The Evolution of “Graffiti”


From “graffiti” on the metro to “Street Art” to Caravaggio.

Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings.

It has become visualized as a growing urban “problem” for many cities, spreading from the NYC subway system in the early 1970s to the rest of the United States, and the rest of the world followed.

Then made fashionable by Simon and Garfunkel with the unforgettable “The Sound of Silence.”

And the sign said, “The words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls…”

Simon & Garfunkel: The Sound of Silence

Street Art

And so we also have a good amount of Graffiti that eventually upgraded to “Street Art,” some of which is worth seeing. Although, this form of art is located in areas that isn’t exactly “prime location.

Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

From “Street Art” it was just the logical thing to arrive at real “works of art” on the walls of some cities, sometimes in very prominent places, such as the latest work on the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.


My favorite are the works of Andrea Ravo Mattoni, aka Ravo, a “street artist” with a great passion for the history of art and for great painters of the past, in particular towards the Baroque and Caravaggio, with the dream of being able to create a sort of an open-air museum.  His major works can be seen here.

The Calling of Saint Matthew

Recently, a wall by him was uncovered in my town. Ravo, chose one of the most beautiful painting by Caravaggio; The Calling of Saint Matthew, kept on the Contarelli Chapel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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