Category Archives: Stencil Art

The Origins of Stencil Graffiti Art

Stencil Graffiti Art has become increasingly popular in modern times, and for a very good reason. But what are the origins of stencil graffiti art? As you can imagine, it all stems from the concept of spraying paint on items to show that particular item belongs to you. This first started in the US Army, where spraying buildings and items was a way to mark belongings for various divisions.

Image via: http://olive-drab.com

Aside from that, the WWII soldiers would also add spray tags on their vehicles with the idea of scaring the enemy with intimidating images and also boosting the overall group morale. So yes, the Stencil Graffiti Art was quite important even during WWII, although it didn’t become as important for quite a lot of time.

However, it wasn’t until the 1960s when this unique current migrated to the rest of the US. The interesting thing here is that the US was dealing with various civil aspects at that particular time. The simple fact that there was quite the instability at that time was extremely challenging for a lot of people. But artists found that Stencil Graffiti Art allowed them to express themselves in a much simpler and easier manner than ever before.

Punk rock bands in general saw the Stencil Graffiti Art as an opportunity. This art form became an incredibly strong tool for protesting and because of the short amount of time it took to paint their artwork onto a desired “canvas”, it would be very easy to evade the authority and remain anonymous.

Image via: http://johnfekner.com

A good reference would be 1968, when John Fekner started to work outdoors for the first time. He worked in New York at first, and he immediately started to develop an underground strategy. This brought in front quite an interesting set of ideas to the table, and there are plenty of artworks to show that.

The Wheels Over Indian Trails at the Pulasky Bridge Queens Midtown Tunnel is by far one of the most well known pieces of work that he did, and it’s quite special and intriguing to say the least. But at least at that time, John was one of the few people that saw the benefits of Stencil Graffiti Art and that was a shame. It was clear that people found it easier to express themselves this way, and it really goes to show that at some point it would be easier just to connect with others and create a community with it!

Image via: http://artisticthings.com

Yet the Stencil Graffiti Art scene did go onward thanks to Blek le Rat. This was one of the early practitioners that did manage to create unique stencil art projects all over Paris. Of course, he did have a lot of influence from the New York street art, and that’s maybe the thing that led him to the unique style he created for himself.

At first, he started with stencil rats, hence his name. He is known as one of the first people that transformed Stencil Graffiti Art from lettering to systematical imagery. It was a huge deal at that time, since most people thought about getting simplistic graffiti art and nothing too spectacular. But things did change towards the better with Blek le Rat, and that’s why he is a key moment and hugely influential in the Stencil Graffiti Art history. Being able to make so many changes to an art you are representing is quite amazing and certainly very refreshing. It goes to show the true power of graffiti art and how this continues to represent our society and the way we think about it. Plus, these techniques are extremely popular and among some of the best out there at this time.

Once Blek le Rat became very popular, many other people started to experiment in this type of art form too. A good example here would be Rennie Ellis’s documented stencil art in Australia. He also corresponded with Charles Gatewood, which managed to showcase the power of American graffiti at its best. Ellis in particular got to showcase the street art in a unique, meaningful way, exactly the way it should be represented all over the world. The thing to note here is that the internet managed to push the Stencil Graffiti Art to the next level. Modern artists tried to find some new and creative options to share their ideas, and the best thing for them is that they got to showcase stencil graffiti art in some rather amazing ways.

Credit: MF GRAFFITI (Matt Farina)

One thing to keep in mind here is that many of the methods used today are modern. Yet there are some that still take inspiration from the old school methods we listed above. Yet as Stencil Graffiti Art started to spread, so did the problems with local authorities. Initially, this shouldn’t be any kind of problem. But it is, and for a very specific reason. The idea here is that Stencil Graffiti Art became much more than just a way for artists to represent themselves. In many locations, local authorities got to deal with unwanted depictions of representatives and important political figures. From here to banning these artists was just a simple step. That’s one of the reasons why many of the key graffiti artists are working under their aliases.

