The change that came with the millennium involved a certain inflection within the culture of the west which might be seen as a more futuristic and technological aesthetic. The democratization of the Internet and the fast progress within the field of IT required new aesthetic tendencies fueled by cinematographic narrations. The reciprocity between society and graffiti came to force a phenomenon which manifested itself in a popularity for a certain style within graffiti, but it also became affected by the boom of graphic design which many writers used as a way to make a living. This is about three-dimensional styles, commonly known as 3d.
This trend was based on the objective to give letters a more realistic effect by using contrasts, light \ dark. A quite difficult style both in its theory and its practice when done right, and definitely a style which gave surprising results even for people with no knowledge about the matter.
Even if this style within graffiti was created in New York, the standards of the style began to show up in Europe, and mainly Germany, but coincided with the graffiti explosion on the old continent and its professionalisation and spreading throughout the rest of the countries : Daim, Loomit, Seak, Neck (Germany), Toast (Switzerland), Insa (UK), Peeta (Italy), Okuda (Spain)…
All new stylists tendencies has its cycle, and the new ones rejects the established ones. The fashion of retro styles which became popular in the mid 2000’s buried the 3D and labeled it as pretentious and off path from the purity of original graffiti.
Most definitely a typical reaction to the effect of the 2000’s. However some writers, as in the case of Lovepusher, remained true to their movement after having converted the style into a personal trademark. A new trend would arrive in the 2010’s which made writers attracted to the idea of 3D. Highlights and chrome effects came back to give graffiti a more realistic aesthetic which once again would impress the less involved general audience. This last case became exacerbated by the new massification of graffiti on Instagram and its relation to “easy likes”. Thanks to writers who have made clear that 3D is not just a fashion or trend, together with the struggle of the consistency of its popularity on the internet has now made effectful graffiti to re-emerge. Everything points towards a new era of three-dimensional letters, even if only with certain particular effects… More minority-like, more sensible, and more personal.
Text by Alberto F.