Born on January 23rd, 1957, Blade (aka Steven David Ogburn) began writing on the trains in NYC in 1972, he painted his first train in the Bronx when he was only 15 years old – he then became one of the most prolific street artists of his generation creating over five thousand pieces throughout the Big Apple between 1972 and 1984.
Nicknamed “The King of Kings”, he founded the TC5 (Crazy five), one of the most famous groups in the history of graffiti, which worked on the metro lines 2 and 5 running from New York’s Bronx to Brooklyn.In terms of styles, he created overlapping 3D letters in 1975 and Blockbuster Letters in 1977. If you see the Subway Art book (Henry Chalfant & Martha Cooper), his best pieces are there, documented for all time!
In 1980 BLADE did some of his greatest whole cars,these cars were as much about concept as they were characters. His walking-letter car (one of the most iconic trains ever painted) had nicely rendered clouds in the background when viewed from the streets, the painted clouds merged with the real ones, his letters seemed to walk through the air.
He then had his first show in Europe in 1981 BLADE where he began working in other media including spray paint, markers, and acrylic on canvas, producing artworks suitable for indoor exhibitions that have brought him worldwide recognition,BLADE also produces many Abstract pieces of art as well and he was the first living artist to grace the cover of Sotheby’s in Amsterdam since Andy Warhol.
BLADE has travelled the world and been in the best museums (Whitney in NYC, Gronigen Museum in Amsterdam, Boijmans Museum in Rotterdamn, Netherlands, MOCA in LA).
Books by BLADE;
King of Kings Book By Henk Pinjenberg 2009 (available here)
Blade king of Graffiti Book by Roger Gastman 2014
Blade is the 1st living Artist since Andy Warhol to Grace the Cover of…
Smog one, born in Paris France (with his family from Fano in Italy) and raised there till he was 13, then he and his family moved to Florida, USA.
His first friends were b boys, so he learned how to breakdance and got introduced to graffiti, he was attracted to the style and fell in love with it. He did his first piece in 1989, then joined FS AND BSK crew in Miami in the early 90’s. He then joined the legendary New York crew the XMEN in 2012.
Smog-One is always looking for the next level of graffiti to come about and the first time he saw a 3-D piece by Erni, in the early 90’s, it inspired him to try 3-D.
Also his inspiration comes from a mixture of artists, everything from Michelangelo to M.C. Escher, from Mode 2 to some of the best graffiti artists of today.
His art has been featured in the classic film Style Wars as well as the critically acclaimed book, Martha Cooper’s Hip Hop Files, and most recently the books, Burning New York, New York City Black Book Masters and Graffiti Planet. His biography, Part One – The Death Squad chronicles his art spanning more than 30 years.
PART is active today painting both on canvas and on walls around the world and is truly a giant among giants and he has pieced with this generations best writers including;
CES, Bates, Ewok One, Muse, How and Nosm!
When he was 16, T-KID was badly wounded by three gunshots in a gang shout out and left there almost dead, he survived after weeks in a hospital where he drew endlessly, and it was there that he chose to become T-Kid 170 – He painted with Tracy168 but his real mentor was Padre Dos.
He dedicated to turn the subway cars into rolling works of art that brightened the darkest tunnels of the New York City subway system. T-Kid was renowned for his letter style and use of colors. He later became the president of TNB (The Nasty Boyz) and ex-president of TVS (The Vamp Squad), one of the most notorious New York graffiti crews and by 1979 he was a consistent presence on Broadway (IRT 1 Line). He later expanded to make his mark on the 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 IRT subway lines.
By the early 1980’s his trains were the ones to watch out for and were photographed by photographer Henry Chalfant and included in the book, “Subway Art.”
He was also one of the first Graffiti artist to start painting Graffiti on canvas when he was invited to be a part of the Sam Esses project in 1980, some of the other artist that where a part of this project where Futura2000, Zephyr, Haze, Bilrock to name a few.
In 1982 T.Kid left the subways and painting graffiti illegally so he could exhibit his art in Galleries all over NYC. His first exhibit was at the 1199 gallery. This was the working people’s gallery and all his work was sold. He later exhibited in the Fashion Moda gallery, the Fun gallery, Ok Harris, P.S1, Sidney Janice Gallery and countless small galleries in the SoHo area of lower Manhattan. Eventually T.Kid would travel to Europe painting his first mural for T.D.K cassettes on a bill board in Vauxhall crossing in the heart of London England. Later on exhibiting in galleries in Berlin Germany, Paris France, Stockholm Sweden, Madrid Spain, Johannesburg South Africa and Countless other countries.
