Crews: TGE, IMOK & GFR
City/Country: New York City
When did you start writing? ’93
What’s graffiti for you? The Great Escape! Style, letters, colors, characters, composition, attitude!
What first made you interested in graffiti and how did you end up on that track? As a youth growing up in NY I had first-hand exposure to the bombed highways and streets during my travels all through NYC and the surrounding boroughs. At the same time, I was exploring all around the buildings where I grew up, searching for graffiti. There were always these random hidden locations where you would find an awesome piece or production, usually Vet, TMC and crew. Finding work like this only fueled my curiosity – I had to find more. As I began exploring the train lines and tracksides I came upon a True Mean Creations wall that was done by Vet and Bost in the early ’90s. I was only able to read the True Mean Creations spell out on top as the production only lasted a few days due to the massive amount of beef and crossing out that was going on at the time. It wasn’t until 2000 that I finally got to see the wall in its entirety with a pic that was posted by Noble on 12oz. Encountering the scale and quality of the work at that time, in person, had a lasting impression on me. As I searched more and more I eventually stumbled upon the 238th Street Bridge hall of fame in the Bronx. Sien5, Key, Cavs, Wane, Dero, Bom5, Ces, Clark, Yes2, Sub, Gaze, Emit, Noble, and Besm, to name a few, all had amazing work down there. While I was previously walking the line looking at trackside walls, one underpass at a time, here was a location with over a dozen walls, all covered with quality productions and pieces. I was really amped. After 238th, it was the Amtrak hall of fame. These hidden locations were eye-opening experience that got me hooked on the magic of graffiti. Discovering Subway Art and Spraycan Art at the bookstore only helped me realize that this cultural event had become a global phenomenon.
Influences? In my formative years, the work that Sub, Emit and Gaze put in the early ’90s really shaped my idea of a polished finished product. The craftsmanship and composition of their productions set a superior level of quality that I’m still trying to reach in my work today. I think the reason it was so influential was that I was viewing these walls in person; I was looking at all of the details with my own eyes. It wasn’t something I saw on a screen a few inches wide. The amount of style they presented on their highway-bombing missions was also another influence – they were dropping fresh pieces on the highways in the winter. It was awesome. Sento was out doing colorful pieces in locations where many would only catch a tag at. Ces and Clark were doing colorful pieces and their classic silver, burgundy, summer squash pieces were all over the Bronx and New York City. There was a lot of good graffiti happening all over. If you wanted to stand out, you needed style. These days my influences come from everywhere; we are constantly influenced by what we see. My interests in fine art, illustration, comics, and design keep me immersed in a broad range of aesthetics. There’s always something catching my eye that I can repurpose in my work.
What keeps you still writing? The search for the perfect piece! haha The constant adventure, experience with friends, and the creative outlet that graffiti offers me keeps me hooked. I also think the process of using a spray paint is extremely fun, ever since I was kid. Its also about being on this interesting journey for the last twenty years that is constantly changing and evolving. I’m interested to see where its going and what if any impact I can have on its future.
How would you describe your style? Midnight Malevolent Muralist Missions Accomplishing All Aggressive Aerosol Alphabetic Styles Showcasing True Talented Typographic Techniques.
Can you remember the first piece you did? The first piece I did was a mess, but I’m lucky to have a flick, I was horrible at taking flicks of my work in the beginning.
Future plans? More travel, more painting, more adventures. I’m definitely looking up the wall these days, trying to figure out my battle plan.
Do you adapt your pieces and tags to the spot/surface? Yeah, that’s one of the most fun parts of graffiti – fitting it into the environment and improvising. Making each piece unique, with a bold, memorable component, style-wise, or a character.
What are the best and worst aspects of graffiti? The constructive creative outlet vs the drama.
Can you ever feel tired of graffiti? Yeah, it can be very tiring at times. Sometimes the process, sometimes the people involved. There needs to be a balance in whatever you do and too much of any one thing can burn you out. I try to keep that balance in my painting as well as in my life.
Who do you paint for? I paint for me, for my crew and for the enjoyment of it, actively escaping into the moment.
What do you hope people will think and feel when they see your stuff? That all depends on the viewer. But I think I know my audience, and I want them to feel happy. I want them to see and appreciate the craftsmanship and composition and new element or idea I’m presenting in the work, whether it’s on a trackside, a wall on the street or in a piece of artwork.