Graffiti

art is trash kimmel windows ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL at NYU’s Kimmel Windows Gallery with: Art Is Trash, Gilf!, Iena Cruz, Cope2  & Indie 184, Ron English, Cost & Enx, Richard Hambleton and more

The windows of NYU’s Kimmel Center are now home to a wide range of street art and graffiti artworks. Presented in partnership with 3rd Culture Creative, a cutting-edge media development company, ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL showcases the distinct aesthetic of 15 artists whose works have surfaced on our streets. I recently had the opportunity to speak to its principal curator Pamela Jean Tinnen – who for the past five years has curated New York University’s Kimmel Galleries.

gilf cruz cope indie graffiti kimmel windows ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL at NYU’s Kimmel Windows Gallery with: Art Is Trash, Gilf!, Iena Cruz, Cope2  & Indie 184, Ron English, Cost & Enx, Richard Hambleton and more

I’m always delighted when universities embrace street art. Can you tell us something about how this project came to be? What might have prompted it?

Yes! Awhile back I went on a street art tour of the Bushwick Collective, conducted by one of my colleagues, Izzy Church. I loved what I saw, and I soon began researching street art. An exhibit featuring street art became a passion project of mine, and the Kimmel Windows Gallery seemed like the ideal site to showcase public art, particularly during the summer months.

Ron English nyu kimmel windows ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL at NYU’s Kimmel Windows Gallery with: Art Is Trash, Gilf!, Iena Cruz, Cope2  & Indie 184, Ron English, Cost & Enx, Richard Hambleton and more

Exhibiting works by street artists and graffiti writers in a public space – that can be seen by everyone — is certainly a cool notion! Are there any other particular concepts underlying this exhibit?

Yes. Placing works of street art behind a glass wall also hints at the monetary value of the artworks by those street artists who have achieved mainstream success.

Cost and Enx NYU windows ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL at NYU’s Kimmel Windows Gallery with: Art Is Trash, Gilf!, Iena Cruz, Cope2  & Indie 184, Ron English, Cost & Enx, Richard Hambleton and more

How did you and your co-curators – Izzy Church and Marten Kale –  decide which artists to include?

We reached out to our favorite artists, and several of the other artists reached out to us.

Did you encounter any unanticipated challenges in seeing it through?

The unconventional nature of the artworks demanded careful attention to their placement in this particular setting.

richard hambleton kimmel ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL at NYU’s Kimmel Windows Gallery with: Art Is Trash, Gilf!, Iena Cruz, Cope2  & Indie 184, Ron English, Cost & Enx, Richard Hambleton and more

I think it looks great! Each window is engaging. How has the response to it been?

The response has been wonderful. I’ve received so many positive messages, particularly from my colleagues.

Until when will it remain on view?

 It has been extended through September 12th.  And during these next few weeks, be prepared for some surprises as we make some changes in the windows! A closing event will be held on Saturday, September 10th from 7:30 – 10pm in the Grand Hall at NYU Global Center, 238 Thompson Street, 5th Floor. There will be art, music and a cash bar.

It all sounds great! 

Kimmel ART STREET 13 WINDOWS 1 WALL at NYU’s Kimmel Windows Gallery with: Art Is Trash, Gilf!, Iena Cruz, Cope2  & Indie 184, Ron English, Cost & Enx, Richard Hambleton and more

Images

1. Francisco de Pájaro aka  Art Is Trash

2. Gilf!, Iena Cruz and Cope2 with Indie

3. Ron English

4. Cost and Enx

5. Richard Hambleton

Located on Laguardia and West 3rd St, Kimmel Windows also features: John Fekner, ASVP, Lady Pink, Jonathan “Meres” Cohen, Fumero, Raquel Echanique, Federico Massa a.k.a. Iena Cruz, B.D. White, Joe Iurato, Martian Code and Skewville.

Photo credits: 1-4 Lois Stavsky; 5 courtesy Woodward Gallery; interview by Lois Stavsky

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lady k fever at marcus garvey Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Lady K Fever has been feverishly busy! Along with creating and installing All Along the Watchtower, an interactive public art installation at Marcus Garvey Park, she was also at work curating Inside Out, a group exhibit at the nearby Heath Gallery, to coincide with her installation.  This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to visit both the installation and the exhibit.

Lady K Fever installation Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Another segment of the Marcus Garvey Park installation – at night

Lady K Installation at night Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

And at the Heath Gallery – Lady K Fever, Mystery

Lady K Mystery Heath gallery Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Jenevieve, Two Views

Jenevieve Two Views Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Natalie Collette Wood, Eliptical Star

Natalie Collette WoodEliptical Star Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Marthalicia, Aquatic Boy

marthalicia heath gallery Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Shame 125, Admiring

shame graffiti on canvas Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

Bio,Tats Cru, Let the Games Begin

bio tats cru let the games begin Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

And “the crew” outside Heath Gallery

heath gallery artists Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

The exhibit at Heath Gallery can be seen this weekend: Saturday from 12-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm. All Along the Watchtower remains on view through the end of this month. And for a guided walk of it, you can meet up with Lady K FeverSuprina and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance members at the nearby Chéri Restaurant, 231 Lenox Avenue, between 6-7pm on Friday evening.

