writers soon realized that just having the most tags was not enough
to stay recognized. This was the beginning of tag style. Writers began
using unique ways of writing to keep there fame. Different scripts
where used in different parts of New York City and soon one writer
was able to know were another writer was from just by his or her tag
style. This was the next step in the evolution of graffiti.
from different areas began to link up, much like breakdancers
did, into crews. These crews would find the best places to tag,
trying to make them the biggest and most elaborate they could
get. Spray paint became the tool of choice for these graf crews.
The standard spray nozzle for a can would only spray in thin
lines an the graffers could not get the desired effect out of
the spraypaint so, kids began removing the nozzles and replacing
them with nozzles from other aresol products that would change
the way the paint came out. Writers sprayed the names of there
crews in block letters which they would fill with unique designs.
These deigns then started to appear outside the letters and
often became more important than the words. By this point tagging
had metamorphosed into something far more artistic.
new elaborate deigns were called ‘pieces.’ Writers realized
that by bombing the sides of subway cars with pieces, their work would
travel around the city and be seen by everybody. Soon the entire sides
of the cars where taken up by by pieces stretching from top to bottom
and side to side. Some of these pieces would take hours to complete
and the crews that did them would often break into train yards in
order to have enough time to finish. The first top to bottom ‘masterpiece’
as it was called is attributed to one person, named SUPER KOOL 223.
Graffiti art peaked in the early 1980’s and the cities would
pay thousands of dollars to clean up graffiti, but the art never died.
Graffers soon stopped writing words and tags and would just spray
unique pictures and designs. Many graf artists became legitimate commercial
artists. From its early beginnings in Philly and New York, graffiti
spread across the nation. In the 1990’s Europe had a surge of
graffiti artists and pieces would show up all over Dutch and German
cities. As an art form graffiti still exists and a new graf artist
is born everyday, however it is unlikely that it will ever see the
popularity it saw in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
Of the four elements of hip hop, graffiti is the only one not linked
to music . Why hip hopers grasped onto graffiti as a form of expression
is unknown. Perhaps it is because just like MCing is about getting
your ‘props’ and being the illest lyricist, the goal of
graffiti is having the best most elaborate style. Whether or not this
is the reason, graffiti is still a major part of the culture as a
to see more graffiti art, check out www.artcrimes.com