Tradition and names in Berlin..

Tradition means not always permanence in Writing Graffiti.

Multiple acteurs jusing the same name, is an oldschool concept improved by Writing crews in N.Y.C. in the 70'ties, mostly by sharing a synonym or alias by several members of the same crew. The Global rise of Graffiti in the 80'ties through the media, brought also the first names of global graffiti heroes. Back in the days it was like, after seeing the movie Beatstreet, people went to the garage picking up a spraycan for the first time, to try out a "Ramon" on the neighbours gardenfence. First, you try to step into another men's footprint.

Getting serious in Graff, means getting original, also by using a individual name and later maybe by creating an individual style,  to not to get confused with others. Or they used to write a number behind the name if sombody used this name earlier. In Graffiti you have also individual and collective performance, objektives or goals. And from this point of few, it makes sence to share an alias that is finally linked only with members of the crew, who benefit from it. So that maybe is all nothing new, for some of you?! Graffiti-Writing is turning 40 years rightnow and alot is written about that topic. Graffiti went several times already mainstream and today some names are like hollow words, because fame is became a transient shadow. Style is at least to endure fame, this is what history teached us.

Several names can be found today in every bigger city and then even in other country's city, all over the world, where graff putted his feed on. There are alot of different reasons why some one pick up a spezific name or alias to write on the walls. Some of those important reasons are like the meaning, sound or ring true of the name or it can be the order of the letters, that seemed to be perfekt to remodel a certain style. Many writers spend also alot of energy and time beside painting, to protect their name as an personal trademark and are ready to fight other rivals with the same name. But some names made it even further in Berlin, they get enjoyed and shared by multiple writers (over years and decades),not mostly knowing each other and it seemed to be no problem, the use became like an standart or better an open source!. As i mentioned, normaly writers share names only inbetween their Graffiti crew or friends, but this case is kind of different. For sure the fact, that they are mostly used as an second writing name or alias by most writers, beside their main name to get up, to hide Identity and activity, maked it easier for the activist to life with the circumstance.

On the spur of the moment, names like SOUL or SHOK came my mind. Maybe SHOK is the widest used or "friendly" shared name along Berlin Writers. Its hard to count how many people had writing this name, followed close by hundredor more SHOK pieces in Berlin. Even today, there are more than two person writing SHOK in Berlin. So, I like to present you some pictures exemplary, just to point out the fact, that several names have a special status in the Berlin writing history, like i mentioned a kind of a open source, some of them already since mostly 30years.

Starting with a rare illegal Shok streetpiece by ASEK-AC, done in Berlin-Schöneberg-Dennewitzplatz 1988 in daylight, declared as a legal job when walker started to ask, what he is doing there...(also note: NHS as NewHS signature, for newHorizonts crew, an early West-Berlin crew from the mid 80'ties, not to be confused with NHS today.)
Shok by Asek AC, Berlin 1988
followed by a Shok piece 1989 trackside GPK hall by  MORE GFA-AGS,  (the first trainbomber in Berlin for me), also known as Psycho by the Berlin oldschool and for his SHOK trains mostly...

Shok by MORE GFA-AGS, Berlin 1989
another great Shok influence by stylemaster FLASH (RMA-CMD-BMQ), Berlin 1997 Mauerpark hall
Shok by Flash, mauerpark hall 1997
one year before YORK62 from UTScrew, also used to write this name heavily...
Shok by York UTS, must be1996 at Hallesches hall
SHOK streetpiece Revalerstr. by SIRCH aka TRASHER at the entrance of Cassiopeia area...(but not 100% sure if it is him)
Shok, Revalerstr. 1995 by king Trash (35ers-BMQ) 
around 10 years later and several Shok's more...

Shok Wholecar, Berlin mid 2000 by ???

another nice Shok pannel running mid 2000 by ??? 

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