“Technique and Aesthetics” Text Cuts and Additional Commentary
This a photo of Edward Seymour, who invented spray paint in 1949. All Hail!
Writers will notice that in Risk’s quote on page 50, that he refers to the Grumbacher (and Testor) caps that make a nice inch wide line (approximately) as “fat caps” because they are bigger than the stock caps/tips. This is in contrast to most writers that refer to these caps as skinny caps (even if they don’t produce a super-fine like others).
I mention that some writers emphasize letter blends, and some emphasize segmenting the letter forms, although it is common to mix these visual devices. Fear, who flips particularly segmented letters (originally doing more blended/unbroken letterforms and started the segmented “brackets” approach in the late nineties), wondered where his influence came from, because he noticed Kofie working in a similar vein at the same time. But it’s interesting to note that Fuse was doing totally segmented letters in the early nineties. Notice the Fuse piece on page 66: the top of the “F” blends into the “U” but the “U” breaks at the bottom, and then at the top blends into downward middle slope of the “S” which spills into the “E” while the top of the segmented “S” blends into the top form of the “E” while the bottom of the “S” blends into the bottom segment of the “E.”
“Flipping The Script: Legibility” Text Cuts and Additonal Commentary
On page 71, I mention “Humanist fonts.” Humanist fonts were so named because the first fonts were used for religious texts: the first book printed with movable type (invented by Johannes Gutenberg) in the 1450s was the Bible. Eventually, texts of non-religious matter (“humanist”) were printed, and simplified clearer fonts were devised. To see the original fonts that Gutenberg used, go to www.dafont.com/1454-gutenberg-bibe.font, and be impressed by the creativity of this early style.
If it isn’t clear, the top photo on page 72-3 is a colaboration with Sever, Totem, Revok, Ewok and Saber altering the letters of their names in that order, i.e. STRES etc. Even though a bit of context is lost by isolating each letter below, it’s a good example of how different writers flip their letters.
On page 76, lower left, is a piece by Jo Jo (illustrating pop art “splat” forms) that says “style.” It was part of three pieces by TPS crew that spelled out “The Philly Style,” which is the original translation of TPS.
Because the first question of friendly outsiders watching writers paint is “What’s it say?,” Perk started playing that part while Relm and Delo were painting, saying over and over “But what’s it say?! What’s it say?!” until they could barely continue. I really wanted this picture in the book, but the editors thought it looked too much like Delo (on the right) was peeing, when he was just laughing.
While many previous periods of popular graphics (such as Art Nouveau posters of Mucha and Beardsley) have served as inspirations in writing letter forms, Rick Griffin, who was one of the first writers to use classic Cholo style in pop graphics, along with Wes Wilson, and Stanley Mouse (three of the “Big 5” psychedelic poster guys, the other two being Alton Kelly and Victor Moscoso) are probably the most graffiti-influential artists that came out of the San Francisco Hippie ballroom poster movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. They started a pre-hip-hop youth oriented art movement that created novel letterforms and imagery, even if it didn’t inspire the same kind of grassroots involvement as the present graffiti movement.
“Rick Griffin’s Dog Town logo really inspired me. Griffin and Hendrix were my gods.”
“Can Control” additional quotes:
“LTS is real urban, ghetto street L.A. writing. Not like New York at all.”
“Siner is the dopest writer in the history of L.A. He has been consistent for twenty years and fresh as fuck. LTS has not gotten its due.”
“Representational Elements” Text Cuts And Additional Commentary
Kofie began as a character painter when an older writer who couldn’t do characters very well told him, looking at his character sketches, that real graff was letters, not characters, so he thought Fuck You!, and stuck to characters to show it could be done.
My appologies to Kofie: he wanted his name and crew history listed as “Kofie One TPS 93 UTI 95 RF 96/7 VT 97/8 WCA 2001 Draftsmen,” but that got chopped in the editing.
Slick and Hex TGO were considered by many to be the first two highly skilled character painters in L.A. to do the figure from head to shoe. They had two highly publicized battles, the one at the Levitz walls in January of ’90 being documented for T.V. The second battle was at Belmont. While most writers were inspired by the skills shown by both artists, it also brought up an ongoing debate in graffiti circles as to what constitutes graffiti.
NOTE: a few more good character related photos will be posted when I get my slides back from the publisher. At that time, I’ll also be able to supply dates for all the photos on this site.
“Slick was the early one to really model the characters along with Hex TGO. Both went to art school. Hex was thinking about art 24/7 before getting into Jesus.”
An interesting collaboration of east and west sides took place when Risk, Slick and Dante formed the core of Aerosolics, producing some virtuoso productions.