The term ‘graffiti’ — the singular is ‘graffito’ — has evolved from the Italian word graffiato, which means ‘scratched’, and its original use was in discussing historical art when describing works created by scratching designs into a surface. Such practices go way back in time, from Mayans and Vikings to Greeks and Romans (so we’re not as original as we thought!). But over the eons, graffiti has evolved into a significant form of communication, particularly for marginalised individuals, or even communities, who never had a public voice.
Today it has become an increasingly sophisticated form of art, a means to unfettered self-expression, and the canvases on the street offer limitless potential for the immense creativity we’re seeing today. Here, my favourite ones from Portugal, Spain and NYC.