T-Kid is still active and his work can be seen in the Bronx as well as around the world. He is also a member of MAC crew from Paris.
And he also has a book out called “The Terrible Nasty T-Kid 170,” which chronicles the artist’s life from childhood to the present and features pictures of his work by graffiti photographer Henry Chalfant. He also appeared in the Graffiti Documentary ‘Bomb it’ – directed by Jon Reiss and more recently a film biography directed about his life as a graffiti artist Directed by Carly Starr Brullo Niles called ‘The Nasty Terrible T-KID 170’
BG183 was born and raised in the South Bronx. One of the founding members of the legendary Tats Cru – The Mural Kings. Defining his style as the Art of Letters. He has painted graffiti for 37 years and exhibited artwork around the world.
He has become world famous for his many styles of letters, detailed characters and complex backgrounds. BG183 is one of the most dynamic and innovative graffiti artists of our time.
His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and internationally including The Smithsonian Museum, The Bronx Museum, BOX Gallery Guangzhou – China, Casa de Cultura – Mexico, Hip Hop Paris 2015 – France, Jardin Orange – China, La Jardin Rouge – Morocco.
BG183 is continuing to develop his many style of letters, create colorful artworks, paint dynamic wall murals, exhibiting his work locally here in New York and around the world.
WILLIAM ‘NIC ONE’ GREEN
NIC ONE was born in the South Bronx. As a kid growing up there he would become fixated on the New York City Subway movement. Through the many colorful influences that he would pick up on. He grew up living close to the subway train lines and because of that Nic One would become that which he came to admire the most, a graffiti artist. Being an active writer and loving the artwork that he would often see on the side of the subway trains he would not only writer his name but grow to eventually photograph the subway movement. In time he would become known as both an graffiti artist and a Hip Hop Photographer.
In 1989 became a video production assistant for Videograf Productions, the very first video graffiti magazine to shine light on the New York and LA Graffiti scene. Nic One has been featured in many Art Gallery and Museum events throughout the years. Some of his art gallery achievements have been showing’s at The Whitney Museum in NYC, The Times Square Gallery NYC, The Chelsea Hospital NYC, The ARORA Gallery in NYC, Danny Simons Gallery- (Brother of Russel Simons) NYC, Fashion Moda Gallery in the Bronx, Haven Arts Gallery Bronx, Crane St Studios Queens, Gallery X in LA and The Photography Center in LA. The Drouot Montaigne Gallery Paris. The African Globe Theatre NJ. Other noted showing’s at 1st Powers Street Garden show Brooklyn, Danceteria club, The Limelight club, The Powerhouse Arena and Club Jungle Green.
His work has also be published in various Graffiti books as well as his Graffiti Photography. Noted books are: THE GRAFFITI HALL OF FAME, TAKING THE TRAIN, NEW YORK CITY BLACK BOOK MASTERS. FRESH PAINT NYC. AEROSOL KINGDOM. GRAFFITI NEW YORK. “GRAFFITI NYC-THE NEXT STAGE (Japan).” BROKEN WINDOWS-Graffiti New York City.” BURNING NEW YORK. PART ONE “THE DEATH SQUARD” (Photo Work) and BLADE KING OF KINGS (Photo Work). His artwork also appeared in Glamour fashion magazine and a Calvin Klein advertisement for the New York Times Home Style section.
His Graffiti artwork has been seen on various television shows and in graffiti videos. Some examples are, The Eleventh Hour show PBS,(1990) In The Mix show (PBS-1993)..YO! MTV RAPS (1992). The Real World Japan edition (2004). Good Day New York (1989). Wpix Ch 11 News Segment on the New York Graffiti movement (1992). The Reporters (with Host Ronald Reagan Jr (1993) and also (Videograf Graffiti Video Magazine (1989-2010).
In 2005 Nic One was honored for his contributions to the Graffiti movement on VH1 Hip Hop Honors and his artwork was featured in the 1st ever Graffiti video game called “GETTING UP.” He was even featured in the international Graffiti documentary titled; BOMB IT! His artwork was featured as background fill work in the graffiti movie BOMB THE SYSTEM. And he did some commercial artwork for the Cooper Hotel Wall project in New York City. In 1992 he moved into photo documenting the Hip Hop Music culture as a Hip Hop photojournalist. Nic One’s music industry photo work has been published in several rap magazines such as: The Source, Vibe Magazine, Blaze Magazine and 4Korners Hip Hop News Paper.
