Our next contestant on GUEST BLOGGER IDOL is AL. Al’s bio reads:

The Albatross

An expressed sequence of nucleotides, a stable system of energy, a solved mind-body relationship, a soul, that plays harmonica, has a degree in advanced bullshit, believes that everything is art, and likes his scotch. I’m also generally happy.


And here is Al’s audition post.


Spray paint as a medium has moved from the clandestine act on a train and billboard to writing “Fuck This Museum” over the walls of the MOMA as patrons watch sipping Pinot and eating gouda.

So anyway, I thought I’d get in on the action.
All you need are some painting clothes, a breathing mask, cap, gloves, spray paint, and some old school hip-hop. Over the past year the board game group with which I meet has been kind enough to provide me with the empties sprues from which they’ve popped out the chits, tiles, and playing pieces for board games. I use them as stencils. You even get to pick your own tag name, just like on the internet. Mine is Tross.

Here are some preliminary results:

It’s an homage to a group that began meeting over the past year to play some more obscure and tough to get on the table war games I call The War Room. In addition to spray paint, there are some traced outlines you may notice on the guns that are done with a permanent paint marker my love Ally bought for me for my birthday along with some high end Montana Alien line spray paints. I use lauan as canvas, because for $12 you can buy an 8’x4’ sheet which, cut in half, provides two 4’x4’ canvases. An actual stretched framed canvas of the same size would run ten times as much, and I’ve found I can’t work well at smaller sizes.

The nice thing about working with spray paint is not only can you work well outside, but unless you’ve got a spare warehouse handy, it’s basically necessary to avoid the fumes. It’s a perfect warm weather day spent making some art, drinking some sangria, grilling some ribs, and listening to the World Champion Boston Red Sox.

I’ve also noticed that since I’ve taken a more active interest in aerosol art I’ve developed my Spraydar. Tags pop out to me a lot more than they ever did. I think a lot of people tend to filter them out. I’m not condoning vandalism here, especially because there are a lot of crap tags sprayed all over buildings. But I am definitely a proponent of setting aside public art spaces for people who do want to work in the medium.

If you care to check out some of the more impactful people working, check out the following:


Known Gallery (home of the 7th Letter Crew)

Wooster Collective

Shepard Fairey

You’re It.

This entry was posted in Images and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to GBI: TAG

  1. blasterhappy says:

    I always thought of Tag Art as a Rebel Art Form. Some is crap but others are quite appealing. I have actually stopped on the side of the highway to take pictures of some tags on rail cars coming into Baton Rouge near the refineries. It really amazes me what one can do with a spray can along with the grand scale of some of the work I’ve seen.

  2. Kurt Schwind says:

    I’m a huge Banksy fan. Why ‘lauan’ plywood instead of say birch or maple? I’m not a complete tree-hugger, but isn’t lauan a rainforest wood? I’m just asking because the project seems like a lot of fun, but I recall some rainforest groups getting onto Home Depot and Lowest for carrying lauan wood.

  3. pronoblem says:

    So far, I do like the results. One of the most appealing things is the “backgrounds” that you get with the hexes or counter punches, like above in the olive and white colors. If you look at a good number of Banksy’s works, for example, the stencil is all there is. I’d like to see you try your hand in stencil over that type of background and make it a fusion of painting with graffiti… a subject, foreground, background, etc. Of course, do what you want with your work… I just see something that is happening here with the textures and the collage feel, there’s many possibilities and directions you can go with these sprues.

    As far as “I’ve also noticed that since I’ve taken a more active interest in aerosol art I’ve developed my Spraydar”, when I tagged those stencils all around I started a clock running. “How long will it take before Al mentions them to me?” I said to myself. You proved your Spraydar, the next time I spoke with you after laying those down it was one of the first things you mentioned. Speaking of, the weather is getting warmer. Time to put on the hoodie and backpack. Perhaps you will join DP and I some night? More the merrier.

  4. Albatross says:

    Kurt – Thanks for the lauan tip. I know nothing about it, but will look into it. In the near future, I have ten sheets already bought. After that, the goal was to reevaluate the canvas materials for price, utility, etc. I’m going to check into your lauan info to get educated.

    Pro – Actually, the next piece incorporates a stencil over background as you say. I had some initial problems with it, but we’ll see if they work out. There’s been a plan to incorporate both paint over and collage (inspired by Ally’s love of collage last fall) since the start. At this point there’s a lot of experimenting with the form going on from step one. I don’t see me hitting the streets.

  5. Topher says:

    Banksy is amazing. Nice stuff…