Sunday, February 27, 2011

We Love a Good Tag - M&F's View on Graffiti

A lot of folks have been getting bent out of shape about our calling out the fools who tag a Banksy. We think its weak sauce. But as for the tag itself, well, we have a lot of love for the tag . . .

People who think we are talking smack on graffiti must not follow the blog.

We have a lot of love for the tag. We believe tagging is the purest form of graffiti and getting up, and most of the time, we prefer a sick hand style tag to a full color burner any day.

MELROSEandFAIRFAX one of the only 'street art' blogs who covers graffiti, let alone tagging. Sure, there are plenty of graffiti websites, but most seem to draw a straight line between street art and graffiti. Graffiti blogs don't cover street art, and street art blogs only cover the biggest names and big installations. But we cover it--a lot. (maybe not since Banksy has come to town, but things have been so thick with that, that we haven't had time to cover much else, either)

Sometimes we wonder if its worth it? We get more shitty comments about the graffiti posts than anything else. And, while the graffiti community never seems pleased, on the flip side, a good part of the street art fans see tagging as pure vandalism, not art.

But the reason we keep doing it is because we think graffiti is an intrinsic part of what is happening on the streets. Quite simply, we feel you can't do the street scene justice, without showing the graffiti on the streets.

We love tags. We love getting up. And we love a good handstyle.

Still, there are a lot of things about the graffiti culture that we think are complete bullshit. One of those things is needless going over. Some writers seem to think that it gives more credibility when you go over something, or in Banksy's case, ruin it. We think that this belief is totally lame.

Sure, if you've got street beef, handle it the way it needs to be handled, but to just go over anything, just cause its there, only says you can't really make a name for yourself, so you try to ruin it for somebody else.

You can go to any little neighborhood most anywhere in America, and where you see graffiti, you will see fools crossing each other out. These are never any names anyone will ever remember. But when you look at the cats with the sick handstyles, the ones that craft their art, the ones that go big and go city wide, these are the kings who get up to stay up. They will handle their business and get respect, and they will keep making a name while the 'toys' keep crossing each other out.

The 'going over for the sake of going over' seems to be more rooted in graffiti than street art. But as far as street art goes, like we've said to street artists many times, don't pick up a spray can unless you know how to use it. It is embarrassing to have some wack-ass style next to a cool art piece.

And as for the tagging on the Banksy's, it is not so much 'a part of the street' as everyone says. Sure, the streets change, and art on the streets is temporary. But the fact is, every single one of the Banksy's was left unmolested until they were identified as Banksy's. 'The streets' seemed to have accepted the art. It was only when they were identified as Banksy pieces that the fame-hating went down and the pieces got hit up.

Furthermore, graffiti writers shouldn't get blamed as much as they do. Graffiti gets blamed for a lot of things that aren't their fault. Usually its just some random asshole. Only one Banksy was defaced by a true graffiti writer, the rest were just some random jerk with a marker or a can of paint.

So, to sum it all up, we love a good tag, but we sure hate fame-hatin'!


  1. Can't say I'm really into tagging...however I love seeing pictures of the cat on the leash.

  2. Tags are some of the most beautiful things on the street.

  3. It all started with Graffiti. Sick hand styles, trying to out do the next guy.

    Toys have no concept of "don't pick up a spray can unless you know how to use it. It is embarrassing to have some wack-ass style next to a cool art piece." If their heart was really into it. They would check out Blogs like Melroseandfairfax, Graf Sites, Books, drive around or even catch a bus. Check out whats around you See what stands out, look at the different styles. Before, you spray some whack ass shit.