In May of 2002 Nic One became the head curator and event coordinator of the first ever Graffiti Outdoor Museum called 5Pointz in Long Island City New York. He severed on the board of directors and was the assistant art director there as well as the sites graffiti historian, teacher and head site photographer. Nic One’s biggest achievement at 5pointz was organizing and promoting the Old Timers Day events. A yearly event which paid respects to the Graffiti Writers of the 1970’s. (2002-2006). ;Nic One has also worked as a co/producer for Videograf Productions from 1989 – 2010 and he has worked as a video production assistant for HENRY CHALFANT of (Style Wars and Subway Art) from 1989-2010.
He is still into his photography but these days he is most actively illustrating and painting canvas and anything else that fits his creative eye.. He’s still actively painting walls, mostly with his crew that he founded in 1988 called The Aerosol Kings.
Charles Loreto….aka KEON ONE from Brooklyn, aged 56 and born in Manhattan.
Graffiti never dies…..ex.vandals …mg boys mission graffiti.. my crews……He started writing 1975 to 1987 attended and graduated school of Visual arts..1980 to 85…East village 1981 to 1986 artist at the new math gallery selected shows east village – I also taught at the school of Visual arts in the sculpture dept.1984 to 1990…..writing partner was joust one gnd nsa non stop action….. taught art in NYC public schools from 1996 to 2000….
Occupation artist…published in the piece book by Sacha Jenkins and David Villorente
Projects with graffitti… graffitti on wedding dress movie marcy x…graffiti
Sculpture at Leo Castelli 40th year anniversary show curated by museum of modern art.
First graffiti clothing line olivieri
Olivier cover Hamptons magazine sold in Patricia fields and trash and vaudeville 1982….
Headline lettering graffiti on graffitti universe……selected shows NYC on demand and known as the map king.
TACK (Edwin Ramirez)
Edwin Ramirez was born in 1963 and raised in Spanish Harlem in a Puerto Rican household on Broadway 140 th street (ballbuster territory)
In grade school he found himself drawing cartoons that he found in the pages of Marvel Comics and upon entering Art and Design High School he caught interest in graffiti art introduced to him by DOZE and SEEN Tc5.
He became known as TACK and started painting trains on the Broadway line in 1979 and made a name for himself by painting complex pieces and original characters on beautifully decorated whole cars – and he was also a member of FBA (Fast Breakin Artists).
TACK’s style of fantastical characters were animal and insect like and inspired many others around the world to move beyond the typical b-boy profile. His trains are featured in the book, “Subway Art.” he painted his last subway train in 1986.
Dennis Stumpo aka RARE 1 is from the Bronx. He started writing 1979 in Hillside projects when he was 12 years old. Currently 50 years of age and a Professor for the City University of New York in the Library department. He left the world ofgraff in 1986 to go to school, get married, have children and so on.
He did not come back to the world ofgraff until 2009 when his old block had a reunion (238th St and Nereid) and kicked off the artistic person in him once again. In a much better place in life today, his art is growing by leaps and bounds.
RARE 1 has been on trains and puts in a lot of work on the streets since his comeback in 2009 with Easy, Sen4, Lewy, Sy, Kech, Dover, Remo, Arc..u5 and Bester. Now concentrating on art for the world to see and enjoy and it has become more natural.
Currently running one of only a couple legal places left to paint in New York (Bronx, N.Y called Graffiti Universe) RARE 1’s artistic abilities came back slowly but surely after all the years he took off to live life. But he does this for the world to see and enjoy his art.
Eddie Rodriguez (1957 – Present)
Snake 1, one of the original members of Writers Corner and United Graffiti Artists, started experimenting with graffiti at the young age of thirteen. In the 1970’s, the tag TAKI183 caught his eye,he began noticing it around the neighbourhood and then throughout the city.
Eventually,the Puerto Rican artist began tagging his name SNAKE 188 on street pole lights, mail boxes and then any where he could get away with it.However,he later changed his tag to SNAKE 1, deleting any reference to his street address in order not to get caught by the police.
After gathering a following in the streets of NYC, Snake 1 and his writing partner STITCH 1 started writers corner 188. It was a place for writers to hang out and exchange stories.
