Evan Roth Graffiti Taxonomy : New York 2011

  • Not on view

Cataloguing characters from graffiti tags in New York and Paris, Roth has assembled two taxonomies of graffiti letterforms, capturing regional styles, geographic ranges, commonalities, and deviations. For the Paris study, Roth isolated the ten most commonly used letters (A, E, I, K, N, O, R, S, T, and U) and chose eighteen tags in uppercase and lowercase letters to represent the diversity and range of each character, from simple to ornate. The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, which commissioned the Paris work for the 2009 exhibition Born in the Streets—Graffiti, displayed these tags on the Museum's exterior, transforming the building into a canvas and learning tool. Roth's cataloguing of the alphabet in New York is ongoing; on his website he calls for leads from the public, thus crowdsourcing the gathering of specimens.

Gallery label from Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, July 24–November 7, 2011 .
39 3/8 x 39 3/8" (100 x 100 cm)
Gift of the artist
Object number
Architecture and Design

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].