While scouring the vast edges of the web, XLR8R came across a collection of vintage graffiti photos on flickr, thanks to a friendly nod in that direction from our friends at Wooster Collective.

According to the flickr page, which contains an introduction to the collection by Kid Deuce, the photos feature Chicano “placas” (wall writing) from the early ’70s, made by gangs at a time when graffiti still held a certain amount of mystique. Few understood what the writing meant before it became a major part of the entertainment industry. Considered a purer art form than the stuff you’ll find in tunnels and on trains today, the pieces could last for years before graffiti removal programs erased them from history. As Kid Deuce concludes, “This is, of course, still vandalism, but from an earlier and more innocent time.”

The Golden Age of Gang Graffiti