:: urbansheep (urbansheep) wrote,
:: urbansheep

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[ Q ] Graffiti: Inscribing Transgression on the Urban Landscape

Central to graffiti's power to establish identity is the predominant role of one's name. A name sets one apart from others, individualizes an anonymous individual. In the graffiti world, a name takes on special significance. A writer's name is self-chosen, based on how the writer wants to be perceived by those whom he most respects and from whom he demands respect. Names include Super Kool, Zephyr, Blade, and Mad 103. The numbers in names such as Stan 153, Eva 62, and Tracy 168, refer to the streets where these writers live, revealing identity's intrinsic tie to the urban environment. A sense of identity and pride arise as one's name is spread.

As Wicked Gary describes, "the more you begin to write your name the more you begin to think about and the more you begin to be about who you are." Perhaps not coincidentally, visibility equals respect and prestige. Getting up more than 10,000 times, IN was awarded the highly coveted name of king of all lines. High rates of visibility take precedence over style and artistic merit. Centered around one's chosen name, a multiplicity of tags, throw-ups, and pieces assert the type of presence most members of the general public usually choose to ignore. Graffiti gives youth the power of self-identity.

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