I got an email from a friend the other day about something I had completely forgotten. During WWII, there was a widespread graffiti campaign called “Kilroy was Here!” The message, accompanied by eyes, ears, nose, and hands watching over a fence, was found in both conspicuous and inconspicuous places, from the walls of shelled buildings, to the inside of the holds of warships, from the South Pacific to Europe, from the Statue of Liberty to the Arc de Triomphe, wherever U.S. G.I.s went they inscribed the graffiti and claimed it had already been there when they arrived. Kilroy, it seemed, was everywhere. Only after the war, when a contest was held to find the real Kilroy, did the whole story come out.
James Kilroy, an inspector in the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Mass., was required to count the number of rivets on the ships being built. When he counted them, he put a check mark and wrote the number on his tally sheet. At the end of his shift, riveters would erase his marks (done in semi-waxed lumber chalk) and then the night shift worker would count them again. The riveters were getting double pay. Kilroy’s boss, upset at the mounting costs, asked him to investigate. When he discovered what was going on, he began signing his name in huge letters. After a while, he started adding the figure watching over the work. Since ships were being sent out with urgency due to the war, these messages, which would under normal circumstances have been painted over, went out with the ships and the slogan fired the imagination of the embarking servicemen. “Kilroy” soon spread into every corner of the war. Rumour has it the slogan is even written on Mt. Everest and in the dust on the moon!
Now it’s spreading through the Internet. I started wondering if graffiti on walls and buildings, in subways and ALLEYWAYS will die out. After all, people can publish their graffiti all over the web from wherever they are and with whatever device is handy.
- paint, and
are no longer necessary.
Use your smart phone, your ipad, your laptop, or even your smart watch now.
A multi-colour palette is available at a single click. Choose your font and size, arc it, make it a box, stretch it, be creative. Do what you will; say what you will. Graffiti of the 21st century is morphing! What will come next? You tell us!