History Of Subway Graffiti Art Essay

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The history of the underground art movement known by many names, most commonly graffiti begins in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the mid to late 60's, and started with bombing. The writers who are credited with the first effort are CORNBREAD and COOL EARL. They wrote their names all over the city gaining attention from the community and the local press. Then the movement made way to New York City where the teenagers would write graffiti on the subways. It is unclear whether this concept made way to New York City on purpose or if it was an accident. Shortly after the CORNBREAD and COOL EARL effort, the Washington Heights section of Manhattan was giving birth to new writers. In 1971 The New York Times published an article on one of…show more content…
Writers enhanced their tags with stars and other designs. Some designs were for visual purpose while others had meaning. For instance crowns were used by writers proclaiming themselves as king. The next development was scale. Writers started to make their tags to a larger scale. The standard nozzle width of a spray paint can is narrow so these larger tags while drawing more attention than a standard tag did not have much visual weight. Writers began to increase the thickness of the letters and would also outline them with an additional color. Writers discovered that caps from other aerosol products could provide them with a larger width of spray. This led to the development of the masterpiece. It is difficult to say who did the first masterpiece, but is commonly credited to SUPER KOOL 223 of the Bronx and WAP of Brooklyn. The thicker letters provided the opportunity to enhance the name. Writers decorated the interior of the letters with what were termed "designs." First with simple polka dots and later with stars. Designs were limited to the writer's imagination. Writers eventually started to make the masterpieces the entire height of the subway car. These masterpieces were termed top to bottoms. The addition color design and scale were advancements but still strongly resembled the tags on what they were based. The competitive atmosphere led to the development of actual styles, which would depart from the tag styled

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