Cap Matches Color: The Introduction of Historic Spray Paint

By - Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Formed as a collective archival group in 2009 and steadily collecting since the ’90s, the team at Cap Matches Color documents and shares the history of aerosol spray paint and its influence, stemming from graffiti culture. Though it may seem merely nostalgic or purely nerdy, the team over at Cap Matches Color believes this is essential history that needs to be preserved and made available to the masses.
Using various social media outlets, Cap Matches Color shares with other collectors the day to day efforts to preserve vintage paint cans and related paint memorabilia by documenting a range of activities and information, including digging missions, estate sale scores, and the occasional interview with industry professionals. The team is currently wrapping up a hardcover book project, the first book of its kind and the essential guide to all things vintage spray paint.  From day one, all of their daily archival and collecting efforts have been focused on the goal of producing a book that documents spray paint and their relationship with it thus far. Be sure to check the book when it launches mid-2015 and keep an eye out for release events happening in the Northeast shortly!
What made you want to pursue keeping track of vintage spray paint?

“Who doesn’t love paint? Who doesn’t drool over dynamite colors? And who doesn’t daydream over that special can set aside on reserve? The emotional ties to paint have been alive and kicking since graffiti began. However, since spray cans were designed to be disposable, a lot of our graffiti history was disappearing along with the paint. It was a calling really. We’re unbelievably obsessed with spray paint even down to the smallest details like critiquing certain minutia between cans side by side as we regularly do! Up until we started the Cap Matches Color project we’d only really seen private collections and it’s more than that. So we decided to step up and share what we do. We spend an insane amount of time to ensure we document and share as much as possible.” 

How has the feedback from collectors been over the past few years?

“The response has been overwhelming. We’ve built friendships and trades with with new and old collectors from all over the world. We hear messages of support all the time from people that dig what we do and maybe want to start their own collection. In most cases we’re providing a near 30+ year memory jog back to brands and colors that have essentially been lost to most. Sharing this history is really important and we choose to do so pretty much anonymously aside from our friends who know who we are. It’s the paint and the history that matters. Our ultimate quest is making sure as much of what we’ve uncovered becomes available as an educational resource for artists, collectors, and whoever else appreciates it as much as we do.”

 Any difficulty or any hardships you faced in the process?

“Collectively we have acquired thousands of cans.  We certainly don’t want to start counting but for sure storage space becomes a real issue. Not that we’re complaining too much. Occasionally we need to sell off cans as we start tripping over them and run out of crates or space on the display racks.”

You can follow Cap Matches Color on:
Photo credits
Photos were taken by Meal CMC & Mr. Yoshi

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