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History of graffiti and street art: the 2000s and the 2010s

History of graffiti and street art: the 2000s


2000s - The Israeli West Bank barrier becomes a popular hall of fame for many street artists, among whom Banksy 

2000s - Sharp rise of the use of the internet: websites, blogs, chats and forums dedicated to graffiti and street art allow artists to show their works to an international audience and to connect with their peers worldwide 


2000 - UK - After his debut within Bristol’s graffiti crew DBZ (DryBreadZ), Banksy starts making his first stencils around Bristol and London


2001 - Stavanger - First edition of Nuart Festival, the world’s leading celebration of street art

2001 - USA - Shepard Fairey founds OBEY clothing, the most popular street wear brand

2001 - Publication of Banksy’s first book titled Banging your head against a brick wall 

2001 - New York - In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks metro stations all over the world increase control systems and painting graffiti on subway trains becomes almost impossible 


2002 - London - Banksy starts his popular series of stencils titled ‘Girl with Balloon’


2003 - Berlin - Birth of the 1UP Crew (One United Power)

2003 - London - Banksy mounts his massive exhibition ‘Turf War’ inside a former warehouse in Hackney


2007 - Release of Jon Reiss’s graffiti documentary Bomb it
2007 - Publication of Charlie Ahearn’s book Wild Style the Sampler


2008 - Bristol - First edition of Upfest, graffiti and street art festival 

2008 - London - Tate Modern hosts the exhibition ‘Street Art’

2008 - Shepard Fairey creates the ‘Hope’ poster for Barack Obama’s election campaign


2009 - Miami - Real estate developer Tony Goldman creates the mural project Wynwood Walls to revitalize a former industrial area. With murals by famous international street artists, the area quickly becomes a tourist destination


History of graffiti and street art: the 2010s


2010 - Release of Banksy’s documentary movie Exit through the gift shop 

2010 - The birth of Instagram enables artists to start managing their personal brand independently, communicating and showing their art directly to their audience without the intervention of middlemen (curators, journalists, gallerists and other ‘experts’). The design of a mural increasingly takes into consideration how the piece will look on Instagram rather than the specifics of the site 


2011 - Egypt - Stencil art emerges in the streets of Cairo as a powerful means to deploy key symbolic images during the Arab Spring uprisings

2011 - Los Angeles - The Museum of Contemporary Art breaks attendance records with its ‘Art in the Streets’ exhibition 

2011 - Völklingen - First UrbanArt Biennale at the Völklingen Ironworks, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site since 1994


2013 - New York - Joseph Ficalora starts The Bushwick Collective, a street art project that turned the formerly industrial neighborhood of Bushwick into an open air museum that attracts many tourists


2014 - Berlin - Street artist BLU erases his own murals to speak out against gentrification in the district of Berlin-Kreuzberg


2015 - Amsterdam - The Amsterdam Museum hosts the exhibition ‘Graffiti. New York meets the Dam’, a retrospect of the years 1970-1991


2016 - Bologna - Street artist BLU erases two of his own murals in protest against the exhibition ‘Street Art. Banksy & Co’ running at Bologna’s Palazzo Pepoli 

2016 - Rio de Janeiro - Kobra paints a 3000 square meter mural for the Olympics 


2018 - Faces Places (2017) by street artist JR and film director Agnès Varda is nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars

2018 - London - Banksy draws worldwide attention for remote-control shredding his own ‘Girl with Balloon’ at a Sotheby’s auction right after it was sold for £1.04 million


2019 - Paris - JR transforms Louvre’s iconic pyramid into a 2000-piece paper optical illusion

2019 - Selina Miles directs the feature documentary Martha: a picture story about graffiti photographer Martha Cooper  

2019 - London - Banksy’s painting ‘Devolved Parliament’ sells for $12 million at a Sotheby's auction, making the street artist one of the world’s most expensive artists