These Graffiti Artists Were So Clever, The Police Could do Nothing But Watch Them Work!

For better or worse, everyone knows about graffiti – arguably one of the most widespread forms of street art, these days. What not everyone knows is that several variants exists asides from the typical spray-can-on-wall variety. Two notable examples include moss graffiti (which we’ve already covered in this post) and negative graffiti, which we’re covering in this article.

















What is Negative Graffiti / Reverse Graffiti?

Simply put, negative graffiti is the reverse of regular graffiti. Here, rather than soiling a wall with spray paints to create some kind of picture or design, the concept revolves around methodically cleaning a dirty surface until a picture is created. A simple and highly ingenious idea; not only does the resulting artwork look particularly interesting, but it is not as destructive or vandalizing as conventional graffiti.

Granted, there are some limitations to this technique (such as the absence of colors: the only color on a negative graffiti is usually the original hue of the surface one works on), but as you will see further below in the gallery… the results are widely interesting and original.

What techniques are commonly used in Negative Graffiti?

Even though some of the pictures included here are fairly sophisticated, truth of the matter is that negative graffiti is really a simple technique, in essence. It tends to involve cutting a stencil-like cutout of the picture one wishes to imprint on a dirty surface, then sticking the cutout to the wall. Having done so, it’s all a matter of using a method for blasting the dirt from the entire wall – except of course for the areas protected by the stencil cutout one is looking to imprint onto the surface.

Usually, this is done with a dry ice maker, sand blaster or similar: abrasive cleaning devices which (ironically) are normally used for cleaning dirty outdoor surfaces. Yes, those are the same machines used by graffiti cleaning agencies, and some ingenious graffiti artists have actually found a way to put them to more creative uses. Neat, isn’t that? At least in this case the street artists can’t be accused of soiling the city walls, since they’re effectively cleaning everything up (at least partly) while doing negative graffiti.

Impressive negative graffiti (extended gallery)

In this section, we’ll gather the most impressive examples of negative graffiti we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, it was not possible to gather information on each one of these pictures. Copyrights belong to respective owners, and anyone looking to claim credit for one of these pictures should contact us.

Likewise, if you happen to know more information on any of the previous pictures, make sure to write in your thoughts below as comments. Finally, if you want to see some examples of dry ice blasters, Check out their product gallery in this page. That said, let’s proceed to the actual gallery; enjoy!