Thursday, May 14, 2015

Graffiti Plaster Hands

Lesson Objective: Students will explore plaster building and oil pastels while learning about the Iconography and the Art Movement Graffiti. 

Project Requirements: 
Sketchbook: Students will complete a life size representation of their hand as a drawing. 
Their drawing should include a hand gesture, one symbol and a social/cultural message through color and symbols (Iconography)
They will finish their drawing using oil pastels
Final Project: Create a mold of your hand gesture in plaster
Using oil pastels and baby oil add pictures and symbols that represent you as an artist. 
Using knowledge gained from the year, address several principles of art: Balance, Scale,  Rhythm, Unity, Movement, Emphasis, Contrast, Pattern

CA Art Standards
1.5 Analyze the material used by a given artist and describe how its use influences the meaning of the work.
2.6 Create a two or three-dimensional work of art that addresses a social issue.
3.4 Discuss the purposes of art in selected contemporary cultures.
4.1 Articulate how personal beliefs, cultural traditions, and current social, economic, and political contexts influence the interpretation of the meaning or message in a work of art.
4.2 Compare the ways in which the meaning of a specific work of art has been affected over time because of changes in interpretation and context.
4.5 Employ the conventions of art criticism in writing and speaking about works of art.
5.2 Create a work of art that communicates a cross-cultural or universal theme taken from literature or history.

Informal: Small group written critique
Formal: Artist Statement
Formal: Grading final sculpture

English Language Learner: Handout for project, project samples, Power point with visuals, Critique for additional understanding, Demonstration of techniques, group activities to check for understanding
Special Needs: Handout for project, project samples, Power point with visuals, Critique for additional understanding, Demonstration of techniques
Accelerated Learner: Expand on skills learned to create a unique project. 
Advanced art students will be asked to increase the difficulty of their final sculpture They will also be expected incorporate more details and principles into the final project

Scaffolding adaptations: 
Students will revisit Contrast, Color, Pattern, Scale, Proportion, Movement, Rhythm  from the earlier learning. We will use similar visuals to refresh earlier learning.  Notes on Art history, Key Vocabulary and artists will be taken throughout discussions for added understanding. Creating sketchbook plans and Constructing final sculpture will be demo started in class using guided instruction.

Key Vocabulary: 
Graffiti Iconography Symbol Tagging Graffiti Five Pointz

Baby Oil
Oil Pastels
Markers and Graffiti machine 

Day 1: Direct Instruction from PPT: 
Art Link: 
Critique: Morrison’s Grave 
What do the colors mean?
What do the symbols mean?
Teacher Models: 
Graffiti and Art History
Students take notes in their sketchbooks 
Teacher Monitors throughout discussion
Introduction: History of Graffiti and symbols in art
Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place.
Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times. 
Examples date back to Ancient Egypt & Ancient Greece

Both "graffiti" and its singular form "graffito" are from the Italian word graffiato ("scratched"). 
"Graffiti" in art history: works of art produced by scratching a design into a surface. 

Spray Paint and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. 
In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

1981: Fab 5 Freddy's friendship with Debbie Harry influenced Blondie's single "Rapture" 
The video featured Jean-Michel Basquiat, and offered the first glimpse of a depiction of elements of graffiti in hip hop culture. 

1980’s Keith Haring was another well-known graffiti artist who brought Pop Art and graffiti to the commercial mainstream. 

Then we saw the emergence of the new stencil graffiti genre. Some of the first examples were created in 1981

A "tag" is the most basic writing of an artist's name, it is simply a hand style. A graffiti writer's tag is his or her personalized signature.

Graffiti Artists use Iconography

Symbols in art
Works of art may not only have subject matter, they may also contain symbols. 
Iconography: the visual images and symbols used in a work of art or the study or interpretation of these      

Symbols are something represented in the work of art—an object, an action, or a pattern
Symbols can be nonrepresentational item such as a color or a line
To become a symbol, people have to adopt or accept

The cross is a symbol of Christianity, conventional symbol of suffering
The Sun as the symbol of life and strength, 
River is the symbol of eternal change and flowing
The eagle on the standard of the United States of America symbolizes strength

Check for Understanding: 
Monitor room during Pre-assessment in sketchbook
Monitor throughout discussion to be sure notes are being taken 
Presentation assessment

Small Group Art Activity: 
Artists will receive their graffiti artist and their bullet points
With this information they will research/determine/present the piece of art that best reflects the artist overall
They will present a critique of this artwork
The artwork must be street art, must have a symbol and message

Day 2: Art Activity: Artists will receive their graffiti artist and their bullet points
With this information they will research/determine/present the piece of art that best reflects the artist overall
They will present a critique of this artwork
The artwork must be street art, must have a symbol and message
Margaret Kilgallen (Meta)
Shepard Fairey
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Keith Haring
Barry McGee (Twist)
Os Gemeos

Artist: Margaret Kilgallen
Born in 1967 in Washington, DC
Received her BA in printmaking from Colorado College in 1989. 
Early experiences as a librarian and bookbinder contributed to her encyclopedic knowledge of signs, drawn from American folk tradition, printmaking, and letterpress. 
Kilgallen had a love of “things that show the evidence of the human hand.” 
She created room-size murals that recall a time when personal craft and handmade signs were the dominant aesthetic. 
Strong, independent women—walking, surfing, and biking—are featured in the artist’s compositions. 
Kilgallen’s work was presented at UCLA Hammer Museum. 
She died in June 2001 in San Francisco, where she lived with her husband, Barry McGee.
Graffiti Name: Meta 

Artist: Barry McGee
Barry McGee was born in 1966 in California
Lives and works in SF
In 1991, he received a BFA in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. His drawings, paintings, and mixed-media installations are inspired from urban culture
Incorporates elements like empty bottles, spray-paint cans, tagged signs, wrenches, & metal. 
McGee is also a graffiti artist, since the 1980s, where he is known by the tag name “Twist.” 
He views graffiti as a vital method of communication
Graffiti provides a larger/diverse  audience than the traditional museum. 
His trademark icon, a male caricature with sagging eyes and a bemused expression, recalls the homeless people and transients who call the streets their home. 
His work has been shown at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and on streets and trains all over the United States. 

