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GraffitiGraffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun) is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.

In modern times, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime. Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities.

Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials/law enforcement and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested, reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

Graffiti artists constantly have the looming threat of facing consequences for displaying their graffiti. Many choose to protect their identities and reputation by remaining anonymous.
With the commercialization of graffiti (and hip hop in general), in most cases, even with legally painted "graffiti" art, graffiti artists tend to choose anonymity. This may be attributed to various reasons or a combination of reasons. Graffiti still remains the 1 of 4 hip hop elements that is not considered "performance art" despite the image of the "singing and dancing star" that sells hip hop culture to the mainstream. Being a form of visual art, it might also be said that many graffiti artists still fall in the category of the introverted archetypal artist.
Banksy is one of the world's most notorious and popular street artist who continues to remain faceless in today's society.

He is known for his political, anti-war stencil art mainly in Bristol, England but his work can be seen anywhere from Los Angeles to Palestine. In the UK, Banksy is the most recognizable icon for this cultural artistic movement and keeps his identity a secret to avoid arrest. Much of Banksy's artwork can be seen around the streets of London and surrounding suburbs, though he has painted pictures around the world, including the Middle East, where he has painted on Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side. One depicted a hole in the wall with an idyllic beach, while another shows a mountain landscape on the other side. A number of exhibitions have also taken place since 2000, and recent works of art have fetched vast sums of money. Banksy's art is a prime example of the classic controversy: vandalism vs. art. Art supporters endorse his work distributed in urban areas as pieces of art and some councils, such as Bristol and Islington, have officially protected them, while other officials have deemed his work to be vandalism and have removed it.

Pixnit is another artist who chooses to keep her identity from the general public. Her work focuses on beauty and design aspects of graffiti as opposed to Banksy's anti-government shock value. Her paintings are often of flower designs above shops and stores in her local urban area of Cambridge, Massachusetts . Some store owners endorse her work and encourage others to do so as well. "One of the pieces was left up above Steve's Kitchen, because it looks pretty awesome"- Erin Scott, the manager of New England Comics in Allston.

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