Historical Item

Graffiti's Story

Submitted by russell on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 05:48
February 5, 2010

Graffiti’s Story, From Vandalism to Art to Nostalgia

Original NYTims article appears here

Eric Felisbret stood by a chain-link fence, watching three men spraying graffiti on a backyard wall in Upper Manhattan. One man smiled and invited him over.

“You can go around the corner and when you see a sign for a seamstress, go in the alley,” the man said. “Or you can jump the fence, like we did.”

Mr. Felisbret, 46, chose the long way. Not that he is unused to fence-jumping. In the 1970s, that was one of his skills as a budding…

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1976 Street Lightnin' Gang Stencil Bust, Illustrated

Submitted by russell on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 05:55

David Willis just emailed scans of drawings, artifacts, and photos of his 1976, Street Lightnin' Gang, stencil-graffiti bust (the written story is here):


David Wills in Street Lightnin' Gang uniform outside Camden Town Underground station


Wills sprays the traffic light control box in Notting Hill Gate.


Busted by Sergeant Bootsy!


Bootsy says, "OK. Keep your hands on the back of the seat in front of you."

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If these scrawls could talk - Tom Sevil and Melbourne's Alt History

Submitted by russell on Tue, 09/22/2009 - 11:48

If these scrawls could talk

September 23, 2009

Original Article Here


Urban activist Tom Sevil leads a tour of political graffiti in search of an alternative history of Melbourne. Andrew Stephens reports.

TOM Sevil is up a laneway inspecting some 1970s graffiti. He likes these places. He's a stencil artist, graffitist and graphic designer, but also something of an archaeologist, because the work at hand here is but a fragment, partly buried beneath rich layers of history.

In white house paint applied with a brush, not an aerosol, this graffito no longer makes sense. It says: Frazer is a bottled toad in a trust - and there it ends, forever to remain a mystery, its final words obscured by years of others' graffiti.

This fragment, a bastardisation of a phrase from Shakespeare's… Read more

The Teleport Caper: Beyond the Pale (1976)

Submitted by russell on Tue, 09/08/2009 - 07:50

The Teleport Caper: Beyond the Pale
by David Wills

One grey day Sunday in January 1976, after I had been visiting with the graphic-designer Barney Bubbles, I walked from The Barbican four miles to stay at what had been my old flat on Basset Rd. with the vivacious Lucinda Cowell*, whom I had met one Saturday in the Bridge kaff on Portobello.

Somewhere on the journey, around Camden Town, I found a sombrero that added to my somewhat odd appearance. By the time I got to Notting Hill, and having sprayed my recently cut stencil in a couple of places, I got too careless and was busted, literally red handed, spray paint dribbling, as I stenciled, on a traffic-light control box, “Street Lightnin’ Gang Rules Easy, OK.”

This art was one of a series of cardboard stencils I had designed that related to SLG President Molly (now Mrs. Mark Bode) Rodriguez’s ‘World Teleport’ system of world free transport. It…

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Chinese Paper Cutting (Video)

Submitted by russell on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 04:10

1967 Mad Follies Stencil Special

Submitted by russell on Wed, 05/13/2009 - 09:39

xSacto sends another historical stencil artifact. Mad Magazine inserted about a dozen stencils in their fifth Mad Follies (1967), with illustrated instructions by Al Jaffee. The illustrations encouraged kids to alter signs, dupe adults, and create mischief with the cut outs. Oddly enough, I found a stencil of Alfred E. Neuman up on Haight St. a few weeks ago that was made from this 40+ year old stencil!

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Early 20th Cent. Stenciling Machines

Submitted by russell on Wed, 05/13/2009 - 09:33

xSacto is always submitting stencil oddities and artifacts.

Here's a link to the Office Museum's page of "Antique Mailroom Machines"

Scroll down a bit and you'll find the "Elliott Stenciling Machines"

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Tom Robinson Band: 1978 LP Stencil Insert

Submitted by russell on Mon, 03/09/2009 - 10:45

The TRB fist logo was designed in early 1977 by Roger Huddle from Rock Against Racism. The concept of the name placed around a fist was "borrowed" from the Gay Liberation Front, while the colour scheme and typeface were suggested by Tom. Roger adapted his fist drawing from a Black Panthers publication, and also used it as a logo for the Socialist Workers Party.

The original LP version of "Power In The Darkness" (1978) in the UK contained a cardboard stencil of the TRB logo with the words: "THIS STENCIL IS NOT MEANT FOR SPRAYING ON PUBLIC PROPERTY".

Click here to view (or right-click to download) a black-on-white PDF file of…

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Reproduce and Revolt on Hard Knock Radio

Submitted by russell on Fri, 05/09/2008 - 04:45
KPFA's Hard Knock Radio highlights the work of Activist and Artist Favianna Rodriguez, discussing "Reproduce and Revolt" which she co-edited with Josh MacPhee. Lots of stencil-related goodness in this radical clip-art book. Read more

Joseph Kyselak - the father of Graffiti

Submitted by russell on Mon, 02/25/2008 - 06:52

OK, another non-stencil post, but still worth sharing as a historical reference.

Here's the original post


Joseph Kyselak - the father of Graffiti

Posted by Gerald
Saturday, April 7. 2007

Have you ever heard of Joseph Kyselak? No?

That is not too surprising. Even though the Austria-born magistrate is perceived nowadays as the ancestor of modern day graffiti. Kyselak was born in Vienna on December 23rd, 1799. His… Read more