Tags And Throws
How did you come up with the idea for Tags and Throws?
I started Tags And Throws about 5 years ago, but I've been interested in graffiti since I was 5 years old when my mother showed me some graffiti on her route as a mailperson. I got hooked. A few years later I started tagging and painting myself and since then graffiti's been a part of my life. When I was in New York for the first time as a music manager for some Swedish hip-hop artists, I started snapping pictures of tags between shows and interviews. When I got back home to Stockholm and showed these pictures to my friends, they really liked what I showed them.
There have always been graffiti magazines and websites that post pictures of graffiti paintings, but I had not really seen anyone focusing on the tags and throw-ups part of this subculture. That sparked the idea of starting an Instagram account and later a YouTube account. Tagging is the most interesting part of graffiti to me. It's direct. It's the Universe channeled through the artist right at that time when doing the tag. There's no way you can fix a tag - as soon as it's up it is what it is. I love repetition and that's a huge part of being a good graffiti bomber. You need to get your name up a lot for many years. Dedication is the key. I'm into a lot of different artforms, but tagging is my absolute favorite.
How do you find and/or choose the artists you work with?
Some I know from being a graffiti writer myself, especially the people I've filmed in Stockholm. The others I've connected with through Instagram. I choose the artists I myself enjoy - style wise, attitude and quantity.
In your videos you focus not only on each writer’s art, but their personal stories. Why is this important to your process? What are some significant takeaways you have gleaned from each artist?
Everyone has got their own style. So much of tagging is based on how you move. You need to do your tag over and over and over again until your hand remembers it and not your brain. What most separates one graffiti writer from another though is the person behind the tag. There are so many different types of people doing this and that's what I want to show the world.
What would you say you want your viewer to take away from these videos?
My main aim is to give the people already interested in graffiti something that they will appreciate, but I also want to educate people outside the culture about this phenomenon. People have been writing and painting on walls since we went from apes to humans. I want to show the world that it's not a bad thing. I want people to open up their eyes for this art form. I want people to read the tags and start following the different artists work around the city and go from maybe hating it or not understanding it to appreciating it. It's truly something that keeps a city alive. It's the voice of the people in a visual form.