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Art School Graffiti

Discussion in 'Third Rail' started by Graf Orlok, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Graf Orlok

    Graf Orlok Junior Member

    Joined: Oct 8, 2001 Messages: 105 Likes Received: 0
    I just wanted to try to get a discussion going about non-traditional graffiti - aka art school graffiti. Is it legit? What do you all think about artists who are using aerisol but have no intentions of learning or even attempting letter styles. I have seen a growth of graffiti that involves characters and images without a 'tag'. Are these people graffiti writers or just public painters? Is text a requirement for graffiti?
    Some great writers seem better known (at least to the greater public) for characters more than letter styles... Twist, Bigfoot, Dalek....
    I know these people all are also taggers as well, but what about someone who doesn't even try 'traditional' graffiti, like Banksy? Which brings us to the topics of wheatpasting and propaganda. Is it graffiti? What about somebody who uses graf letters but doesn't subscribe to a handle, or particular tag? If these people aren't 'writers', what do we call them?
    I enjoy all types, and I guess it is just a matter of labelling.

    Oh yeah, I'm fully aware that a post of this type will brand me both an 'art fag' and a 'toy', so there is no need to post a reply saying so. I'm also aware that the lack of ghetto slang may make some members suspect that I am a cop. So please, there are hundreds of other threads that you can post your disses on, let us keep this one thoughtful and intelligent, if at all possible.
  2. zen

    zen New Jack

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 0
    graffiti is graffiti

    first of all you worry too much about what people have to say. 12 oz has ALOT of picky writers so get on with it. any way the main message is.....
    i figure if you write on an object that dosent belong to you, i can appretiate it as graffiti and so should you. end comunication.
  3. I Luv Roo

    I Luv Roo Member

    Joined: Aug 20, 2001 Messages: 733 Likes Received: 0
    wait a sec crack,
    just because you thing you have all the fucking answers gives you no right to try to 'end discussion'. I think the point is to hear differing points of views - not just yours.

    To me, that arty graffiti is all good and wonderful, but those gallery graffiti artists have changed alot in this scene. They're wonderful and talented artists and may very well have bombed alot, but now they ristrict themselves to galleries - so it's really not graff, however in gallery and museum write-ups it's always described as 'street art' or graffiti culture or whatever. Now so many graffiti writers want to be famous gallery artists too - I feel it detracts from the true meaning of graffiti because all you see is one gimmick after another. We all want success and fame, it just depends on how one sells oneself...

    Too many thoughts...can't get them out.
  4. Unregistered

    Unregistered Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 30, 2001 Messages: 154 Likes Received: 0
    I like the topic, here's my thoughts:

    I think there is, and has been, emerging a certain "feel" to what most of us do as writers, and a certain level of doing it before it can be considered "Graf;" the best general word I can think of to describe the art/sport/activity/whatever of writing on property with either words or pictures regularly and illegally.


    Obviously, if a person decides to start painting a given name on property illegally, works to develop a signature style, progresses/advances artistically with time, pushes the limits, etc., then yes, it is "Graf."

    If a person grabs a can of hot pink spray paint and paints his/her initials and/or random shit all over a wall, or where ever, then no, I don't consider that "Graf," as it's basically come to be known among serious writers. I would consider that wasting 2-3 minutes of life which could be spent doing something better, like ironing or poking ones' self in the eye with a safety pin.

    If a person decides to start illegally painting property without the use of a given name or letters/words by, say, painting different images, pictures, figures, symbols, etc., then yes, I would consider it "Graf," as it is simply the illegal painting/marking of property, only without the "traditional" trademarks of tags, throw ups or pieces.

    One thing I'm sick of is people trying to pidgeon-hole Graf into such strict limitations. Why shouldn't it continue to evolve into different incarnations as time goes on? Letters and tagging are fundamental elements of Graf but so what, closed mindedness is stupid.
  5. Pilau Hands

    Pilau Hands Guest

    Well, while I don't go to art school, I've had an appreciation for art since I was little. Basically I don't have the money or the confidence to give it a go. I think I might learn a lot in art school, but I like being somewhat "self-taught." That does being up the point though, what is good art and what is bad...can art be taught and developed by saying This is wrong, This is right. Anyway...

