Quite an essential part of graffiti culture.

The throwup

Back in ’05 right before I quit painting illegal graffiti I started developing mine graffiti throw up but I never got to finish that process because of all the things that where happening in my life at the time. But  because I’m teaching graffiti in schools more and more since 2010, not having a solid throw-up always made me feel a bit incomplete :-P I was oke-ish with tagging but with throwwies my game was stuck on level 1. So I got sketching for a good afternoon and came up with v2.0.

Still not quite what I was looking for so I went back to the drawing board to fix the J in particular (see picture below). The rhythm that I was finding my way to was sharp up top and round on the bottoms. Which is quite a logical way to go when you take the bodily movement in consideration that is involved.

The picture below was the first one of the new wave of throw-ups from my hand.

Graffiti throwups are a fundamental element of graffiti culture, characterized by their quick execution, bold outlines, and typically rounded, bubble-letter style. Throwups are designed for speed and efficiency, allowing graffiti writers to cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time, both in the amount of ‘pieces’ and the square meters covered per piece.

Throwups often consist of a graffiti writer’s name, using two colors – one for the fill and another for the outline. The essence of a throwup is its simplicity; they are not about intricate designs or detailed work, which distinguishes them from actual graffiti pieces or murals. Instead, throwups mainly are a way for artists to mark territory.

The throw up – an artform in itself

The throwup has become an art form by itself within graffiti culture. It holds a unique place as a functional art form — balancing notoriety, artistic expression, and the thrill of painting in public spaces. For me the illegal part of it doesn’t play a role anymore but the stylistic principles that you get forced into by the speed with which a throwup gets executed is very appealing to me as an artist. The following of instagram accounts like Throw Ups Only, Throw Up World & Throw Up Cult speaks volumes to the popularity of this artform.

The rise in popularity of the throw up as an artform is of course a logical one, with the constant evolution of surveillance tech the necessity of quick delivery becomes more every minute. I hope we’ll never arive at the stage where the 90s cult classic Demolition Man took us.. We’ll see.. that other futuristic classic from the 90s seems a lot more plausible these days.

A well-executed throwup demonstrates control and confidence, the execution time is usually well under 5 minutes. In the photo’s here you’ll also see a bunch of throwup inspired graffiti pieces which take a lot more time of course.. but still way less then a regular graffiti piece.. Quite a few of the throwups here are made at legal walls and are a lot more polished then the 5 minute version.

Some more photo’s can be found in the dutch version of this article over on Studio Graffiti.

This was one of the originals from the first tiny wave in ’05. It even made an appearance in the Hip Hop documentary Dutch Touch :-P