Beautiful City

anarchosyn / Flickr / Creative Commons

The names of graffiti writers are mutant words. Half-verb, half-noun, they distill both language and identity into concentrated archetypes: the trickster, the hero, the villain, the romantic.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas / Flickr / Creative Commons

At its most basic, "tagging" is the act of writing your name on a wall, on a newspaper stand, on a lamp post, or, let’s be honest, anything else that doesn’t belong to you.

The medium doesn’t particularly matter: marker or spray paint will do. In a pinch, and on the right surface, maybe even a ballpoint pen. The point is to put your mark where it wasn’t before, and to put it in a place where other people will see it.

And, like everything else in graffiti, the most important point is to do it with style.

williamcromar / Flickr / Creative Commons

Wichita is relatively new to the graffiti game.

While entire subway lines were being covered from end to end in New York City in the late '70s, the most prevalent graffiti in Wichita was a few band names painted large on the walls of the Canal Route.

Even now, you need a sharp eye to catch most of Wichita's current graffiti-- which, depending on your perspective, may either be disappointing or a reason to celebrate.

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