From Visual AIDS:
In the late 1970s and 1980s, stencils were popular in punk culture and utilized to create gig fliers, album covers, and homemade T-shirts and clothing. Stencils eventually made their way onto the sidewalks in the form of street paintings. The ease with which images can be replicated using stencils makes them attractive to many artists. With stencils one can occupy tight spaces and paint unconventional surfaces while creating images rapidly. Stencils also lend themselves to collaborative projects of social, political, and activist intent. Such was the case with the work of Jane Bauman, David Wojnarowicz, and other artists represented by Civilian Warfare Gallery.