Spraying the 70s: the pioneers of British graffiti

“In 1975, graffiti was a shorthand way of accessing the mood of the time,” says writer Jon Savage, who mentioned The Writing on the Wall in his 1992 history of punk, England’s Dreaming. “In the 60s and even the early 70s, music had reflected the environment and how people felt, how people thought about things – and that was almost gone. Pop wasn’t doing its job, it wasn’t the teenage news. Graffiti was like a secret code, the voice of the underdog. It was people telling you things you couldn’t read in mainstream media and wouldn’t necessarily think about. You’d get jokes, stoner and outcast humour, with serious points. It was another kind of language.”

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