The History of Street Art

Timeline created by Msidd
  • 100,000 BCE

    How has street art inspired and innovated artists to uncover their hidden voices through their art to the European and/or North American public?

    How has street art inspired and innovated artists to uncover their hidden voices through their art to the European and/or North American public?
    Street art is a way for people to use their art to express themselves or spread a message instead of talking. Especially in our time and culture today, the voices and awareness from the youth on important issues in the world are creating change and with street art being a key component to spreading the message, this is the time for change. This timeline will take you on a journey on how the meaning of street art has changed over time and how artists have changed the context of their own art.
  • 30,000 BCE

    Stone Ages

    Stone Ages
    The Stone Age artists would paint and draw on cave walls.They would use coloured rocks such as yellow ocher and ground them up into a powdery substance, then combine it with either spit, water, or animal fat to create a paste which could stick on the cave walls. The artists would paint animals because they believed it would bring success when hunting or a call of help from the spirit world they believed in. The people believed this art represented spirituality and connection with the animals.
  • 3,000 BCE

    Ancient Egyptian Paintings

    Ancient Egyptian Paintings
    These paintings were made because they wanted the afterlife of the dead to be a place of tranquility. Each painting focused on the afterlife of the deceased.The objects or elements were painted in there most recognizable angle,so images of people were painted in profile and their eyes and shoulders are looking forward.During that time these painting were used as communication and were very symbolic to everyone living there.This art is seen as a way of life for the people and had a deeper meaning
  • -600 BCE


    In Pompeii,the people may have passed but the art on the walls still remains.During those times painting on the wall was a way to entertain yourself since there was not much to be entertained by.People had different reasons to paint, some people painted their beliefs or views, other painted to create a decoration piece, and women would paint things which would display detail about their lives.Painting was also a way to communicate thought and feeling to others since many could not read or write.
  • Creation of Aerosol Spray Paint Can

    Creation of Aerosol Spray Paint Can
    Edward Seymour invented spray paint by using aerosol cans. This paint was a lot easier to use and was easily accessible. Edward Seymour founded Seymour of Sycamore, Inc. in Chicago, USA and began to manufacture spray paint to sell.This invention changed the way street art was created. Since it was accessible to so many people, the art on the street grew. This creation has given a chance to all people to express their feelings to the public in a much easier way.
  • North Ireland Art

    North Ireland Art
    During the late 1960s in North Ireland the meaning of the murals changed. The artists began painting murals about their political views, military content such as people with guns and also publicized Republicans and Loyalists messages. The people would use murals as way to express their message and communicate with the public. The murals were once used for decoration and beautiful art, are now used as a message board throughout the communities.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    The purpose of the wall was to divide East and West Berlin but it soon became a canvas for people on both sides to express their freedom. To this day the wall has become a reminder of how people were able to overcome the oppression from the division. Artists would paint political animations to peace drawings. This wall was meant for division but became a beacon of hope with creative and incredible artwork from both the East and West side. The people would come together to paint fantastic art.
  • New York Art

    New York Art
    The difference between NYC today and the 70s, is that in the 70s the city was covered in graffiti.NYC was known for its unbelievable street art. During the 70s NYC had a high crime rate and was struggling but for artist they felt creating street art made them disappear from reality.People did not understand these artists but later understood that graffiti has its own culture but it also has its own vocabulary and aesthetic.The art created in the 70s was an escape for people during the struggles.
  • Lee Quiñones

    Lee Quiñones
    Lee became a prominent graffiti artist after he spray-painted a whole subway in New York City.He was one of the first people to ever accomplish this task.Lee is well known and an inspiration to many young artists because of his hip-hop punk graffiti style,seen in his mural called Howard the Duck.He also creates themes in his murals to make it a story.In an interview, he said "'New York is about change,always has been.'" Lee captivated young artist to show their uniqueness in their art.
  • Keith Haring

    Keith Haring
    Keith is an American artist and is known for his figures and symbols. He shows a new type of street art which is using white chalk to draw his art. He believes that street art is a way to express yourself and inspire imagination and is not a source of propaganda. He is inspired by the Walt Disney cartoon he saw as a child.He later moved to New York and immersed himself in the graffiti culture. Keith shows very unique and different art to the graffiti culture especially by using only white chalk.
  • Banksy

    Banksy is the most controversial street artist in the world.Even though his identity is a secret he has created an entire subculture just of his work.His work is known to very powerful and questionable.His artwork is often humorous and include dark humor,he spreads messages about politics and philosophy in his art.Many youth and older street artists look up to him as inspiration for their art.Wherever he goes he always leaves a mark with his art and leaves everyone wondering over his creation.
  • Graffiti Celebrations/Mural Programs

    Graffiti Celebrations/Mural Programs
    Today, mural painting had been encouraged and there have been active mural programs for all ages to cover the city walls and buildings with vibrant and colourful murals of the city life and culture. In the UK graffiti is celebrated in festivals like Super Cans, Cans Festival and Upfest. The popularity of internet has given artist the chance to share their work with a larger audience. Graffiti has become more popular in Asian countries because of the internet and the Western tourists.
  • Concluding the Journey through the History of Street Art

    Concluding the Journey through the History of Street Art
    Over the course of this timeline,we have learned about how street art or wall art was seen as a spiritual communication with animals and the afterlife during the Stone Age and the Ancient Egyptian era. If we travel farther into the future, street art became a way to express political and philosophical ideas/views to the public. Later a hip-hop punk style was introduced to street art and became a canvas to share ideas,thoughts,and views. Now street art is celebrated by the public and is enforced.