Not your Average Christmas Card: Santa Claus Graffiti

The name Santa Claus is believed to originate from the Dutch Sinterklaas, which may be an abbreviation of Saint Nicholas. Other names for Santa Claus include Father Christmas and Saint Nick.

The modern Santa Claus image was first introduced in 1863 by world-renowned cartoonist and caricaturist, Thomas Nast. His artist’s sketch showed a rosy cheeked old man, puffing on a tobacco pipe while holding an armful of toys. This image became so popular that it was adopted by Christian societies around the world. Shown below is Thomas Nast’s original Santa Claus design, which was published in the Christmas edition of Harper’s Weekly in 1863, alongside a graffiti art version of the original design.

Thomas Nast Original Santa Claus Character Design Thomas Nast Father Christmas Santa Claus Graffiti Art



Santa Claus Graffiti

Popular media portrays Santa Claus as being a jolly old man with a big white beard, wearing a red suit that is trimmed with white fur. The character design is flexible, as long as the central design elements (listed above) are adhered to. Other items that are sometimes shown with Santa are reading glasses and/or a walking stick.

Santa Claus Graffiti Christmas Street Art Santa Claus Train Graffiti Spraypaint ArtSanta Claus Christmas Graffiti Street Art

Santa Claus Glasses Graffiti Street Art Santa Claus Christmas Gifts Graffiti



Evil Santa Claus Graffiti

For every “good” or “cute” character, there is an art movement to create evil versions of the character (see The Dark Side of Hello Kitty for evil versions of Hello Kitty). The Santa Claus doppelgangers shown below explore a dark, evil side of Santa that is not suggested by popular media. This is the kind of evil Santa who might give Creepy Christmas Gifts to naughty children.

Evil Santa Claus Graffiti Dope Smoking

Soldier Santa Claus Christmas Graffiti

Evil Santa Claus Graffiti Gun War



Santa Claus Featuring Famous Faces

Santa Claus is a symbol of peace, joy and generosity. By depicting a celebrity or famous personage as Santa, a powerful statement can be made. An especially powerful contrasting metaphor can be created if the famous character or person is thought of as evil.


Graffiti of Jack Skellington as Santa Claus

An example of an “evil” character portrayed as Santa Claus Jack Skellington, from the movie A Nightmare Before Christmas, was supposedly the personification of all things creepy and deadly. The skeleton is shown below, in the guise of Santa Claus.

Jack Skellington as Santa Claus Graffiti Art



Graffiti of Osama bin Laden as Santa Claus

In the image shown below, Osama bin Laden is depicted as Santa Claus. Bin Laden was believed to be a leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York in 2001.

Osama bin Laden as Santa Claus American Activist Graffiti



Graffiti of Banksy’s Rat as Santa Claus

World famous graffiti artist, Banksy, often uses rats as subjects in his graffiti art. Whether or not this piece was sprayed by Banksy or not is uncertain, but the rat character design is certainly reminiscent of Banksy’s graffiti style. Here the rat is shown dressed as Santa Claus. Next to it are the words, “Stop this seasonal madness. Go home and eat chocolate.”

Banksy's Rat as Santa Claus Graffiti Art
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1018 days ago by in Art , Graffiti | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
One Comment to Not your Average Christmas Card: Santa Claus Graffiti
  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Merry Christmas: The legend of Santa Claus

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