“Cholo Writing: Latino Gang Graffiti in Los Angeles”

from "Cholo Writing"

photo from "Cholo Writing"

Cholo Writing: Latino Gang Graffiti in Los Angeles”

by Francois Chastanet with forward by Chaz Bojorquez.

This book gives Mexican-American ‘cholo’ writing its proper recognition and respect as “the oldest form of name graffiti of the 20th century.” Focusing on L.A. ‘cholo” writing styles from an aesthetic point of view, evident long before the explosion of tags and pieces of the early 1970’s.

Cover of "Cholo Writing"

Cover of "Cholo Writing"

Cholo writing is the oldest form of graffiti in the 20th century, evident in Los Angeles long before the appearance of tags and pieces in the early 1970s New York.  It is a Mexican American phenomenom with a unique aesthetic based on blackletter typography, used for street bombing by the latino gangs. In the 1970s, Californian citizen Howard Gribble photographed examples of Latino gang graffiti over a wide geographic area in order to encompass a larger variety of styles, with the simultaneous idea of portraying Los Angeles. More than 30 years later, French typographer Francois Chastanet travelled to the same neighborhoods to photograph the inscriptions of today. (English text in this edition, also available in Swedish)

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