All Along the Watchtower is sponsored by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative with funding provided in part by the Harlem Community Development Corporation. 

 Photos: 1-3 & 10 courtesy Lady K Fever; 4-9 Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

en play badge 2 Lady K Fever at Marcus Garvey Park and at the Heath Gallery with Jenevieve, Natalie Collette Wood, Marthalicia, Shame 125, Bio & more

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enzo sarto street art  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

In addition to its dozens of outstanding murals, Montreal teems with intriguing graffiti and street art — fashioned by both local and visiting artists. Pictured above is Enzo Sarto. Here are a few more we captured last week:

Wax Head

waxhead street art montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Mastrocola

mastrocola mural art Montrea  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Chris Dyer

chris dyer street art montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Shalak and Smoky

shalak and smoky street art montreal1  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Earth Crusher

earth crusher graffiti montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

Zek 156

zek156 graffiti montreal  Street Art NYC in Montreal, Part III: Enzo Sarto, Wax Head, Mastrocola, Chris Dyer, Shalak & Smoky, Earth Crusher and Zek156

And beginning today Montreal’s annual Under Pressure Graffiti Festival continues the transformation of the city into a visual wonderland.

Photo credits: 1 Lois Stavsky; 2-7 Tara Murray

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All-City Express, a hugely impressive interactive art exhibitionmade its world premiere last weekend at Randall’s Island’s Panorama. Under the curatorial direction of 5Pointz Creates leaders Meres One and Marie Flageul, Lady Pink, Tkid 170Toofly, Meres One, Jerms, Topaz, and See tf painted live, covering digital subway cars with original artwork. Fusing graffiti’s underground roots with innovative video technology, the project was developed by Brooklyn-based AST Studios with Tangible Interaction. Here are a few images captured in the course of this three-day cutting-edge homage to traditional graffiti art.

Five of the 5Pointz Creates crew with Marie Flageul in foreground — on green screen

5pointz creates with marie <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Lady Pink and Toofly at work on green screen

lady pink and toofly graffiti <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

And with completed piece as viewed on virtual subway train

lady Pink and Toofly graffiti production <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

See tf and Python with completed piece on green screen

see tf and python <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Jerms and Topaz  as a mix of technologies brings them at work onto a NYC train in real time

Jerms graffiti projection <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

T-Kid with completed piece on green screen

T Kid graffiti <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

And as viewed on virtual train

T Kid Randalls <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Meres One at work on green screen

meres paints graffiti <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Digital tagging by AST Studios; graffiti software by Tangible Interaction & advanced motion capture by PhaseSpace

5 pointz tags <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

And the trains roll by throughout NYC with AST Studios‘ life-like visual effects and editorial content by Possible Productions

graffiti trains <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

Photo credits: 1, 3-10 Nic Lyte and 2 Rachel Fawn; videos produced by AST Studios

Note: This blog will be on vacation through Sunday, August 7. You can follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.

Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

en play badge 2 <em>All City Express</em> Premieres at Randalls Island with: Meres, Lady Pink, Toofly, See tf, Python, Jerms, Topaz and T Kid

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James Kusel at work graffiti ar Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

While visiting the incredible Living Museum housed at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village earlier this week, I unexpectedly came upon a graffiti artist at work.  He introduced himself as James Kusel, and when I shared my passion for graffiti with him, he spoke about his experiences back in the day and his current mission to give back.

When did you first get up?  

It was during my sophomore year of high school. I was 16 years old.

What inspired you back then?

I was working in a luncheonette in Woodhaven, and I saw the black books of the kids who were also working there. It was love at first sight! And getting up was a great outlet for me. I was a troubled kid – almost always alone – and graffiti gave me something to live for at the time…and a sense of belonging. I was passionate about it.

james kusel name graffiti Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

What were your main spots?

I started hitting the trains immediately. Among the lines that I hit were: the M, J, 7, the E and F and the 2 line. My favorites were the BMT flats. I bombed the outsides of the trains with Krylon and Rust-Oleum, and the insides with Pilots, Unis and Flow Markers. I also hit yards and rooftops. I wrote Aero.

What is the riskiest thing you ever did back then?

Everything I did was risky. Here I was a white kid – piecing at 3 in the morning in the M and J yards while ducking from the cops. It’s not where I should have been. But the riskiest thing I ever did was bombing while I was high on angel dust.

How did your family feel about what you were doing back?