Artist: Kaws  (1974-      )
Brian Donnelly was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. 
He is best known as the artist KAWS. 
While living in Jersey City, KAWS began his career as a graffiti artist. 
He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NY in 1996 with a BFA in illustration. 
Worked for Disney as a freelance animator. 
He made a name out of designing limited edition toys and clothing. 
He is also a world-renowned artist who exhibits in museums and galleries internationally. 
KAWS moved beyond the exclusive art market to occupy a more complex global market.
KAWS has designed for well-known companies such as Nike, Vans
In the early 2000s he also reworked familiar characters from: The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse and even SpongeBob SquarePants.
One of the more popular KAWS sculpture is based on the Mickey Mouse whose face is obscured by his both hands. 
The image was incorporated into a balloon for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Artist Banksy (1974–       )
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Banksy is the pseudonym of a "guerrilla" street artist known for his controversial, and often politically themed, stenciled pieces.
Banksy, a street artist whose identity remains unknown, 
He rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the late 1990s. 
Banksy is the subject of a 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which examines the relationship between commercial and street art.
Interest in Banksy escalated with the release of the 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. 
The film was nominated for an Academy Award
In the late '90s, he began using stencils predominantly. 
Banksy's artwork is characterized by striking images, often combined with slogans. 
His work often engages political themes, satirically critiquing war, capitalism and greed. 
Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children.
Banksy's work on the West Bank barrier, between Israel and Palestine, received significant media attention in 2005. 
In October 2013, Banksy took to the streets of New York City. There he pledged to create a new piece of art for each day of his 30 day residency.
“We can't do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime, we should all go shopping to console ourselves.”               —Banksy

Artist: Keith Haring (1958-1990)
He grew up in Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children. 
He started to draw right away: cartoons, creating characters
He had his first public show at 19
In 1978, Keith moved to New York City to go to School of Visual Arts (SVA)
In New York he found his style.
Then Keith worked on the black pieces of paper on the subways. 
He drew in the daytime: there were always people watching, from kids to art historians.”
Keith also started showing his work in art galleries
Hundreds of people came to his first show
He wanted everyone to be able to buy his work, so he opened a new store called the Pop Shop to sell his art on posters, buttons, T-shirts, and games.
He also worked with children in schools to paint large murals with them
He made paintings and sculptures for schools and hospitals 
In 1988, Keith got AIDS. At that time, doctors could not help people with AIDS. 
Keith knew he was going to die, he kept working as hard as he could until the end. 
He also made artwork about the sickness and gave money for doctors to search for a cure.

Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988) 
A poet, musician, and graffiti prodigy in late-1970s New York, 
Jean-Michel Basquiat had honed his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams, and mask-and-skull imagery by the time he was 20. 
“I don’t think about art while I work,” he once said. “I think about life.” 
Often associated with Neo-expressionism, 
Basquiat received massive acclaim in only a few short years, 
His drawings and paintings married text and image, abstraction, and figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique.
In 1983, he met Andy Warhol, who would come to be a mentor and idol. 
The two collaborated on a series of paintings before Warhol’s death in 1987, followed by Basquiat’s own passing in 1988
The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.

Artist: OSGEMEOS (1974-         ) Brazil
OsGemoos translated as “THE TWINS”, 
Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo, have worked together since birth
As children they developed a distinct way of communicating through artistic language. 
Introduction of hip hop culture in Brazil in the 1980s, 
OSGEMEOS found a direct connection to their dynamic world and a way to communicate with the public. 
Together they explored techniques of painting, drawing and sculpture, and had the streets as their place of study.
Their graffiti overtook the streets, becoming a language of its own with so many other influences and cultures, and it is constantly evolving.
The artists utilize this combined visual language, improvisation and a sense of playfulness to create a variety of projects worldwide.
They have held numerous solo and group shows in museums and galleries in several countries 
To understand the work of OSGEMEOS, you must allow reason to be replaced by the imaginary.

Artist: Shepard Fairey  (American, b.1970) 
He is a renowned graphic artist known for the images of Andre the Giant and the word obey. 
Fairey was born in Charleston, SC, 
He used his drawings on T-shirts and skateboards. 
The artist attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in Palm Springs, CA, and graduated in 1988. 
He earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI, in 1992. 
Fairey held a part-time job in a skateboarding shop; good for street culture and graffiti. 
The artist was also interested in punk music, 
Soon after that, Fairey introduced his Giant pieces to the streets via Graffiti Art. 
Two of Fairey's well-known pieces are Obey (1992) and Hope (2008). 
Hope is an iconic portrait of the American president Barack Obama that Fairey produced during the 2008 American presidential campaign. 
Fairey was commissioned by Time Magazine in 2011 to design a cover for the magazine. 
The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


  1. how realistic the work done by kids

    1. Yes, The photos are all High School students. We used oil pastels and baby oil. We also used Crayola's Air brush machine for markers. Results were awesome!

  2. Wonderful post--love the info and the project idea! I'll have to try this next year with my middle and high school students. Thank you for posting! Mrs. P @

  3. Amazing project. The kids did incredible works. I love ideas of the project kids can learn useful things of painting.

    Helen@certificate of tesol