While all subcultures are expansive, few are as colorful and unique as graffiti. No matter where in the world you may be, we’ve all got at least one thing in common: there’s someone in your city absolutely obsessed with writing their name on things as large and as high up as possible. Now, most locales have something of their own flavor—from the gang markings in Los Angeles and the political notes of dissent scattered across Europe to the 1 UP Crew literally sculpting a coral garden in their standout block print underwater in Australia—but if there’s one city synonymous with the street arts many forms, it’s New York City. From the can-littered railyards to the stories-tall commissioned murals, few places take the decoration of their urban setting as seriously as New York City, and none have pushed the art dialogue quite as far. Of course, that focus and desire breed competition and talent. As they say, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.
The boroughs have bred countless art legends. From Andy Warhol to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring to KAWS, many of the most notable visual artists of the past century were shaped by the city and started on the street before their art propelled them to stardom. While the artists mentioned above have all gone on to find more mainstream acclaim, there’s a sect of artists out there who stayed true to their initial passions—the type who rarely have pictures taken of their face—and as a result, have seen less of the glitz and glam that’s adorned on the more traditional, timely, and topical crews. However, great graffiti is timeless, and while you may not see his work in vogue, there’s one OG …
Author: Jon Cappetta / High Times