The spraycan is a symbol of graffiti and street art, being the most common tool used by street artists. Its form is simple and its silhouette recognizable, even when morphed by the artist into a characterful artwork.
Urban art is often inspired by the environment in which they are found - cities and transport routes. Using perspective to create visual interest, graffiti artists often incorporate city objects such as buildings, buses, trains and skylines.
Above: This graffiti tattoo design combines the words, "New York" with a depiction of the famous city's skyline. The stars used in this artwork further add to the patriotic nature of this tattoo, as stars are a part of the American flag. More Patriotic New York Tattoos
Graffiti Lettering and Alphabets
Although there is no one distinct lettering style for graffiti, there is a variety of fonts that are popularly used by street artists. Graffiti alphabet designs are often warped, with key parts of the letter's anatomy exaggerated or decorated. Depth is created by giving the letters shadows and 3-D shapes.
Above: Some graffiti fonts are harder to read than others, which turns the artwork into a puzzle. The cryptic graffiti tattoos above are indecipherable.
Working with stencil and spray paint, graffiti artist Banksy creates attractive, often controversial street artworks. His urban art mysteriously appears overnight, thrilling British graffiti art fans with both their content and message.
Above: Banksy's graffiti artwork of a girl shooting herself in the head, releasing a swarm of butterflies is tattooed on this girl's hip and belly. Banksy designs work well with the limitations of tattoo art, being clear and simple with elegant silhouettes.
Above: A graffiti tattoo of the world famous Banksy design, of a man in a fighting pose, throwing a bunch of flowers. Banksy's graffiti art often shows startling contrasts between ideas, in this case, a symbol of love or peace combined with a man in a violent posture.
Graffiti and tattoos are often viewed as being rebellious in nature, as street art is illegal, and tattoos leave a permanent mark on the skin. As a form of self-expression, both styles are quickly gaining popularity, especially as a combination of the two in the form of graffiti tattoos.
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