Just before the Tate Gallery was thought of, men used to hunt for food with bows and arrows.
Of course we all know that. We also know that men with uncombed long hair used to dwell in caves. Their days were pretty busy, what with all that hunting, gathering and rubbing sticks together and sharpenning their flint arrowheads.
At that time though, paper and canvas hadn't been invented and so graffiti was.
Just imagine the family: pa Dick, ma Dick, with sons Juan Dic, (pronounced Whon), Francoiuse Dick (Frank), Athur Dick, Micheal Dick (Mik Dick), plus daughters Ada, Betty and Mabel. These are thier full names of course as time was so short, family members would only have been recognised by grunts (a bit like the modern day family).
The Dick family, just after the sun went down, and by the light of their cave fire, were tearing off bits of Gnu legs and munching on the root of the spaghetti bush.
Arthur was pondering the fact that TV was yet to be invented, The radio was useless because broadcasting stations and the BBC and Luxenburg hadn't been thought of then. And as a precursor to our glossy magazines, books and the Radio Times, he decided to scratch stuff on the walls.The rest of the family was oblivious to Arthurs workings as they were all slightly pied from dringink too much fermented Yak juice.
Come the morning, it is a different story, with the sun illuminating the walls of their des res. Pa Dick (as down though history all other Dicks have) exclaims "whaasat." Total family confusion reigns (a bit like the modern day family) as the rest can't focus well on the walls. When they do, accusations abound and each family member is accused of obscuring the nice stone walls with images of beasties.
Today we now know where the origin of the phrase comes from: "But is it Art?"