    I picked up graffiti in high school. I just started because I had always seen it, and kids around me were now doing it. Eventually though, I lost a lot of interest in it. The thing I enjoy about "art school graffiti," goes along with what Unregistered said. I like the fact that tomorrow somebody might come up with something that completely changes the way we see a letter...and a lot of writers have mentioned that's precisely what graffiti's about. I started trying to develop my own style, I've tried wild styles, old school styles...and all just so I could say I did it. Lately though, I've been working on canvasses more, and that has lent itself to how I form my letters. Honestly, yeah I would like to sell some, so I can buy more supplies.

    I've said it once and I'll say it again:

    At times I hate graffiti. Sometimes it just seems like one more thing that people have constructed so they can feel special in a society that's told them they aren't special. This is positive up to the point when someone wants to set definitions and tell you that "You're not real." Then you're back to square one: This is my pile of shit, go get your own! One of the reasons I like graffiti now is it's public art context. The fact that it's not supposed to be there, yet it is, and if you can appreciate it then go right on and do that, free of charge no less.

    When someone starts out writing (a toy) and they immediately try to be innovative, I feel the graffiti asshole come out within me. That guy wants to say "Hey kid, stick to straight letters for a while, then try to change them." But I hate that guy. This kid, with his silly loops and swirls, could one day be doing really great stuff that's outside the norm, all BECAUSE he didn't even go to straight letters. I can name one guy right now for whom (in my eyes) that's worked, and of course a lot of writers hate his stuff.

    Nowadays, I'd much rather be called a public painter, than a writer.

    If you don't name it, and just enjoy it...it's much more fun. Everyone spends so much time trying to keep kids out of the special clubhouse, just so they can belong. It's all hierarchy bullshit. "I've been doing dope letters for years, so in the graffiti world, I'm better than you." I don't buy that stuff. It's all opinion to me, and I don't care how long you've been painting, if I think it's crap, then I think it's crap. This is why I won't be a writer any time soon.

    If everyone gave a little less of a fuck what the next one is doing, there might be more fun, more bombing, and more art...

    Or maybe it would all go to shit. What do I know?
  6. BROWNer

    BROWNer Guest

    this may come off pretentious, but
    i got to a point when i stopped
    giving a shit about other writers
    and what i was supposed to do
    to be a 'graffiti writer'. everyone
    has their tag, their throwie, their
    simple, their semi-wild, their
    wildstyle, their 3D, their 'abstract',
    and their bboy character.
    shit is mad played.
    do whatever you want.
  7. Cursedx3

    Cursedx3 New Jack

    Joined: Dec 31, 2001 Messages: 1 Likes Received: 0
    Graffiti shouldn't be about whether it fits in or not. As long as someone goes out to write for a purpose other than just "wrecking shit", let them do whatever the hell they want.


    Trying to keep graffiti in the boundaries of "letters with 3d and uni" is like fascism.
    graff would be better and more creative if more people tried to step away from letterings.
  9. zen

    zen New Jack

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 0
    sorry roo lover

    sorry. 'end comunication' does not mean end of dicusion. im sorry you thought that.
  10. b/d

    b/d Junior Member

    Joined: Dec 11, 2001 Messages: 186 Likes Received: 0
    do what you want.....
  11. jah

    jah Elite Member

    Joined: Dec 30, 2001 Messages: 2,705 Likes Received: 2
    um.... ill coment on ur post another time but for right now i just wanna say that twist has fuckin tight letters
  12. Are2

    Are2 Guest

    ..first off...

    graffiti is beautiful because it can be whatever the person wants it to be..
    i think, at its heart, graf is just illegal expressions (of visual art)

    but, its basis is on the street, and that is where one gains legitimacy as a writer...

