In 1949 Edward Seymour got the wonderful idea of putting paint in an aerosol can, and what we now know as spray paint was born. Spray painting or ‘tagging’ has been used by rebels, gang members, anti-Wall Street protesters, and artists alike, which has allowed them to express themselves and their creativity.
It gave the individuals using the spray paint a feeling of freedom because there is an inability to perfectly control also making spray paint an apt metaphor for rebellion. In other words, it gave these individuals a feeling of pride, joy, and fear that literally made them feel like a ‘badass.’
The spray paint revolution lead to public outrage and laws banning minors from buying spray paint. Companies in the US didn’t want to be associated with spray painting and did not support the artists using their products. Companies in Europe and Australia were pleased to associate with street artists unlike their US counterparts who demonized the art form. The European and Australian companies offered professional-grade enhancements such as different kinds of valves that emit different types of mists.
Today, we see in the world’s largest cities some of the most amazing pieces of art on the side of walls created with spray paint. Even in Antigonish we see that the art form is alive and well. Doesn’t it brighten up the town a little?