FISH graffiti surrounded by graffiti of other unknown artists. Photo by Anabelle Coker | THE ALL STATE

Walking in downtown Clarksville, you are sure to come across one of the many tags by a local artist you might know as FISH, a Clarksville native that started writing graffiti in 2019 and remained active until January 2023. 

However, while known by many, FISH isn’t a person, it’s an idea.

The FISH graffiti, though it might seem like just a simple tag, is a message of philosophy, hope, art and more importantly anything you want it to be. The simplicity and minimalism of the graffiti was intended to make you stop and think, allowing you to be present for a moment in time.

“It’s simple; it’s effective. It’s hated; it’s loved but more importantly it was noticed,” said the creator of FISH.

The name FISH is not one that stands for anything in particular and is more of a statement of inclusivity, being comprehensible to both children and adults, taking inspiration from other known graffiti writers like “BNE” and “COST” and meaning something different to each person who comes across it.

One of the favorite pieces done by the artist, is one that many of you have probably seen before, it’s the door outside of a local record shop in downtown Clarksville. 

It started as a small spot, with initially just the placement of a memorial sticker for a friend of the artist, eventually also getting a FISH tag, sparking the door to be a hot spot for not only the FISH graffiti but also for other artists and locals to leave their mark. 

The door on the side of AndVinyl Records filled with FISH graffiti and other artists’ work. Photo by Anabelle Coker | THE ALL STATE

“It was a limited time engagement to spark the creativity in the community and make art available to all regardless of social status or money and connections. FISH put a spotlight on all that is great about Clarksville— the good, the bad and the “ugly,” said the artist behind FISH.

While FISH is no longer active in the Clarksville community, there will always be another “FISH” in one form, city or mind of another.