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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #396: Graffiti
Depending on how you define graffiti, it has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, although it has taken many forms and delivered just an many messages- the political, the obscene, the territorial, the artistic.The current wave of graffity was inspired by and is an integral part of hip-hop culture, which was born in the late'70s.Much of modern graffiti manipulates letter form and type to the point that letters and words become unrecognizable. Most of the words are merely the artist's name, or his crew's name, or a short message. The letters take on three-dimensional shape, and some artists add textures shadows and flourishes. The average mural can be created in 30 to 45 minutes. Most artists start by rolling over old tags, and then go to work with their cans.'There are 150 spray paint colors available in the U.S., but artists create more colors by mixing paint from half-empty can' says one artist who signs himself Music.'Three years ago' Music tells us, 'I travelled all around the country by hopping trains and painted along the way. I wrote my pseudonym, Music, and my area code to identify my home region. Lots of artist do this, that's why a lot of graffiti is in train yards'. 'but today', Music says, 'I'm more interested in the art and I'm more concerned with the respect of other painters than with writing my pseudo all around the country'Music doesn't defend the vandalism aspect of graffiti art, but he says there should be more public art space - especially in the world where corporate logos and imagery are omnipresent. 'Look everywhere and you'll see logos and advertissements, but none of it is personal. Graffiti art is a response to commercial saturation'.
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