Graffiti and "Tagging" as Urban Art -- by, Akn0ledge
Akn0ledge... Its my "tag"! An alter ego I become when I lose myself in the dimension of this artform that often isn't exactly recognized as art at all. Wikipedia states that grafitti is "the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property. Graffiti is any type of public marking that may appear in the forms of simple written words including elaborate wall paintings." To me, Graffiti is a culture in itself with its own language, techniques, sub-genres and writers who decorate walls on cities all over the world. Mr. Tupac Shakur said it best on the track " Bomb 1st (My Second Reply )" as he shouts "located worldwide like the 'art' of graffiti" I formerly believed that it all started with Dr Revolt and Zephyr, the "Undergorund Kings" spraying subway trains in New York, and Crook and Crome reaching the "heavens" of Interstate 95 with "Miami Style Graffiti" or MSG. As it turns out, graffiti has existed for over 30,000 years dating back to the times of pre-historic men in the form of prehistoric cave paintings and other markings such as pictographs. Etching and scraping tools such as animal bones and pigments were employed much like modern instruments to illustrate hunting rituals and sceneries of the wildlife around them. Graffiti was known to be found in cermemonial parts of the caves where they dwelled. It continued on from there in the form of Egyptian hieroglyphics and even to the Ancient Romans, writing Latincurses, magic spells, declarations of love, alphabets, political slogans and famous literary quotes on facades, alley ways, and temples, providing insight into ancient Roman street life. In recent times Banksy from the UK turned a wall into a curtain for a maid to sweep the dirt under (http://www.banksy.co.uk/outdoors/horizontal_1.htm); turned a white picket fence into a comfortable place to share a cup of tea with someone(http://www.banksy.co.uk/outdoors/horizontal_1.htm ); and took the stripes off a zebra and hung them out to dry(http://www.banksy.co.uk/outdoors/horizontal_1.htm ). The possibilities are endless, just like any other art, and I feel that more writers should share what they spray, sketch, airbrush, etc. as any other piece in a collection. I heard about ARTKABINETT social network and joined immediately, seeing it as a perfect opportunity to show the world some art and photos of graffiti in my collection. I thought about all the "taggers" before me that felt they had to spray paint a train to show the world their art; whereas now, one can upload safely on line. Obviously, online representations may not be as thrilling as balancing on a highway bridge or sneaking into a metro tunnel. The internet has made it possibly to share this art in a widespread and legal fashion; and also to communicate with other artists and collectors of contemporary, modernism, impressionist, etc. so they can see the beauty that I see within this underground art form.