Image via: www.newyorker.com

Some of the major modern practitioners include Banksy, Dolk, Pobel, Evol, Icy and Shot, Boxi and Samina. Strok, Emess and Rero or Sten and Lex are also great examples of how amazing stencil graffiti art can be. And these artists actually took things to the next level by making stencil art distinct, unique and also pretty easy to perform too.

They actually got to create their own style, to the point where you can easily recognize a piece of art from Evol, Banksy or Boxi just by looking at it. This is amazing, considering the fact that these are anonymous artists. If anything, it goes to show just how astonishing their work really is and how they get to create amazing work pieces that withstand the test of time. And that’s stencil graffiti art in the first place. It’s a type of art that surpasses time and space. It enables us to breathe life into our ideas and bring them to reality. That on its own is why artists continue to showcase their ideas in the form of stencil graffiti art, because it’s unique, vivid and visually impressive! We have a lot to be appreciative of the origins of stencil graffiti art and it’s something we should be actively teaching others so that future generations of artists are aware of where this fascinating art form evolved from.

How to Create Stencil Graffiti Art – Banksy Example

HI! I’m the guy behind this site.  Living in Bristol, England, I’m an independent filmmaker, blogger and a huge fan of Stencil Graffiti Art.

Using this site, I aim to pass on some of my knowledge to others. Enjoy!

The Law on Graffiti Art

Not enough people are aware about the law on Graffiti Art until it’s too late and they’re in trouble. So this article will dig deep into not only what is legal or illegal but what is morally right too.

Graffiti art has always been considered one of a kind and very distinct. There are many reasons why graffiti art stands out, and it all comes down to the ideas that it represents, the very distinct visuals and the astonishing attention to detail. All of that makes the entire experience very interesting here. Yet the reality is that graffiti art also has its own share of controversy.

Stormtrooper Confronting Riot Police

While artists are showcasing their ideas publicly, they do that in less than ideal locations most of the time. In fact, most urban culture isn’t appreciated by lawmakers. That’s especially true when things like graffiti art can be seen as vandalizing buildings and peppery. At least that’s how most local authorities tend to see this. Whether they are right or not, that remains to be seen. But there’s no denying that graffiti art is very controversial, and it’s always very hard to showcase it as an art piece when it’s created on public domain.

Stencil graffiti art was and still is heavily used as a tool for protest. After all, using a eye catching, quiet and law abiding protest is has its huge advantages.

The Visual Arts Right Act states that the artists are allowed to claim authorship, to prevent the use of their name and to prevent any mutilation of their name. They can also prevent the destruction of their work if needed. Yet despite all of that, most authorities are either painting over the Graffiti art or they try to find some adjacent ways to eliminate those pieces of art.

Sometimes these are created by newcomers in the industry. Other times they are created by people that have a lot of knowledge when it comes to art, yet they want to try out some new ideas and things. Regardless of the situation, there are plenty of options to be had and the benefits on their own can be just as amazing. But there are obvious challenges that block this type of approach as well.

Graffiti art will always remain at the boundary between legality and illegality. There’s no clear way to put it in one specific category. But it doesn’t have to be a part of any category. As long as you know how to create and adapt the graffiti art, the results can be quite astonishing. It’s definitely a challenging type of art, but one that can bring in front some really good benefits for a huge range of user categories. That’s maybe the thing that entices people the most, the fact that graffiti art will always exist, regardless of the regulations and the law on graffiti art.

Of course, governments will always try to impose new laws, some may even try to stop graffiti art from existing. But we know that will never happen. As long as people will always want to express themselves, they will surely find a way to do it. And yes, graffiti art is maybe one of the best methods people can use to showcase their ideas in a visual manner and in some instances in protest!

How to Create Stencil Graffiti Art – Banksy Example

HI! I’m the guy behind this site.  Living in Bristol, England, I’m an independent filmmaker, blogger and a huge fan of Stencil Graffiti Art.

Using this site, I aim to pass on some of my knowledge to others. Enjoy!