Graffiti (singular: graffito, slang: graf) hasexisted since prehistoric man scribbled on his cave walls, proclaiming to the world, "I exist" (Wechsler v). Indeed, "Graffiti represent man's desire to communicate" (Wechsler vi). Until recently, graffiti have consisted of political, sexual, social, and other commentary, usually presented in the form of written words. Since the late-1960s, graffiti, especially in urban areas, have taken on an entirely different form.
Although graffiti may be illegal, beauty is nevertheless still in the eye of he beholder. Many people enjoy the colorful artwork, and think of it as positive:
"The graffiti 'artist' whose work brightens a drab area and adds colour to the mind-dulling blandness of the inner city, whose designs enliven the sterile concrete jungles, is considered by some to be upgrading his environment: . . . the graffiti 'artist,' so the argument goes,is a public benefactor" (Abel 139).
© Bernard Bosmans Photography