Graffiti and Culture

  • Graffiti is often perceived as being closely connected to hip-hop culture.
  • Graffiti artist Fab 5 Freddy influenced Blondie's "Rapture" music video which featured graffiti art. The video offered a portrayal of the aspects of graffiti that are related to hip-hop culture.
  • PBS documentary Style Wars (1983) featured famous graffiti artists and reinforced graffiti's role in New York's hip-hop culture by including well-known break-dancing groups in the film.
  • Movies like Beat Street (1984) depicted graffiti and spread the culture internationally.
  • Stencil graffiti first created in 1981 in Paris by a graffiti artist called Blek le Rat.
Relation to Pop Culture
  • In 2001, IBM launched an advertisement campaign in Chicago and San Francisco in which people spray-painted peace symbols, hearts, and penguins on sidewalks to represent peace, love, and Linux. People were arrested due to the illegality of spray-painting on sidewalks.
  • In 2005, Sony followed in the lead of IBM and launched an advertisement to market the new PSP gaming systems. Learning from IBM's experience, Sony paid building owners for the rights to paint teenagers playing PSP's on the sides of their buildings.
  • There has been an increase of video games depicting graffiti e.g. Jet Set Radio, which is a series that tells a story about teenagers fighting a totalitarian police force that is limiting the artists' freedom of expression.
  • Many video games allow players to produce graffiti themselves (e.g. The Urbz: Sims in the City)
  • Marc Ecko, a well-known clothing designer, is a strong advocate of graffiti as an art form. Many of his design pieces feature graffiti-style logos.
  • In the United States, many graffiti artists have made careers for themselves designing logos for clothing companies.
  • French Graffiti crew 123Klan designs logos and illustrations for companies such as Nike, Adidas, Lamborghini, Coca Cola, and more.
  • The television series Kung Faux is a combination of all the influences on graffiti. It is a mash-up of classic kung fu movie clips mixed with graffiti illustrations and set to hip-hop music. The series features voice-overs from famous graffiti artists and hip-hop pioneers.
watch designed by Marc Ecko with graffiti logo