My mother hated it. When she couldn’t take any more of me, she shipped me away to High Point Hospital.  I spent 2 ½ years there, and since 1988, I’ve been coming here. I’ve been sober now – free of drugs and alcohol – for 28 years. If I hadn’t been locked up during the height of the crack epidemic, I’d be dead now – like so many of my friends from back in the day.

james kusel its a beautiful life graffii art Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

Have you ever shown your work in galleries or museums – besides the Living Museum?

Yes. I painted a gigantic mural at the Queens Museum in 2002 for its exhibit In the Flow: Artists From the Living Museum. By then I had changed my name to Insane. And I’ve painted and shown murals in alternative spaces when I worked as a DJ.

Have you ever studied art in a formal setting?

No. Why should I? I like to do things my way. I’m too cool for art school!

Did any particular cultures influence you?

Black culture. Most of my friends have been Black. I’ve been raised by that culture.

James Kusel New York graffiti art Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

What’s your favorite place to create art these days?

Right here! I love the Living Museum. The people are wonderful, and I feel as though I am a part of a community of artists. There’s a great sense of camaraderie.

Have you any other particular interests and passions?

Yes! I love music, all music. And I am also a culinary artist and ex-surfer.

Are there any graffiti artists whose works have inspired you?

Yes! Among the artists who’ve inspired me are: Dondi, Zephyr, Duster and Lee.

James Kusel Help graffiti art Speaking with Graffiti Artist James Kusel at Creedmoor’s Living Museum

Any shout-outs?

T-Kid! I identify with him and all that he’s overcome.

What do you see as the role of the artist in society?

To keep his talent, the artist must give it away. That is his role. To share it with others.

What’s ahead for you?

I’d like to create more art expressing positive messages and I want to interact more with members of the community.

Interview conducted by Lois Stavsky with Bonnie Astor and edited by Lois Stavsky; photos 1 & 2 Lois Stavsky

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Caps Matches Color HomeStyle HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Celebrating the history of today’s spray paint culture, Bristol-based HANGFIRE has teamed up with U.S.- based spray brand collectors Cap Matches Color to present HomeStyle.  On display and for purchase will be a strong collection of spray paint memorabilia from the archives of  Cap Matches Color and U.K. based collector, Ticks. Also on exhibit will be limited edition photographic prints from worldwide traveller and photographer Mr. Yoshi and original artwork and limited prints from Cheo.

Cheo graffiti art HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Copies of Two Decades of Digging will be available for purchase, along with limited edition silkscreened skate decks featuring vintage spray paint graphics of Marabu Buntlack, Krylon and Rust-Oleum by HANGFIRE.

cap matches color book HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

The exhibit opens at tomorrow — Friday evening — at 49 North Street, BS3 1EN Bristol, UK on the eve of Bristol’s famed Upfest Festival and continues through August 5th.

Home style exhibit HomeStyle    <em>Cap Matches Colors</em> First International Exhibit    to Open Tomorrow, July 22, at Bristols HANGFIRE Gallery

Images for this post courtesy HANGFIRE and Cap Matches Color; photo of Cap Matches Color by Lois Stavsky

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t kid graffiti hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

With their vibrant colors and seductive styles, the rotating walls in Hackensack’s Union Street Park tantalize.  Pictured above is T-Kid. Here are a few more captured yesterday:

Jew BT

jew graffiti Hackensack NJ Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Part One TDS

part TDS Hackensack NJ Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Rath

rath graffiti hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Pase BT

pase bt graffiti NJ Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

 Flite TDS

flite graffiti hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe

Abe BT

abe bronx team graffiti mural hackensack new jersey Back to Hackensack with: T Kid, Jew, Part One, Rath, Pase, Flite and Abe 
Photo credits: 1, 5 & 7 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2-4 & 6 Lois Stavsky

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This is the sixth in a series of occasional posts featuring images of New York City’s doors that sport everything from tags and stickers to sophisticated images.

Elbow Toe

Elbow toe street art door nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

RAE

rae bk street art door nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

Dain, Dee Dee and more

dain and dee dee street art nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

Kenny Scharf

Kenny scharf door midtown nyc NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

And seen awhile back, Art Is Trash

art is trash williamsburg door NYC’s Expressive Doors, Part VI: Elbow Toe, RAE, Dain, Dee Dee, Kenny Scharf and Francisco de Pájaro aka Art Is Trash

 Photo credits: 1, 2 & 4 Tara Murray; 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson & 5 Lois Stavsky

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This is the eleventh in a series of occasional posts featuring the art that has surfaced on NYC shutters:

Eelco on the Lower East Side 

Eelco Les street art shutter NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Crash and Bio on the Lower East Side

 crash and bio graffiti nyc copy NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Moody Mutz on the Lower East Side

