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Tagging Becoming More a Chicago Norm

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By Jeramie L Bizzle

Big cursive letters surrounded by multicolored imaging depicting a message of a crew, phrase or character. This is some of the things you are bound to notice while riding on the green line if it is not actually on the train it self. Tagging in the city of Chicago is getting bigger as more artist are deciding to ditch the canvas and express their art to the world.

Tagging for year have been associated with gangs and vandalism that are seen by society as those who are destroying the city. Tag artist who argue against the art say they are not going around spraying gang names, but expressing their creativity to the city.
Local Chicago Artist simply named Drane, 24, said that they hate when they are labeled as gang members.

“We hate the word, 'tagging'. We're writers, and we bomb and piece, not tag. Tagging is what gang-bangers do on your garage.I've been doing graffiti since I can remember. My older brother was deep in the game as well, so I always grew up around it. Drane said.

He also says that Once you get your name up enough, you reach a certain level of fame. Others become inspired others and get satisfaction of looking at a bright, colorful, face-smacking piece on a wall on a main street and getting to say "yeah, I did that." while others are thinking "how'd he do that?", he says.

As of late, the art of tag, or writing, as it would liked to be called has transitioned from only being seen on abandoned buildings to buses and local establishments. One thing that will never change is how law enforcement and local politicians take on the art form. Imagine spending time to express your creativity to have it washed away.

Graffiti art, or tagging, began in the 1960's in Philadelphia as writing on street signs. Since then it grew as an national and international art form and moved from just street signs to walls and even street art.

Hopefully in the upcoming years the art will be more appreciated as art rather than defacement of a property. These artist have a big imagination that says “A canvas just won't do”.

"Nothing tops the adrenaline of jumping a barbed wire fence, painting your name in big letters with some vibrant colors and seeing it the next day, standing out in a highly populated area", Drane said.

Follow Jeramie L. Bizzle on Twitter @jeramiebizzle87.

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