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In the early part of the 1990s Tom Marron began driving around the Bronx photographing graffiti murals and by chance met Per1 of the FXCru. Within three years they released two documentaries FXCru the Video and Cope2 Kings Destroy. Early Cholo (Latino) gang graffiti, through the well-crafted and creative lettering, was a reflection of neighborhood pride, made even more so with the influence of the Brown Pride Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The influence of these single-line and block style letters that came out of Los Angeles gang culture is clearly evident in the work of present-day modern graffiti writers around the world. Today, work of extremely high caliber can be seen coming out of places like Pelican Bay Prison using only ball-point pen, done by people with no formal art training and all odds of a good life stacked against them.
The collective known as the FXCru were undoubtedly the best graffiti artists during the 1990s. The influence of coming up in a harsh gang environment was central to the development of Primea€™s art. When New Jersey tool maker Robert Allikas moved to Los Angeles in 1958, he was fascinated by the ornamental graffiti he saw on walls, bridges and overpasses. For at least the past thirty years, graffiti has been a prime avenue of expression for the Mexican-American youth of Los Angeles.
Latino Zooters were swinging to their own styles, their hair done in big Pompadours and draped in tailor-made suits where their pants would start from under the armpits. We must give credit to the gangs for their steadfastness in keeping with the graffiti traditions. The ornamental lettering, although distinctive in style, is highly individualized by different graffiti artists. After years of wall-reading, Allikas said he finds politics and "messages" noticeably absent from the writings which he attributes to man's basic urge to leave his mark. We can see Chaz Bojorquez, among others, whose work originated in street writing, in major museums like the MOCA in LA or the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago; it's a trend that is only at the beginning. Thorne is a video editor with a BS in Film and TV Production from the Rochester Institute of Technology. These young people have taken the English alphabet and, with the materials native to the urban enviornment, created a surprisingly pliant art form. This layout or format is based on an ancient formula, about having a headline, body copy, and a logo.

It exist only in the southwest United States but the best graffiti comes from East Los Angeles. They spoke a€?Caloa€?, their own language, a cool jive of half-English half-Spanish rhythms. Cholo type is stronger today than ever before, and it has grown into an international influence. A year or so later he said, he was working with some Mecian-Americans and he asked them about La Wilmas.
He has looked at writing on walls with growing interest and scholarship, examining and trying to find the urge thas led generation of Southland Chicano youths to take it up, improvse and develop style.
Featuring the work of: Per, Ces, Posell, Sub, Snow, YesII, Daim, Loomit and Hesh with appearances by Toast and Mear.
His collection includes the works of Chaz Bojorquez, Greg Stone, Big Sleeps, Robert "Boxer" Tamayo, Francisco "Whisper" Moreno, Defer and Jose "Prime" Reza. These three major building blocks of corporate and public advertising can also describe the type layout from ancient Sumerian clay tablets to the Constitution of the United States and the modern headline of the Los Angeles Times. In those times the Latino Zoot suiters (can you explain a bit more what is a Zoot Suiter?) were defining their Americanism.
The term applied loosely to the spoken slang of gypsies and bullfighters of Mexico and Spain used at that time. In the graffiti world painting 'battles' have taken place between Japanese calligraphers and East L.A.
Nearly all styles are highly abstract and difficult for those unfamiliar with them to read.
Allikas is convinced the highly stylized graffiti form has its origin in Los Angeles and that examples found in El Paso and other cities are cultural transplants. Placas encourage gang strength and create an aura of exclusivity, and a€?alwaysa€™ painted in black letters. The headline states the gang or street name, the body copy is your roll call list of everyonea€™s gang name, and the logo refers to the person who wrote it by adding his tag to the end of the Placa.
Could you explain to the unexperienced reader, trying to define this expression, the origins of the word?) this style of graffiti is written a€?by the neighborhood for the neighborhooda€?. Zooters were not accepted by the Anglo-Americans as true citizens, where language (Spanish) and skin color segregated you to the bottom of society (why?).

Out of this 1940's Zoot suiter experience came Low Riders (a parallel car culture to the Anglo Hot Rod scene of the 50's) (why?), gangster culture (Zoot Suiters from the 40's, Pachucos in the 50's, Cholos and Vatos of the 60-70's.
There is a great deal of romance and religious symbolism in the Chicano graffiti but, according to Allikas, no profanity. This tradition of type, names and language has rarely deviated drastically and has been handed down from generation to generation, this style of writing we now call 'Cholo Graffiti'.
To quote Joe Rodrigues "La Vida Loca, or the crazy life, is what they call the barrio gang experience". In the 1920's there were illegal mass deportations to Mexico of Mexican American citizens who were trying to unionize their labor.
This unique typeface has taken a very long journey from a European prototype to ita€™s use as symbols of pride for an American gangster culture. In Downtown Los Angeles my mother experienced the public beatings of Latino Zooters by the white U.S. Also the Zooter experience gave us tag names and finally a unique style of East Los Angeles graffiti, called Cholo. To have remained intact is formidable (you mean formally?), and its future usage is in the hands of the next generation. In Los Angeles the graffiti is based on culture and race, also in Cholo writing only one writer writes for the whole gang and you tag only within your own territory.
All the names from a gang were written in lines that were flushed left and right, or names were stacked line over line and centered. In New York graffiti the emphasis is on being more of an individual not about ethic identity, where a€?getting upa€? all-city or all-state with your tag is more important than the group. To protect themselves they formed into gangs based on which neighborhood you lived in at that time. A sample of gang names like 18th Street, White Fence, Alpine Street, Clover Street and Avenues were actual locations and streets, they all still exist today.

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