This is a collection of graffiti found in various cities, including Palermo, Naples, Rome, Bolzano, Lisbon, Porto and Berlin.
About the reasearch project
In my research, I’m particularly interested in simple contemporary graffiti with a more sketchy and crude look. They get by with one or two colors, without elaborate effects, were (probably) created within a short period of time and are apparently unauthorized.
Besides the inspiring aesthetics, I’m interested in the underlying motivations and communicative aspects.
In a certain sense, the communicative aspect of graffiti is ambivalent. Although the graffiti are primarily positioned for everyone visibly in public space and are thus a sign made for the public, their true meaning often remains reserved for insiders.
The motivation includes the desire to leave a sign that can not be removed without further effort. And a delight in risk-taking and provocation by declaring other people’s property as one’s own canvas. Graffiti can be an indicator of political views or the situation of certain population groups.
The word “graffiti” is the plural form of the Italian “graffito”, which goes back to the Greek “γράφειν” (graphein = to write, to draw). Graffito originally meant hatching as well as an ornamental, figural decoration or inscription carved into stone.
Almost as old as the human need to communicate and leave handmade signs is the history of graffiti. Archaeological findings date back to Ancient Egypt. Over the millennia, techniques and styles have changed.