I love to use the process of graffiti tagging with markers on my paintings and prints. I am very passionate about the way the messages and tags layer up on the surface the same as they do in the street.
Graffiti Tagging is an art form that has risen in popularity as the contemporary era of art was beginning to take place. While the actual practice of graffiti tagging has been observed even during ancient times — albeit in an earlier form than what can be seen today — it is only during the most recent centuries that the art of graffiti tagging has experienced a huge following.
A common belief nowadays is that graffiti and tagging are two separate styles. Most would define graffiti as the practice of creating art pieces on a wall or any other flat surface that is usually done without permission and can be easily seen in public. On the other hand, tagging is referred to as the style of applying an artist’s “signature” on a piece of art.
However, when combined, graffiti tagging takes on a completely new form that has spawned many inspired artists to embrace the art form. As the name implies, graffiti tagging is when an artist — or in this case he/she/they is called a “tagger” — applies a distinct signature on their artworks in order to make them stand out from the rest.
Usually coming in the form of a special symbol or any other unique style which is immediately connected to the artist of the piece, the practice of applying graffiti tags has been commonplace since modern times. Also called an artist’s “logo” that makes their artworks distinct and of value depending on the popularity of the maker, graffiti tags are one of the most basic styles of graffiti making and one that truly personalizes an artwork to its creator.
The 1960s was a time when graffiti tagging was at its peak. Several prominent artists in the graffiti scene had first made their name known during this period. However, it was Darryl McCray who many people believed was the pioneer of the graffiti art technique.
Popularly going by the alias “Cornbread”, Darryl was the first modern artist who started painting on public surfaces — creating an entire culture of future street artists in the process. Brandishing his unique style with an artistic signature to boot, Cornbread tagged his name on his artworks — much to the amusement of fans and the annoyance of authorities.
Over time, especially during the 1970s and 1980s, graffiti tagging experienced a boom in modern culture. Artists would try to one-up each other by splashing their signatures across public spaces such as subway trains where graffiti tags would cover up entire train windows.
To this day, graffiti tagging has taken many forms. These include styles such as fat cap, bubble, wildstyle, heaven-spot, throw-ups, blockbuster, and many other unique techniques that have emerged since the later part of the 20th century.
Graffiti tagging continues to evolve to this day and in many different corners of the world at that. With the different variations of tags and the subsequent “culture” that began with Cornbread, it’s clear to see that the art of Graffiti Tagging is a movement that is only getting bigger as time goes by.
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