George Brassai - Graffiti (published 1961)
"Best known for his photographs of nocturnal Paris and its demimonde, Brassai also took pictures of wall carvings and markings over three decades. He was interested in how the images eventually altered, either through additions by later graffiti artists or because of the vagaries of time.”
From a 1964 interview with Brassai:
Brassai, we can say that you’ve been the photographer of Paris’s walls. How did you get so interested in all of these graffiti that made you so famous, in addition to all of these other activities?
Well, I often walked through Paris and I often observed the walls and I thought that everything that takes place on the walls is very interesting.
There are even cracks in the walls, and there are graffiti that people secretly painted there, and I started taking pictures of these things as of 1930-1932.
I had little notepads on which I wrote down the addresses, I could follow their development, because it was a collective work, there were many other people who painted and continued a graffito.
And they say that Picasso followed many of the graffiti artists.
In fact, Picasso himself really likes them, he’s done graffiti, in Montmartre, many of them, and he told me, in a bank, one day he was waiting, he found, he made a graffito, on a wall, and then the manager found out that it was a graffito by Picasso, so he had the wall taken apart, and now it’s in his apartment, along.