Graffiti art started life on the city walls and subway cars of New York in the 1970s. The first graffiti writers began by tagging their names over the city using markers and aerosols. The first widely recognised tagger was Darryl McCray aka Cornbread. He wrote his name everywhere including the Jackson 5 plane and an elephant. The tags developed over time becoming ever more involved and intricate. Then along came hip hop and an artist called Phase 2. He was a pioneer of a style of graffiti called bubble writing, the influence of which can still be seen today.
In 1983 a documentary - Style Wars- was released. The film featured many of the graffiti kings of the day – Dondi, Futura, Seen and Kase2. This film help to both publicise and popularise graffiti and its many different styles and also helped spawn a hundred more new artists. At about this time over in Paris the first stencil graffiti began to appear by the now infamous Blek le Rat. He started using a stencil of rat that symbolised art as an anagram. Banksy was later to sight Blek le Rat as an influence.
In 1989 a young artist Shepard Fairey began posting his image of Obey Giant image all over America. 25 years on and his image is a house hold brand, along with other giants of the graffiti scene like Banksy. Graffiti has come a long way from its humble beginnings and graffiti art and graffiti prints can now be found in almost every major art gallery across the world.