was nearby, with the handprint symbolizing payment.
Graffiti as an element of hip hop
An aerosol paint can, common tool for modern graffiti.
in America around the late 1960s, graffiti was usedas a form of expression by political activists, andalso by gangs
such as the Savage Skulls, La Familia,and Savage Nomads to mark territory. Towards the endof the 1960s, the signatures—
—of Philadelphiagraffiti writers Cornbread, Cool Earl and Topcat 126started to appear. Cornbread is often cited as one of theearliest writer of modern graffiti. Around 1970-71, thecentre of graffiti innovation moved to New York City where writers following in the wake of TAKI183 and Tracy 168 would add their street number to their nickname, "bomb" a train with their work,and let the subway take it—and their fame, if it was impressive, or simply pervasive, enough—"allcity". Bubble lettering held sway initially among writers from the Bronx, though the elaboratewriting Tracy 168 dubbed "wildstyle" would come to define the art.The early trendsetters were joined in the 70s by artists like Dondi, Zephyr and Lady Pink.
Graffiti is one of the four main elements of hip hop culture (along with rapping, DJing, andbreak dancing). The relationship between graffiti and hip hop culture arises both from earlygraffiti artists practicing other aspects of hip hop, and its being practiced in areas where otherelements of hip hop were evolving as art forms.
By the mid-eighties, the form would move fromthe street to the art world. Jean-Michel Basquiat would abandon his SAMO tag for art galleries, andeven street art's connections to hip hop would loosen. Occasional hip hop paeans to graffiti couldstill be heard throughout the nineties, however, in tracks like the Artifacts' "Wrong Side of DaTracks" and Company Flow's "Lune TNS".
The United States is thought to be the home of the modern graffiti movement. It began in NewYork City in the 1970s and spread from there. Brazilians emulated this graffiti in their ownwork, which is thought to be some of the best in the world,
with many powerful artists comingout of Sao Paolo in particular. In the Middle East, graffiti has a short history. It has been growingsince the 1990s in Iran, Iraq and Israel. In particular, the Israeli West Bank wall has become a majorsite for graffiti.
During ancient times, graffiti functioned as a simple way to alert people of the presence of underground areas or illegal activity. It was also used to mark religious symbols on holyplaces in a city. During the Renaissance and the years following, it was used as a sort of "I washere" marker for famous artists and invaders,
and it was less of an art form. Modern graffiti is