Thursday, October 29, 2009

Graffiti IS Calligraphy


Even though we tend to associate graffiti with vandalism, the truth is that it's just an avantgarde and usually outdoor form of calligraphy. One dictionary describes calligraphy as "fancy penmanship, esp. highly decorative handwriting, . . . " So you could say that using the term CALLIGRAFFITI is really just a bit redundant. I think that there are those who want to take the familiar formalism of what we recognize as calligraphy and give it some street-cred by including drips and brashness. At least that's how I felt about the work of "Shoe" from the last post. There are others though, who might be trying to define a sub-genre. . .
Of all the results from my Image Searches, my favorite work was that of Merrill Shatzman, below(titled Calligraffiti#2 - a woodcut on paper). You'll find this and a dozen other images of her work at Adam Cave Fine Art.

This new term certainly has it's supporters.

The image below is from a Post on Brushsong about the Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art, Show at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.

Others still, are convinced that their work straddles both worlds and regardless of our opinions, these artists have embraced this description for their oeuvre and consequently any argument becomes a mute point.

The image below from Madny Al Bakry's Website, rounds out our little sampling which I hope has piqued your interest to investigate further.

Top image is by A1one from Blind Angle.

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