Press Review

Tablets of Chanteroels
Qu’est ce qu’un Tag ?

What is a Tag ?

Literally speaking (August 2003)

Tags first occurred at the beginning of the 70s when the felt pen appeared. Some twelve year old kids, who were mostly coloured or Puerto Rican, started writing inside subway carriages in Philadelphia and New York. They began writing between the doors and windows,then at the top of the carriage and eventually where it was possible and where they could access. The inside of the carriages was already covered with graffiti and the ink of the felt pens was beginning to spread outside, around the carriage doors when the spray cans first appeared. With this new tool, the tags became what they still are today. Generally speaking, all tags at that time were composed of the first letters of the individual’s name to which was added the number of the street where he lived. Since that time, the characters have naturally become more concentrated and have even overlapped because, at the time of its birth, this mark of one’s urban territorial identity had to fight for space in order to exist and to give rise to the shapes we are now familiar with.