The individualistic nature of graffiti and street art has a unique ability to enhance public spaces. Graffiti history can be traced back to prehistoric times using cave paintings used for communication or map guides. It interprets what appears to be a timeless fascination throughout mankind: drawing and painting on stone and making one’s presence known through images. There are actually varied types of mark-making that exist worldwide throughout time. Interestingly, this strengthened the need for recognition and provided insight in an iconographic way to the layers of several narratives.
With the primary driving motivation, its influence reached worldwide: to leave a mark somewhere upon our physical environment. The Graffiti Movement was a bit of a roller coaster ride, especially for the political authorities. The rise of Contemporary Artists who neutralized the scene finally exposed a better option for the movement. Keith Haring and Scharf met while attending the School for Visual Arts in New York in the late 1970s and were captivated by the art in the subways. Keith Haring was renowned for his chalk figures that represented controversial topics. At the same time, Scharf was known for his radical themes of pop-culture icons.
On the other hand, Basquiat was then on the graffiti scene under the pseudonym “SAMO,” leaving enigmatic statements on walls around the city. Remarkably, several gallery collaborations of graffiti writers and prominent Pop Art figures, including Haring, Scharf and Basquiat, made a notable shift into high culture. They remain some of the most prominent artists of the 20th century. According to Widewalls, here are the 10 legendary New York Graffiti Artists :
- Zephyr – Inventor of Numerous Graffiti Styles
- Phase 2 – Inventor of the Bubble Letter Graffiti
- Lee Quinones – Bringing Worldwide Attention to Graffiti
- Kenny Scharf – Early Works Influenced by Hanna Barbera Cartoons
- Blade – Proud Owner of the Title: King of Graffiti
- Daze – Important Member of the Renowned Group of NY Graffiti Artists
- Lady Pink – Out of Love Lost was Born a Legendary Female Graffiti Artist
- Cope2 – From Humble Beginnings to High Profile Clients
- Seen – The Godfather of Graffiti
- Futura – Keeping his Work Fresh After All These Years
Take a walking tour with Homeless Penthouse, as we show you around the streets of New York featuring several graffiti in the neighborhood.