Class #1 – 7/9 – Re-Cap, Info & Resources

Welcome to ART597!

The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti is our official course website URL for the Summer session of 2018!

Please explore this website to find all of the needed information, assignments and resources for our course. This website will stay alive forever as a growing resource and will retroactively add previous content from the course that began in 2009.

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The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti starts off with a class overview, learning outcomes and expectations. A historical presentation on early Graffiti in NYC begins with who the early writers were and how styles developed and evolved. Understanding and identifying the difference between legal and illegal graffiti pieces will be explored.

The two short videos below offer a bit more insight into our discussion today.

On Tuesday 7/10 Style Wars the film/documentary will set a great tone and leave students with much to think about, especially a challenge to what you previously thought Graffiti is and how it can be defined from its origins.

Style Wars is an essential part of the definition process of understanding NYC graffiti.

Who is Henry Chalfant?

The Style Wars website


Materials for Tuesday – Lets learn how to create a TAG. Bring some pencils, markers and sketch paper. (I have plenty if you forget)


*We will be chatting with RJ Rushmore at 11:45 am about his work and projects.


What did you think of today’s opening class?

What stuck out most to you? What did you see that has also made an impression?

Leave your comments below in the comments section.

(I will moderate and approve all comments once they are submitted)


5 Replies to “Class #1 – 7/9 – Re-Cap, Info & Resources”

  1. I am looking forward to broadening my horizons with this class. I am excited to experiment with tagging techniques but am more importantly eager to grow a possible appreciation for this art form. I can already tell from just this first class that there’s a lot of information people aren’t aware of when everyday commuters see graffiti. As we discussed today it is found as a destruction of property but for the artists creating this graffiti it is a language that is a way of feeling accepted into this private group. For some it is a family, a way of life and I hope to find the deeper meanings in this class.

    What stuck out most to me today was the Tiffany advertisement you mentioned as well as the trains dumped into the ocean. As time goes one, there is a growth in appreciation for this art form and advertisers are commissioning graffiti artists to create designs for their product or for their wall outside their store to attract customers. It will definitely be interesting to see what this grows into in time. I wonder if people have tried to scuba dive to these trains.

    1. Well said! “As we discussed today it is found as a destruction of property but for the artists creating this graffiti it is a language that is a way of feeling accepted into this private group” YES!

  2. Hi! I enjoyed today’s first introduction class. It was interesting to see the transition from simplistic name scribbling into the more stylistic and thoughtful tagging that we are accustomed to seeing today.

    The backstory of TAKI 183, in particular, was very amusing to me. I love that this random Greek kid just wrote his name so many times that he was noticed, interviewed, and then created an influx of tagging.

    I’m also very curious about these hidden spray painted trains now! I’ll be keeping an ear out for any future train exhibitions…

  3. Upon registration to this class, I wondered about what kind of history would be behind the making of this type of vandalism, and destruction of property & public spaces. Why would this be of interest?
    I learned from today that there could be much more significance to this writing form of art embraced by the art world, and eventually not to be ignored by the world. The innovators of this art form found a way to peak the curiosity of the public with their spirited and creative means. Amazingly, street art & graffiti would hold a place in the market to have monetary value and demanded by buyers to be displayed in respectable places.
    Cornbread’s story and how he became the father of a wide spread movement through time to develop the art of graffiti really caught my attention. The environment he came from and the upbringing he had shaped his character. His persistence, determination and reasons that led to his actions surprised me. At such a young age, he had particular reasons to be known and not just to hold an existence in society. He was incredibly bold, especially when he wrote on an elephant and an airplane to inform the public of his continued existence.
    The way of thinking of the original artists has a huge impact on the art, even to the point that they hold a certain street lingo and purpose. Their art is also a reaction to the terrible condition that they need to face daily in their living environment, a way to rebel and make a statement. They have in a way united together as a group to fight the injustices they face.
    Linking human nature since its early beginnings to the yearning to express ourselves and have individual importance makes it clear to me why this type of art developed. I hope to continue in this process, since I am beginning to understand the existence of this art and the people behind it.

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