15 October 2013
Final Draft Graffiti Art Taki, a man who lived on 183rd Street in Washington Heights, worked as a personal messenger who traveled all throughout the big city. While he did so, he would use a small marker and write his name wherever he went, at mostly subway stations and also the insides and outsides of subway cars. Eventually, he became known all throughout the city as a mysterious figure. In 1971, he was interviewed for a news article by the New York Times. Many children were inspired all over New York, once they realized the fame and notoriety that could easily be gained from "tagging" their names on subway cars and street corners.
Children began to copy Taki. The goal was to "get up" (slang back in the 1960s), to have one's name scribbled in as many different places as possible, which made children compete against one another to receive fame. Tagging on the insides of trains started with permanent markers, but spray cans of paint quickly became popular, especially for tagging on the exterior of trains. Graffiti became so much more than simply tagging one’s name. Graffiti writers were born. In addition to getting their name out as much as possible, the artists would try to outdo each other in terms of style. At first, writers would try to make their tagging’s (or signatures) more stylish than anyone else's. Later on, they would add more colors, special effects, cool designs and eventually making their name bigger. Spray cans allowed the large pieces of graffiti to be created fairly quickly. It was important that they tagged quickly because writers did not want to get caught by people working for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (M.T.A) or police.
Graffiti is an art expressed through writings or drawings legally or illicitly expressed on a wall or other surface usually in a public place. Graffiti artist’s sketch, scribble, scratch or spray on surfaces such as buildings, walls, and subway cars. The graffiti artist, also known as a “tagger”, can be anyone with the interest in mind. Usually the artist’s sketch out beforehand what they are going to do in a notebook and use that as a reference before tagging. The graffiti usually has street ‘slang’ and the artist’s nickname found in the piece; it has evolved into a complex art form with its own techniques and vocabulary. Various examples scratched in walls date all the way back to the fourth century in the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Egypt. Ancient Romans drew symbols on walls of buildings after they conquered battles Graffiti artists strive to improve their art, which is constantly changing. Graffiti has a complex past that over the decades has changed tremendously. This art form is still around and very popular today. The style of urban graffiti that is common with most people is the kind that uses spray cans. This type of graffiti originated in New York City. The Big Apple, back in the late 1960s, started most of what we know of modern graffiti, and was born around the subway trains because of Taki. Graffiti has a bad reputation because of its past with gangs marking territory. Gangs would mark their territory on street corners throughout major cities. Many conflicts arise from this and rival gang violence became more present. A very common misconception is that graffiti is all gang-related which it is not. Due to a large amount of tags on the interior of trains and masterpieces that spanned multiple subway cars in length, the art and science of graffiti grew incredibly. The "style wars" started in the 1970s. It was a battle between graffiti artists that were trying to get famous and the bigger and better pieces that resulted in the emergence of a whole subculture surrounding the art of graffiti. Back in the 70’s writers used to gather at "the writer's benches." Graffiti artists met at subway stations to look at each other's sketchbooks. They…