Graffiti Facts
Graffiti Facts

21 Interesting Graffiti Facts You Should Know

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published May 28, 2020

Did you know The word "graffiti" is from the Italian word "graffiato," meaning "scratched"? Explore provocative, bold, and unique graffiti facts here.

  • The word "graffiti" comes from the Italian word for "scratched."[1]
  • From 1961 to 1989, Berlin was divided by the Berlin Wall. West Berliners protested the wall by covering the wall with graffiti.[1]
  • The graffiti artist Banksy once painted a message at the London Zoo. He climbed into the penguin enclosure and wrote "We're bored of fish."[1]
  • Graffiti has existed since Neolithic times, when nomads would leave traces of their journeys by scratching signs on rocks and caves.[9]
  • Interesting Graffiti History
    Graffiti is nothing new

  • An ancient Roman graffitied into the paving stones at Ephesus what is interpreted as directions to a nearby brothel.[7]
  • Pompeii is famous for its graffitti, which includes gossip, scandalous accusations, profanity, and political slogans.[7]
  • Ancient Romans left graffiti on the pyramids that says, "I didn't like anything but the sarcophagus" and "I can't read the hieroglyphs."[9]
  • In 2003, it was discovered that the same company that produced an anti-graffiti chemical also produced the Zyklon B gas used in concentration camp gas chambers during WWII.[2]
  • The water-repellent liquid spray called "NeverWet" can be used to create invisible-ink street graffiti that only appears when it rains.[8]
  • Not all graffiti is negative. Some can transform a community by keeping urban areas and their residents energized and inspired.[9]
  • Graffiti Benefits
    Graffiti can benefit communities

  • Traditionally, when a US aircraft landed on the wrong carrier, it would be covered in graffiti before being sent back to the right one.[10]
  • The word "graffiti" is the plural of "graffito."[4]
  • Males between the ages of 12 and 19 are responsible for most of the graffiti in the United States.[9]
  • Teens who create graffiti are more likely to commit crimes in adulthood, such as theft, using and selling drugs, and more.[9]
  • Over 90% of graffiti in America is NOT created by gangs.[9]
  • Across the United States, cities spend a combined $12 billion annually to clean up graffiti.[5]
  • Street art and graffiti are not the same thing. Street art is usually painted with permission and is image based; graffiti is more rogue and is word based.[3]
  • The Alexamenos Graffito
    The head of the main image is a donkey, which most historians take to be a mocking depiction of Christianity
  • The earliest known image of Jesus Christ is a piece of Roman graffiti scratched in plaster on a wall near Palatine Hill.[6]
  • A graffiti tag is a symbol or image that represents the graffiti artist. Similar to a personal signature, a tag is unique and important to the artist.[1]
  • Yarn bombing is a type of graffiti where crocheted or knitted yarn is used to cover objects or trees. While some yarn bombs can last for years, it can be easily removed if necessary.[1]
  • The earliest type of modern graffiti was created by hobos and rail workers in the late 1800s. Known as "monikers," "streaks," "tags," or "hobo art," these were often found on the side of freight cars and trains. Their purpose was to share stories or memories.[11]

Suggested for you


Trending Now

Load More