Cave painting, which came to us from
deep antiquity can be considered the
forerunner of street art. Funnily
enough, there were no streets at that
old age. Modern street art appeared in
the United States. The first graffiti
images began to appear on the walls of
buildings and subway cars in the
1930s, but until the 1970s they were
single inscriptions. Those who made
them were considered hooligans, petty
offenders and troublemakers.
They were treated as vandals,
smashing windows and worsening the
crime situation of a big city. A special
feature of street art was its unusual
venues. Streets and public places
instead of the silence of museum halls.
The most popular tool for street
artists was a spray-paint can, some of
them used stencils.
But there are more unusual
manifestations of street art -
installations and street sculptures.
In the late 1960s, there was a street
artist in New York who had the
pseudonym Taki 183. Working as a
courier, he painted walls in different
parts of the city.
In 1971, the New York Times
published an article about him, and
this fueled popularity of street art.
New York subway cars were
particularly desired objects for street
They didn’t usually limit themselves to
several cars but painted whole trains.
Finally, the city authorities allotted
certain places for street artists to
express themselves. The first graffiti
exhibition also opened in the 1970s. It
was then that street artists were made
lots of commercial offers.
And their creative potential has been
rising. Now, in addition to different
inscriptions, they draw cartoon
It became fashionable for tourists to
make photos against the background of
street art paintings. Graffiti began to
appear in Hollywood films as one of
the characteristic features of the
Street art amateurs were soon followed
by professionals. Such masters as
Jean-Michel Basquiat did not refrain
from making wide streets better. His
artworks are now sold for very big
In the 1990s, street artists became
actively involved in advertisement,
receiving orders from such large
companies as IBM and Sony.