After hitting the buses and trains, Snake 1 transferred his works onto canvas, which led to many of his pieces being displayed in galleries affiliated with United Graffiti Artists Organization.
Snake is known for his “KING OF ALL SNAKES YA Dig” and has worked on all IRT and IND lines. Snake 1’s work was exhibited at the first ever graffiti show, Razor Gallery. He continues to be active today, painting on canvas, creating murals, participating in large group shows across Europe..
ROCKY 184 WC 188 was born in 1956 and raised in Washington heights NYC 188st ….what was deemed as writers corner.
She was girlfriend and partner to Stitch 1, co founder of writers corner. From 1969 to 1972 she was known as a ‘tagger’ (wall writer artist).
ROCKY 184 works with her now partner Keon One as a seasonal window artist and muralist, which was documented in the movie ‘Wallwriters’
Between 2012 to 2017 Rocky shows her current artwork at selected group shows throughout the New York Metropolitan area of works in mixed mediums on canvas.
Nic 707 figures prominently in the history of the New York graffiti movement which began to flourish in the early 1970’s. Born in Argentina as Fernando Pablo Miteff, he is the son of the famed Argentinian Heavyweight boxer, Pablo Alexis Miteff.
Fernando was raised in The Bronx, where he became part of the City’s radical and youth-driven urban art explosion. Inspired by the bold antics and ubiquitous works of artists like Phase 2 and Checker 170, he began as a “tagger” under the names of Stine 169 and Tuc 2. Fernando adopted Nic 707 in 1974 to experiment with combining the “Styles” of earlier artists he admired as well as his creating own unique styles. Nic 707’s work soon became a common site throughout New York’s IRT and IND subway lines.
Nic 707 is an early “Style Master,” a rare title of merit that acknowledges exceptional creativity, refined artistic talent and the willingness to share techniques with other artists. Nic 707 is one of the last surviving links between the 1st generation of Style Masters and the 2nd generation, exemplified by Chain 3, Kool 131 and Kase 2.
Nic 707’s enduring influence on the world of graffiti includes the mentoring of up and coming artists and noteworthy collaborations with many of the field’s celebrated luminaries. Of particular note is the success of Nic 707’s protege, Noc 167 (Melvin Samuels, Jr.), who is considered one of graffiti’s legendary talents. Nic 707 also founded the renowned OTB (“Out to Bomb” or “Only the Best”) graffiti crew and was its first president. Today, OTB boasts an active membership of thousands of dedicated artists worldwide.
In the summer of 1973 a little known teenager from Bushwick, New York produced this stunning and meticulously designed three dimensional striped masterpiece. Done with using multi colored Red Devil and Krylon aerosol spray paint demonstrating perspective and shadows giving the illusion that the letters are protruding from the train’s surface making them pop out.
This timeless painting is now considered the famous revolutionary piece that inspired, which is now an evolution of many generations of super writers and artists around the world.
Born in New York City’s Hells Kitchen in the revolutionary 60’s and growing up in the crime ridden streets of East New York Brooklyn during the 70’s,
Crime79’ works are mostly defined as simply revolutionary. His messages provide a dosage of consciousness that force the viewer to think.
Drawing since a child he started painting on subways in 1977 and is considered a true pioneer. His works are documented in Subway Art, the true bible of street art as well as documentaries, films, music videos, publications worldwide. His works have been seen in The Source Magazine, Art News, Print, Warp Magazine, Stress Magazine, The Village Voice, BET Television etc.
Crime79 is one of the early artists to transition from the subway era into the gallery scene in the early 80’s and has continue to be involved creatively since day one. His works have also been shown in the states and abroad and have been widely acclaimed in auctions.
Ree Vilmar started painting subway cars in the early 70’s to late 77.
The first line that I started to paint a subway car was in the 1 and 3 lines (Broadway). By 1975 move over to my home line in the Bronx with was the 2 and 5 lines and in between tag up the 4 and 6 lines. Most of my cars were whole top to bottom.
One of the sickest graffiti writers in New York, and also one of the most underrated.
SERVE brought a unique style and flare to the NYC subways with his colorful pieces in the 80’s. Serve’s skills are as on point as ever rocking some of the dopest pieces and characters with lightning speed and pinpoint can control. His black book work is amongst the best ever seen and he does 90% of his work for the pure love of the art.