It all began with Andy Warhol and his famous piece, Marilyn Diptych.
Just kidding, silk screen printing has been around since approximately 1000 AD China. Because silk was the best natural material to use, it didn't catch on in the West until silk became readily available many centuries later.
Back to Warhol and Marilyn Monroe. What the Marilyn Diptych really did was to bring screen printing into the fine art world. Artists were more free to use this medium to create their work, and screen printers were finally starting to be respected as artists.
This enabled more people than ever before to express themselves through screen printing. Remember the Obama "Hope" image that captivated the world? Shepard Fairey screen printed the first posters and sold them on the street. It was and still is art made for all of us. And available to all of us.
It's hard to imagine modern art without screen printing. It allows artists like Fairey and Hebru Brantley to bring pop art to the street and street art to the galleries of the world.
It's also relatively simple to start printing your own designs at home. There are plenty of tutorials online to show you how, and interviews with artists to get you inspired. Ancient and modern, screen printed art is here to stay.