Make no mistake: the difference between "tag" and "graffiti".

Make no mistake: the difference between "tag" and "graffiti".

The two words present in the lexicon of street-art are sometimes the subject of confusion. It is rare, in fact, to grasp the difference between the two terms, which are nevertheless quite distinct. Let's see the difference together.

Graffiti has always existed, it is used in archeology since it is the testimony of time, other than literature, rather popular. It was in the 20th century that it became part of the artistic world and since then it has been omnipresent in order to demonstrate a desire for revolt. It is used to express ideas in a place where the public is always present: the street. More colorful, with varied forms, unlike the fixed TAG, it evolves over time according to the artist's style and desires.

The TAG, in particular, represents the signature. It is the starting point for a career as an artist in street art, and in itself constitutes his style as a graffiti artist. Realized quickly, plated here and there as soon as the opportunity arises, the lettering is representative of the street artist who signs. This lettering can also represent his graffiti style. It is found everywhere, it is part of the daily life of city dwellers and for that it is connoted negatively because it "stains" the shop fronts, or transport and walls. Considered an "incivility", it is nevertheless an integral part of urban culture, of the world of graffiti.

TAG Comer

In both cases, it is a question of marking the walls of the city, leaving the mark of its passage and of signifying its existence in a spirit of revolt. If many go to the canvas, the feeling is always the same. This urban art draws its essence from freedom and this is the motivation of street artists. On the HIYA gallery, we find this rebellious and passionate spirit that drives our artists.

You may also know the "throw-up" or "flop", which is the intermediate form between TAG and graffiti. The style is more generally simple, in a “bubble” form, it is produced in a single continuous line. They are made quickly, usually using two colors: one for the outline and another for the fill.


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