|"por vida" aerosol on wood, 4'x8'|
The origins of modern graffiti dates back decades, but it wasn’t until the marketing of cheap spray paints with larger palette of colors in the 60’s that aerosol graffiti took off. The transversal caps sold on most cans of paint usually sprayed in a fan shape which was useless for stylistic painting. In the 70’s, most companies began using an even cheaper cap called a “stock cap” which required a very quick and adept hand to avoid drips. Around this time graffiti artists began swapping out the stock caps with caps they found on other types of aerosol cans. First discovered were oven cleaners and other industrial sprays like spray adhesives or spray starches that carried “fat caps” that were used extensively for fills. Different types of spray fixative and other cans such as Testor’s model paint and spray acrylics carried “detail caps” or (on the west coast) “phantom caps” or “flares” which replaced stock caps for outline use. Graffiti artists became obsessive about caps, keeping the caps in baggies or film canisters and constantly cleaning them with nail polish remover or by affixing them to cans of graffiti remover and spraying. Sources of caps were a highly-guarded secret. It was a great disappointment to go to your favorite store and find all the best caps removed from whatever aerosol can was your hidden favorite.