This piece was created for the Smithsonian Magazine, January/February 2022. The goal of this communication is to show the historical pathway of graffiti as an art form. Starting with the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians and continuing all the way to the present day. Graffiti has been used over the years for many of the same purposes -advertising a service, sharing one’s opinions/feelings, and/or just as a work of aesthetic beauty.
The design features three spray cans, each can has an icon representing different cultures and the cans are arranged to evoke columns of an ancient building. From left to right: Greek/Roman sculpture/bust, Egyptian pyramid, Mayan/South Central America, pyramid. The artist chose the spray cans for two reasons, first – they connect the present and the past, and second, it is what everyone immediately thinks of when you say graffiti. Interlaced with the spray cans are letters that make up the word “Graffiti” – with the large “G” taking up the top of the composition. Because copy is a larger part of any graffiti, having text was important.