The Evolution of Graffiti

Graffiti or “graffito” (meaning scratched in Italian) has been around for centuries and has been found on ancient Greek buildings and monuments, even being traced back to Alexander’s time in the fourth century BC. But it really took off in the 1960’s as a form of anti-war mode of expression. In recent times it has acquired notoriety from gangs who prefer to spray paint their territorial boundaries. However, it has become a matter of global interest now and seen as a form of self expression by artists rather than unwanted vandalism. Most importantly, graffiti today has achieved a certain degree of social credibility, something that could not be imagined even three decades back.

From the perception of graffiti as a form of protest to being transformed into an insight of art and urban storytelling, it has taken time to evolve to its present acceptance levels. While a specific point of time when this change occurred cannot be pinpointed with any degree of accuracy, it is believed that works of the infamous graffiti artist Bansky or American Shepard Fairey and the OBEY sticker campaigns hastened this transformation. Add to it the spread of messages over social media platforms and it is not difficult to realise why graffiti has today evolved into a tale of social activism.

Graffiti got its due recognition officially in 2011 when Ted Lederer, the Director and Curator of the Vancouver-based Elliott Louis Gallery held the first graffiti exhibition titled letters. Well known artists from Vancouver participated in the show. Its success resulted in a repeat show in 2012. However, in spite of the positive acceptance of graffiti as an art form there are still restrictions on free expression and permission has to be taken from concerned authorities if walls are to be defaced with graffiti.

Removing Graffiti from Trees

Graffiti can be termed as a form of art that is democratic and non-monetized and often used as a channel of expressing one’s resentment against the non-tolerant societal dictums. Deferential painters abstain from utilising private property and trees as their canvas. However, not everyone is that considerate.

Trees are frequently treated as notice sheets for carving love messages and presenting notice for yard deals or gang signs. These actions usually are safe to trees as long as they don’t impact the plant tissues and can be erased rather easily. Be that as it may, in case paints that contain toxic chemicals reach those tissues, it can be detrimental to the tree’s vascular system and structural integrity.

Trees assume a pivotal part in the city’s biological system, diminishing air contamination and providing shade from the harsh sun rays. Yet, it takes decades for trees to grow properly to have this effect. In the light of that fact, you can gauge the importance of trees, especially the seasoned ones.

In most cases, a wire brush and gentle cleanser along with water can get graffiti off trees without much damage. However, trees with smooth bark stand in a great danger from graffiti removal. In such cases, removing graffiti paint from a tree can be a laborious task, one that necessitates scrupulousness and thought, to avert further harm to the bark and living tissue. Careful removal of graffiti from tree is as important as other aspects of tree care such as tree pruning.

The trick is to be tender with the tree trunk while removing graffiti. In the event that the removal procedure is not effective in the first go, various applications over time may be required.

Graffiti – Artist found Solution for Dirty Walls

Just imagine this scenario – you have to regularly commute to work through pedestrian subways and tunnels and are appalled by the dirty side walls that greet you every day. The local council is not interested in cleaning them up as it’s a recurring expenditure. Their point of view? A citizen is not inconvenienced in any way; it’s just a matter of aesthetics. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a solution for dirty walls? Obviously it would. Welcome to the world of the graffiti artist with a purpose – of making the world a bit more beautiful than what it really is.

There is generally a code of conduct for graffiti artists and that is not to write or draw on a wall or building without permission. But in this case not only would nobody bother, in fact it would be quite welcome. Artists have been known to leave their mark on dirty walls through a simple message or a painting without going through the elaborate process of cleaning them up. This is because a grimy wall has to be scrubbed with strong cleaning solutions that have harsh chemicals and are toxic in nature. Using mild natural cleaning products, though good for the environment, would not have the desired effect. Hence artists who liven up dirty walls with attractive graffiti actually do a service to society.

A case in point is Paul Curtis popularly known as Moose who creates graffiti on dirty sidewalks and tunnels in Leeds, UK. His tools of trade are a shoe brush, water and elbow grease. The Leeds City Council is in a fix on how to deal with Moose who is making urban life a tad better to live in.

How to clean Graffiti

Whatever way one may look at it, even from an aesthetic angle, graffiti done without permission is vandalism. Therefore before taking up any graffiti cleaning project one should call the local police department and keep the photos as record. It might help to collect damages if the “tagger” is ever traced.

Removing graffiti is an intricate process and is different for outdoor and indoor scenarios.

  • Outdoor – There is a special tool that facilitates graffiti removal from concrete surfaces. It’s a pressure nozzle that blasts water and sand on the scribbling. Round silica sand is best for this kind of operation but care has to be taken to ensure that the sand is dry at all times by keeping it covered. The sand blast attachment probe has to be put in the sand and the other end has to be attached to the power washer nozzle. This method can clean paint, rust and baked grease from metal, wood and other types of masonry.

Another method is to dampen the graffiti surface with low pressure jet, apply water based paint stripper over the graffiti with a brush and let it set for 10 minutes. The paint stripper has to be rubbed into the graffiti with a scrub brush and washed off with low pressure water.

For those who are not particularly DIY inclined, reputed commercial cleaning services in Sydney may be hired to carry out the task.

  • Indoor – Graffiti indoors is generally seen on desks and classroom table tops, wash room stall doors and walls and elevator walls. Tools used are ball point and felt-tipped pens, knife blades, pencils and white correction fluid. Therefore different materials are required to remove them. Pencil and pen marks can be wiped off with normal cleaners and disinfectants, and for vertical surfaces foam and paste cleaners are the best option.

Since removing graffiti is a specialised task with different surfaces and writing medium to reckon with, it is always advisable to take expert opinion of cleaning services around Sydney.

Graffiti The Untold Story

Graffiti: The Untold Story

Graffiti is the images and letters that are scribbled or scratched on public property. In many countries around the world, defacing of buildings, bus stops, any civic property or residential homes without owner’s consent is punishable under law. Graffiti is not a new phenomenon – it has existed for centuries and excavations of ancient Greek and Roman sites have revealed simple scrawling and elaborate paintings. In modern times, graffiti has become a form of expression for communicating messages linked to protests and dissatisfaction and is a social and political commentary of the times. To many, graffiti is a nuisance, to others it is an art form to be preserved.

A number of interesting facts make up the untold story of graffiti in its modern avatar –

  • Modern graffiti writers made their presence first felt in New York along with the evolution of hip-hop culture. However, it soon spread to other countries and took on the local form.
  • Graffiti writers have a simple code of conduct. They do not practise their art on any building without taking prior permission and avoid cars, graves and tombstones, memorials and ancient sculptures.
  • Graffiti is a reflection of the existing thought processes of the era, be it in the fields of music, art, culture, literature or sport. Therefore, graffiti can be said to be mirroring the popular culture and prevailing current trends.
  • Spray paint is the main tool of a graffiti artist as it is very useful for quickly writing a message or painting a picture irrespective of its size.
  • Graffiti artists are of two types. The first are the bombers who work fast and try to leave their mark as widely as possible. The focus here is to convey a message without a thought to the quality of the graffiti. The second type is the true artists with their unique style and form and for whom graffiti is a work of art.

The oldest traces of graffiti are the cave drawings and rock carvings discovered recently but more than 5 thousand years old. From then till the modern era, graffiti has continued to be an example of the feelings that human beings want to convey to each other.