I assume that all graffiti artists, like me, are somewhat obsessed with typography. Different fonts & the way that they lean, how the letters are structured, varying widths, spacing, size, colour, all add to the beauty in our obsession with typefaces and writing the same letters, over and over and over and over.
Coming up with this blog post, I was reminded of the documentary Beautiful Losers, which has a really nice segment on Margaret Kilgallen (RIP). In it, she speaks on human imperfection in art, and I think encompasses the ideals of tagging and graffiti as a whole. She was married to one of the sickest handstyle artists ever — Twist/Twister — but passed away shortly after the filming of Beautiful Losers. It acts as an abrupt plot-changer in the documentary and now… I guess… I kinda… spoiled that part for you but nonetheless, this is a great segment in a great documentary that follows some really fresh and interesting graffiti artists (Twist & Espo are particularly inspiring in the film as well as Margaret). I won’t keep you waiting, here’s Margaret Kilgallen’s section — I hope you enjoy!
A lot of people around me and lot of my friends we all vibe off each other, we all see each other do something or come up with something or do a cool little twist, we take it and adopt it, but most importantly do it in our own little way or do our own little interpretation of it. I think that’s what helps things progress and move forward and keeps things interesting is a constant evolution, constant building on ideas and taking them further and trying to advance with them further. Everything everybody is doing today in graffiti is based upon something somebody else has done at some point or another, maybe they’re doing it in their own way which is great, its admirable or there’s the latter, they’re straight up copying somebody and that’s the differentiating factor.
Sometimes it’s a little grey and hard to define, but generally people know what’s up, you have a trained eye you can see, somebody is biting somebody or not. There’s a tasteful way of doing things and being inspired and building upon other peoples ideas and then there is straight up biting and that obviously gets no respect and is something that’s heavily frowned upon in graffiti, as it should be.