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The Urban Art underground could soon be the mainstream. That could change everything.
by Kriss Perras Running Waters, Editor Is graffiti the catalyst of urban decay or its by-product? Is it art, or vandalism? Is graffiti a cry for existential recognition, or just a medium to bad mouth society at large? Or, is there a meaningful message inside the act of graffiti itself? The word graffiti is derived both from its parent Greek term graphein, meaning to write, and the Italian word graffito. The plural form of graffito is graffiti. The term means a drawing or scribbling on a flat surface. The most literal translation of the word is little scratchings, says Lisa Gottlieb in her book Graffiti Art Styles: A Classification System And Theoretical Analysis. Artists such as Cy Twombly and Jackson Pollack created such works of scratched surfaces. Works by French artist Jean Dubuffet and Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies were also some early users of the medium. Despite some graffiti artists' names rising to legendary heights, like Banksy, the graffiti medium itself is highly temporary. Most of its images are very rapidly removed through abatement programs. It is symbolic of an open mic and represents a type of discontinuous communicative strategy through which people can engage in a visual dialogue that does not rely on face-to-face interaction, or even necessary knowledge of the writers' identities, says Graffiti.org and dictionaryart.com. Graffiti artists manipulate and mold this particular medium to suit their needs, say these two sources. As such, it morphs in fast-growing wax and wane cycles and is perhaps the most popular art movement of the last century. read more