Writing on the wall

“The word “graffiti” first entered the English language to describe ancient texts and images on the walls of houses at Pompeii. Prior to the 19th century, Italian words like sgraffito or sgraffiato were used to describe decorative techniques — in architecture as well as on pottery — where scratching through a whitewash revealed a different color beneath.”

and this:

“Writing on walls, whether public or private, interior or exterior, was widely accepted in Europe (not to mention throughout the world) through the early modern period and even later…

It may BE the view of inscribing graffiti as stupid that is unusual.”

From The Clandestine Cultural Knowledge of Ancient Graffiti by Michael Press in Hyperallergic

I can’t get enough of this. The whole article is amazing.


Artifact (never), 20” x 18”, 2019. I’m obsessed with the idea of private messages in public spaces. The visible clandestine.