KEO and DASH167 of the FC TC-5 X-MEN conglomerate are amongst the last practitioners of a traditional craft. You heard right… not a fine-art, not a “street-art”, a CRAFT.
Like Ship-Builders, or Old World Cabinet-Makers, style and technique is handed down from Master to Apprentice. Dues must be paid; rules and by-laws must be observed. Form necessarily follows Function.
Now, modern “Fine-art” has no rules. You can pee in a hat, or saw a chicken in half, and display it in the MOMA. Not so with Writing. Writing must function first as communication, as letter forms. There is advanced geometry involved.
You see, I could spill ten gallons of yellow paint on the ocean and tell you it’s “art”, but if I try and tell you that it’s a ship… well, climb aboard and good luck making it across the Gulf Stream.
“Wait a muddascuntin’minute here” You interrupt, “ain’t we just talking about GRAFFITI?!!? ” Well, yes… except “GRAFFITI” is a broad term, applied to everything from Gang Symbols to stenciled daffodils, to “Petey ‘N’ Bertha 4Ever”… from “Jefferson Starship Rules” to swastikas spray-painted on tombstones, from “Vote Bush in 2014” to a peace sign scratched in a window with a rock. Now, while some of that may have a certain aesthetic beauty, it is as different from New York style writing as… I don’t know, as different as apples and nylon support hose? As cats and intellectual property? Whatever, the motivation is different, the ideology is different, the dedication and passion, the techniques and traditions, foundation, philosophy, methodology… all different. Call it whatever you want, but know this: there are THOUSANDS of people making graffiti around the world but only a handful of Writers practicing this craft.
The 12oz crew got an opportunity to document two of New York’s premier letter stylists doing what they do best. No stencils, no latex acrylic roller bucket paint, just nuff nuff spray cans and a rickety ol’ wooden ladder… no three dimensional lighting effects, no photo-realistic background muralism, and no talking orangutangs… just raw-dog 1986 style. It’s about the letters.
Read the interview with Keo and Dash167: http://www.12ozprophet.com/index.php/dirty_dozen_crew/entry/fc_kings_-_keo_dash167/
For more information, photos and videos check out: 12ozprophet.com
Photo courtesy of 12ozprophet.com