    art school may help technique, but i don't think it helps one be a better writer..learning graffiti in art school is learning punk rock at julliard..

    i wish i had stuck with more of my abstractions of graf
    i got started in graf doing crazy stuff, whatever, not always letters (but usually involving letters or characters)....i didn't gain any respect..a lot of people told me that the whole letter thing is neccesary...which, in a way, it is...but mainly for establishing oneself as a graf writer...

    i am trying to get back into the weirder shit i did years ago..and away from
    "the formula"...letters, 3D

    i don't have very much respect for art schools, but of course they can be an extremely useful tool...just not for me..

    a lot of the best graf is more artistic than letter/3D based...
    (daim, joker, twist, miss van)

    but some of the incredible stuff is letters as well..like revs and cost

    and some is just so balls out it can't be ignored..like jaone

    there is no definition of graf that will please everyone...but that is the best part,,it is illegal, and ultimately, will become what all writers worldwide make it, simply by perpetuating its existance..on walls, in books, on canvas, in the mind..

    ok..i'm done talkin shit.
  13. Sonik3000

    Sonik3000 Senior Member

    Joined: Apr 10, 2000 Messages: 2,452 Likes Received: 3
    That quote about learning graffiti at art school being like learning punk rock at Julliard is fucking classy genius... Ima remember that and use it a lot.

    Whatever you do with art or graffiti has to make you happy. If it doesnt, you suck and need to try something else.

    I empathize a great deal with Pilau Hands sentiments. Art school wasnt - and still isnt - for me. The thing I miss is some of the technique, the hours youd spend drawing naked people, mostly. For some people whose talents do lie in representational work, and whose career desires are artistic, art school is the place to be.

    But then again thats just technique, and good art is about style and content. And you dont need to be good at art to be really fucking good at graffiti. Thats cool, and please dont forget it.

    To me the technical definition of graffiti is illegally placed letters. I do a lot of stuff both in and out of this definition. I like being pretty well rounded and diverse, but theres some stuff that I could honestly care less about - like throwups and clean trains, for some reason.

    But my artwork makes me really happy and I wake up every morning excited to get busy.

    And that makes me real dope.

  14. imported_b0b

    imported_b0b Guest

    I see un-traditional, non letter based graffiti (be it with characters, stenciles, posters) as a separate genre of graf. They aren;t trying to compete as such with writers, but do the same things as them. Using the same methods to achieve different ends.

    What are your thoughts on this? I know a couple of writers that paint an awful lot and mainly illegally, but everytime they paint they use a different word. So as such they don;t have a regular tag, but do graffiti within the normal confines of graffiti. Personally I find that harder to understand than another writer I know who doesn;t actually tag, but uses a character to get up
  15. Pilau Hands

    Pilau Hands Guest

    haha it's stuff like that, that makes the country dimmer in your absence.

    without jocking too hard, i have to say that sonik and the twins are a big inspiration. the mix of letters with imagery is able to remain graffiti, without the idea stopping at the end of your forcefield. but the most influential aspect has to be the pure joy of it. if you're not happy with what you're doing, (not frustration...frustration is part of everything) if it just doesn't make you happy...then why are you doing it? i'll paint letters, numbers, portraits, animals, silverware, ottomans...just walk away with a smile.

    crazeeb0b, that's a good way of putting it...you put words to my thoughts. using a different name to get up every time is interesting. it implies that they rely more on their technique for recognition...or they just enjoy painting letters, so they gotta switch it up...or perhaps the most puzzling of all to people...some just don't want recognition at all. i mean one of the principles of graffiti has been to have people recognize your stuff, and have the respect come back to you, until you're king...but what if you walk around as fifteen different guys every month? it's really refreshing to me.

    i've tried to stop painting letters a few times...and the fact is i just can't quit cold turkey. i'll probably be scribbling handstyles on my kids' doctors bills. i've been doing it for only a short while, but it just gets engrained in your memory. sit down to sketch something and damnit...is that a letter in the corner?!