The art of tagging. It sounds like an oxymoron, but in reality it isn’t. There is a real form and function behind the tag, and the style of the tag itself.
The book ‘Flip The Script’ would have to be one of the largest, commercially available “dictionaries” of hand styles and typography associated to tagging every created. The author Christian P. Acker states that ‘Graffiti is one of the last strongholds of highly refined penmanship’, and I would have to completely agree. The way and time these men and woman, boys and girls, dedicate to just writing a simple name is incredible. you can skim through thousands of videos on YouTube, watching these people practice and practice and evolving their tag.
I remember one artist stating he thought he wrote his tag over 100,000 times before he even tried to take it into the street. Even my own practice would total maybe 10,000 and I’m still not quite happy with the way it looks.
Here in Melbourne, our tagging and bombing scene is very low key and covert. It’s very hard to get close to these artists, let alone photograph them or speak to them. My dream would be to spend time getting to know some of the artists in Melbourne or Internationally, and discuss there respective styles and how it came about.
For me it would be a wonderful photographic project of not only subculture, but an insight into how typography has evolved.