What is a graffiti tag? Ok so this to a lot of people maybe a stupid question,
To put it simply it’s a writer’s (what you would call graffiti artist) signature.
Most commonly disliked for its association with people vandalising properties. It’s mostly used for speed and it’s fast application. However it is so much more important to acknowledge its place in the history of the evolution of graffiti as well as well as how people how brought it’s use into the high end of this art form.
The use of it and the perception of it come very much hand in hand. A graffiti tag is mostly associated with a negative response. When some one addresses you as an artist or even on a basic introduction, the common response is,” your not one of those taggers are you?” Which is normally a close follower to “your not Bansky are you? To both of these I have to say a very firm no, however it also pains me to do so.
If you look at the way these graffiti tags are now what we call” handstyles” they have their own subculture of people obsessed with the way in which you deliver your tag. Almost like a favourite font on a computer but with alot more finesse.
Some guys have taken their basic tag and created the most epic pieces with them such as Voyyder, whose work I am obsessed with by the way, and some have taken the most basic tag and repeated it like a texture to create a wall paper typed effect, which has been used in such upmarket venues such as Vandal in New York.
You can never knock a graffiti tag as it is the most basic part of the entire scene. When they first appeared arguably in Philadelphia in the early 1960’s before they were made famous in New York inspiring the desire to be noticed and leave a message to the wider community, the most important one being here I am read my name. Remember it.
So going back to when you are asked that common greeting of are you one of those taggers…well yes bud we all are. I just choose the most personal way of utilizing it in my work and without that as all of our bases for our art as writers, what are we saying with our work?
It’s about time we showed off such as the examples above how great a tool a graffiti tag is.