Moody Mutz street art shutter nyc NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Phetus at the Bushwick Collective

phetus street art NYC NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Jules Muck aka MuckRock with the Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria, Queens

muck rock street art nyc NYC Shutters – Part XI: Street Art and Graffiti by Eelco, Crash with Bio, Moody Mutz, Phetus and Jules Muck

Photo credits: 1, 4 & 5 Tara Murray; 2 Dani Reyes Mozeson & 3 courtesy of John Woodward

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Tracy168 graffiti Bushwick Collective NYC Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

With his outstanding sense of color, style and design, Tracy 168 achieved legendary status early on in the most significant art movement of our time. The personification of wild style and the first writer to hit the subways with cartoon characters, the prolific artist wielded tremendous influence. On reviewing Tracy 168‘s work on exhibit back in 1999, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times art critic Holland Cotter had the following to say: “Tracy offers an astounding variety of styles, from 3-D to space-age spiky to Cubistic. He floats out words on cushions of colors, and ties them up in unreadable knots, festooned with tendril-like flourishes.”

When did you first get up?

I first got up with a crayon on a wall in my house when I was four years old. I remember drawing a tortoise and a hare. I lived across from the Bronx Zoo, and I always heard the sounds of animals from my window.

What about the streets? When did you first hit the streets? And the trains? When did you first hit them?

In 1969 when the Mets won the World Series, I first hit the streets. And I tagged my first train the same year. I was 11.

tracy 168 mets yankees graffiti train Bronx NYC Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

Tracy flint photo Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

What inspired you to do so?

I loved the sense of adventure…the adrenalin rush. I envisioned myself as a Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. And I loved seeing my name on the trains.

Had you any favorite spots?

I was all-city, and I loved painting anywhere with people whom I loved. But my favorite spots were New Lots Avenue and Utica Avenue on the IRT line in Brooklyn. Any train I painted there would run right away, and so I didn’t have to hang around too long to see my piece pass by.

tracy168 cartoon on subway train Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

What about crews? Did you get up with any crews?

I founded the Wanted crew. It was one of the largest crews ever, and just about anybody who was anybody of worth was in that crew. It represented Wild Style.

Had you any early role models or inspirations?

My mother, my grandfather, Jack StewartMichael Stewart… Michael Stewart gave his life so that others would live. After his death in 1983 — and the trials and investigations that ensued — the police were somewhat afraid of treating writers so brutally.  We are the true prophets…

Any particular risky ventures stand out?

I was always wild, always doing dangerous things.

tracy168 painting Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

How did you support yourself back in the day? What was your source of income?

In the late 70’s, I began to create all kinds of art-related jobs for myself — painting storefronts, memorial walls, murals… I was the first writer to do that kind of thing. I also worked in an advertising agency. Jack Stewart taught me about copyrights and trademarks. He was a true mentor. He told me real stories — not the ones from Fantasy Island.

Your work has been shown in all kinds of settings across the globe!

Yes!  I’ve been in museums and galleries all over the world. I was always breaking boundaries, Here in NYC my work has been exhibited in dozens of spaces including the New York Historical Society, the Brooklyn Museum and NYU.

I remember seeing your work at the Brooklyn Museum back in 2006.

Yeah! When I came by, I made some adjustments to my canvas with a paintbrush. That didn’t go over well with the security guards. They got the curator of the exhibit involved, who insisted that I couldn’t change anything, since it had already been photographed for their catalog.

tracy168 graffiti Bronx NYC Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

Did you have a formal art education?

My education is hands-on.

How do you feel about the role of the Internet in this scene?

It can be used as a tool — if you know how to read the truth.

tracy sketch Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

What’s your ideal working environment?

Anywhere outdoors. Even when I paint canvases, I like to paint outside.

What inspires you these days?

My main inspiration is to express myself and grow as an artist in a world that is reluctant to see me as one.

Are there any particular cultures that have influenced your aesthetic?

Every culture. NYC is a melting pot, and I’m in the center of it painting.

tracy 168 abstract art in black book Speaking with the Legendary Tracy 168

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

I’m not done until I’m happy. As long as I’m alive, I can improve on it. But it must have meaning and exude positivity. Otherwise, why bother?

A few years back you were reported dead. What was that all about?

If I hadn’t died then, I wouldn’t be alive now. It had to happen.  When I vanished, I saw the world going in the wrong direction. This art form can save it.

How has your work evolved in the last few years?

It’s constantly evolving.  This movement is to art like jazz is to music. It’s a fusion of styles and cultures that knows no boundaries. It is a universal language. And the message of Wild Style is “Be yourself. Find out what your talent is and get good at it.” I love everyone, but I will not surrender the truth and lose my integrity.

Photos: 1, 6-8 Lois Stavsky; 2, 4 & 5 courtesy of the artist; 3 Flint Gennariinterview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Note: Photos 7 & 8 were captured from Tracy’s current black book; special thanks to Flint for the introduction!

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