The origins of the term graffiti can be traced all the way back to the 1800's and the ruins of Pompeii.
markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom
'1851, for ancient wall inscriptions found in the ruins of Pompeii, from It. graffiti, pl. of graffito "a scribbling," a dim. formation from graffio "a scratch or scribble," from graffiare "to scribble." Sense extended 1877 to recently made crude drawings and scribbling.'
Graffiti today is still very much an underground culture. It takes from and belongs to, the streets. It has however slowly been moving more into the mainstream art world. You only have to look at the sale of entire walls with Bansky's work on them (more on him another day) to understand that graffiti is not just another word for vandalism.
If you need convincing take a look at the work of Alexandros Vasmoulakis, a Greek artist, below.
'Alex Tries but misunderstands'
'Fly baby fly'
'I smell something burning'
What I love about street art is that it is available to literally everyone. It is not exclusive and discovering it can feel like going on a treasure hunt into uncharted waters. Happy hunting