Ephemerality and Persistence, pt. 1

Despite the persistence of paint on the walls of the caves at Altamira and Lascaux—which are over 20,000 years old—and the writing on the walls of Pompeii, graffiti is a largely ephemeral affair. The easiest surfaces to mark (sandstone, for example) are the naturally the quickest to decay. Spraypaint fades due to sunlight, automobile exhaust, […]

Graffiti Lexicon

(Note: This Glossary will expand and contract as the project continues. Check back for updates.) Cholo Writing – Gang-related writing, largely developed in and around Los Angeles by Latinos in the mid-Twentieth Century. Cholo writing continues today in much the same form as earlier epochs. Guerilla Marketing – drawings, paintings, leaflets, wheat-pastes, and other materials […]

Toward a Graffiti Lexicon, part 1

“Can this have been quasi-intentional, a concerted effort to obliterate meaning by scrawling graffiti on one of the theater’s most profound texts?”[1] The above quote comes from a review of Young Jean Park’s play Lear! — a sort of reworking or reimagining of the Shakespeare play — and gives a window into the common usage […]