Many of them can also have a completely political nuance, mainly in places where you live under the oppression of governments and in places where the dictatorship


The origin of graffiti dates back to Rome , in the ancient period. Many historians have managed to discover thanks to remains found in the place that in many of the ruins you can find and observe different types of inscriptions that were made by the settlers and that also contain critical or satire tones .


The history of graffiti in the field of the arts begins in New York City during the 60s, it was greatly influenced by the hip-hop music of the moment and the first artists of this technique were located in the place and many young people used to write their names on walls to identify themselves on the street. By the year 70, the technique began reaching an important point and began to include different types of popular iconography which also included drawings animated .

Larger designs began to be made , more complex scenes and the letters that were used to make them were also perfected little by little. In the 1980s, graffiti had to face a struggle as New York authorities tried to eliminate the practice, however, outside influences such as hip-hop in the youth continued to drive the movement. It was in this same year that this type of art managed to reach Europe also influenced by this type of music and by the break-dance style and rap.. It used to be painted in the streets, on the walls and in places where sports were practiced outdoors. By the 1990s, graffiti could be found practically all over the world.

What is a Graffiti for

Graffiti despite being seen by many as disrespectful, is a technique that bases its principles on respect and the union of people. It serves so that those who practice it can make their presence seen by conquering the space through a type of territorial brand as a means to reinforce the sense of belonging. It is a means to express freedom of expression and that is why it is highly valued by young people mainly.

It also helps to increase artistic capacities since it is a relatively cheap technique and the works that are made do not need to be exhibited in a museum in order to be valued. A way to express different feelings in an imaginative way trying to increase the joy with the designs. Many places have innovated and have included this technique to be able to involve youth groups making it themselves who have the opportunity to decorate shops, walls, containers and other places with their art to include them at the same time within the social problems of the communities. communities making them aware of them.


The types of graffiti that can be found are the following:

  • Graffiti Wild Style : This type of graffiti has a slightly wild style and its strokes are quite messy. It is characterized by having an arrow which serves to give it movement. Letters, lines and circles can be seen.
  • Graffiti Model Paste : includes a series of quite complex three-dimensional shapes using colors and changing the angles of appreciation of the design.
  • Graffiti Tags: it is easier to make and they are used to write names that are easy to understand and read.
  • Graffiti Tags with outlines : it is also used to write names but also using a thin border on each of the letters.
  • Graffiti Dirty: His drawings have slightly wrong lines and his colors are quite striking and even a little irritating.
  • Graffiti Bubble Letter – The letters used in this type of design are bubble-like, large, and the edges are painted black.
  • Graffiti Throw Ups : uses less paint and covers more space on the surface where it is placed.
  • Graffiti Icons : icons are drawn to make the design easier to recognize, use bright colors and are very original.


One of the most used techniques is that of aerosol paint cans and the artists who use it know how to give it an adequate inclination in order to achieve different types of angles on the surface that is being painted. Being able to manage the distance between the paint and the surface is a technique that must also be learned. The outlines are techniques that are used to define the designs, it must be clear and well defined. Different styles of fills are made by spray painting of colors inside the liner and smudgeuses various shades that will later be converted into other colors. Many artists also use the shading technique to give the design more definition and character.

Graffiti in Spain

The movement developed in Spain from the 80s mainly in Barcelona , Madrid and Alicante . It had greater movement thanks to the influence of hip-hop and the mass media .

Graffiti in Mexico

How he got to Mexico is still unknown but apparently he managed to enter through the border with the United States where there was strong North American immigration. In the 80s the movement was consolidated in this country and since then it has been an activity that has been seen as a cultural movement.

Graffiti in Argentina

It was used at the beginning for political purposes which intensified after the prohibition of Peronism , it can be assured that the Peronist resistance was responsible for capitalizing on this type of artistic activity.


The importance of graffiti lies in the fact that this type of art fulfills a type of social cohesion function since it has the ability to unite large groups under a single feeling, mainly young people whom it helps with personal empowerment . It is a very useful tool used in several countries, cities and communities used to include young people in different artistic and social tasks so that in this way they can understand and respect even more all the cultural elements related to art and in many places It is also used as a means of insertion into society .


Some of its main representatives are:

  • Blu , an artist of Italian origin whose true identity is unknown.
  • Banksy , very popular with the street art genre.
  • Roa who specializes in creating large-scale graffiti.
  • Vhils who also uses hammers and other types of instruments.
  • Christian Guemy who captures emotions and feelings representing heroes who died or those messages that have not wanted to be heard by society.


There are many great and interesting graffiti works in the world, yet few of them have a specific name. The works are mainly guided by the name of the author who makes them.

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