Or NAV-4. I'm not sure.
It’s super fitting that my first ever newsletter focuses on the one tag I see the most because it’s all over my neighborhood.
One of my favorite things about graffiti is noticing new tags pop up as I’m going about my daily life. This tag is pretty easy to spot and definitely more legible than the traditional Philly style.
What is the traditional Philly style? It’s called Wickeds, or Wickets and it looks like this:
Typically more tall than they are wide, “Wickeds are like electric whipped barbed wire streaks” (Buford Youthward). I am not going to lie to you. I can’t read this tag. It looks like one tag repeating maybe 8 or 9 times, but that’s all I can offer. And that is the traditional Philly style. The more you know!
What I can read, though, is this, the subject of this newsletter:
Navy baby! This is my favorite tag. Here are more pics of it in the wild:
I have many more photos of this same tag, but these represent both a broad timespan and lots of variation. You can see that some of the tags have a $, a heart, a man smoking; others simply say NAVY like this one:
See that black “NAVY,” next to the very traditional Philly-style “SNIPE” tag? (More on SNIPE later… another one of my favorites and you can find them alllll over the city.) This navy looks nothing like the rest of the tags, so my first instinct is that it’s a copycat.
But then a fellow graffiti admirer, Emma Barnes, made me realize it could actually be a very early iteration of the artist’s tag, before they developed their style.
Either way, it’s cool to see all the variation in this one tag.
That’s all for this week. I have many more photos of this artist’s tag so I’m sure this won’t be the last you’ll see of it. As always, if you find it around the city, be sure to send me pics!
For next week, I’m thinking we tackle this enigma:
Female Joe Pesci. It never fails to make me laugh. Who is she? Why is she Joe Pesci?
Either that or I will dive deeper into the traditional Philly style of Wickeds. Or I’ll do both. I just graduated college and I don’t have a traditional job lined up so I guess all I do have is time.
Thank you for spending some time on graffiti with me. Until next week!