From the very early days of graffiti culture, artists have developed distinctive visual markers -- sometimes mere tags -- that serve as their unmistakable IDs. (Even Basquiat left crowns and the word "SAMO" across the brick facades of New York.)
It's the bubbly faces or hard-edged lettering you recognize, even if you don't know always the real name of the artists, who paint in the cover of darkness, masked and often pseudonymous.
The Fridge's "HELLO my name is" exhibition, which opens today, is a chance to school yourself in those tags, a place where you'll be able to connect the noms de plume of graffiti artists with their work. Artists Ultra and Che KGB lined up artists from D.C., California and beyond and tasked them with filling in the blank space on canvases all printed with the classic name-tag introduction, "HELLO my name is." In all, nearly 80 will be hung from floor to ceiling. Before the reception Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Fridge, here's a look at a few of the tags you'll see: