Inwood

One of my favorite NYC walls is the one on 207th Street and 10th Avenue, directly off the 207th Street stop on the 1 line. Under the curatorial direction of South Bronx native Crane, who works up in Inwood, it hosts a range of veteran writers, along with their guests — often from out-of-state or abroad. I headed up there this past Sunday and was glad that I did! Pictured above is the work of UK-based Trik-09, who has been writing graffiti since 2005. Other images on the wall include the following:

The legendary Manhattan-based George “SEN-One” Morillo  (I tried to move the glass panel that had temporarily made its home there, but it was too heavy!)

Veteran NJ-based writer Ree Vilomar and Uptown wall curator and writer Crane

Crane, closer up

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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2-new-and-dia-msk-graffiti-writers

I met up with several members of the East Coast – and original – MSK crew while they were painting up in Inwood earlier this year. Among the writers I spoke to were: Kister, its current president; Dia One, MSK’s president back in the 80’s and its legendary former vice president, 2 New. (Note: pictured above is 2 New to the left of Dia One).

When was MSK first founded? And by whom?

It was founded in 1982 by MADE and WASE, along with a few other writers who attended IS 52 — right here in Inwood.

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Which trains was MSK hitting back in the day?

Any one nearby – the 1 train, the A, the AA, the C, the CC, the RR and sometimes the D and B.

How were the original MSK crew members regarded back then?

All of us growing up in the Heights and here in Inwood had enormous respect for them.  Everyone knew them and looked up to them.

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Can you give us a sense of what it was like hitting the trains back then?

We followed a routine. Five or six of us would gather in a friend’s house.  We’d design an outline. Then we’d rack the paint from a local hardware store. And once we had the paint, we’d pick a yard and sneak in.

And once you got into the yard?

We had to worry about gangs, dogs, cops and stepping on the 3rd rail.  Success was getting out alive and taking a photo.

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Do any particular memories stand out?

When three young MSK guys went to the 145th Street lay-ups and had their cans taken away by members of Jon One’s crew.  We had to retaliate, and we ended up eventually beating the crap out of two of them. The drama only continued, and eventually Jon One left NYC for Paris.

As the train era ended in the late 80’s, what surfaces were MSK’s second and third generation hitting?

Mostly highways, rooftops and handball courts.  And because we had to be fast, we mostly did bombs and throw-ups. We didn’t have time for pieces – except for occasional ones on handball courts.

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Here you have members of all three generations of MSK working together – painting on a legal wall.

Yes, we do it because it’s fun. It’s our way of celebrating our culture.

And how does painting on a legal spot like this one differ from working illegally?

On a legal space like this, we can take our time and make as many changes as we want as we work. But when we paint on walls like these, we can’t get the adrenalin rush that comes with working illegally. It’s not the same — nowhere close! And we miss it!

Images

1. Dia One and 2 New against mural by Frankizm

2. Frankizm at work on tribute mural to 2 New

3. Dia One at work at night

4. Kron

5. Dia One  — memorial wall first painted in 1992 and redone, at the family’s request, in 2013 — with Flite, Frankizm, Kister, Cel & Nest

Interview & photos by Lois Stavsky

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Lady-K-Fever-Paints-graffiti-NYC

This past Saturday, Her Story, the first annual female graffiti series, was launched at the legendary Inwood wall on Isham Street off 10th Avenue . While visiting, I had the opportunity to speak to the inimitable Lady K Fever.

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Can you tell us something about Her Story’s mission?

We women are underrepresented in the graffiti world. The mission of Her Story is to provide us female writers with a supportive environment to tell our stories while sharing our skills with others.

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Whose idea was it? And how did the concept for such a project become a reality?

We’ve been constantly talking  — among ourselves — about the need for more opportunities. We feel that we don’t have anywhere as many opportunities — or access to spaces — as guys have.  And, by chance, several weeks ago, Crane invited us to paint here on Isham and 10th Avenue.

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How did you decide which artists to include in today’s launch?

We’ve all known each other for awhile, have painted together before and we get along well together. We are looking forward to including additional female writers in future jams.

Bom5

The vibes here are great! Everyone seems to be having so much fun. What is your impression of this launch?

It’s been excellent! So many people came by to watch us paint, including many legendary old school writers. It’s been busy!

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What’s ahead for Her Story?

With the sponsorship of The Bronx Graffiti Art Gallery and Hush Hip Hop Tours, we will be painting for the next six months in five boroughs in three states. On June 25th you can find us at Tuff City.  Future spots include: Graffiti Universe and Hackensack, New Jersey. We will also be involved in the New York Restoration Project. In collaboration with Bette Midler’s foundation, we will be painting in a garden on July 30th, as part of the series, Ladies of the Bronx, highlighting the elements of hip hop.

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It’s all very exciting! Good luck!

Images

1. Lady K Fever

2. Mel1

3. Rocky 184

4. Charmin 65

5. Miss Boombox with Bom5 dancing to its beat; Gem 13 on right

6. Gem13

7. Neks

Photos and interview by 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.

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kron-one-and nest-paint-graffiti-Inwood

When I stopped by the wall on 207th Street — one of my favorite Uptown spots —  this past Friday, I met veteran writers Kron One, Nest 156 and Bind 156 at work on a mural to serve as a backdrop for a Minx video. Yesterday I returned to see the completed wall. What follows are a few images captured both days:

Nest 156 at work on Friday

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Nest 156‘s completed piece

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Kron One at work on Friday

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Kron One, as seen yesterday

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Bind 156 at work on Friday

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Bind 156, as seen yesterday

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Photos by Lois Stavsky

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noir-and-trans1-graffiti-NYC

Always a showcase for NYC — mostly veteran — writers, the always-rotating walls off the 1 train on 207th Street and 210th Street increasingly host artists from abroad. Here is a sampling of what was sighted this past week:

London-based Trans1

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London-based Noir

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NYC-based veteran writer Ree 

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Bronx-based veteran writer Rocky184

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Veteran writer Keon1, mgs gnd 

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Legendary Bronx-native T-Kid

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Photos 1-5 and 7 by Lois Stavsky; 6 courtesy of Keon1

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Few NYC graffiti walls change as frequently as those in Upper Manhattan’s open-air gallery.  Curated by South Bronx native, Crane, the walls off the 1 train on 207th Street and 210th Street serve as revolving canvases to several veteran NYC writers and their occasional guests.  Here’s a sampling of what has surfaced in the past several months:

Uptown stylemaster Cone

cone

Veteran graffiti writer Kool Kito

Kool Kito

Local artist Panic Rodriguez

"Panic Rodrigues"

LA-based graffiti writer Jero ICR  

Jero

Legendary UK graffiti writer Pulse

pulse

Veteran graffiti writer Ree

Ree

Photos 1, 2, 5 and 6 by Lois Stavsky; 3 and 4 by City-as-School intern Travis Hicks

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Zeso and Justone-graffiti-Inwood

One of Upper Manhattan’s gems is the wall on 207th Street and 10th Avenue, directly off the 207th Street stop on the 1 line. Under the direction of South Bronx native Crane, who works up in Inwood, its murals are always changing and always worth checking out. This past Monday, Crane was joined by Zeso1port — in from France — and Just WF aka Just One. Here are some more images captured that day:

Crane at work early in the evening — after a day of work

"Crane graffiti"

1port at work adding his touch to Zeso,’s mural

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1port

Import

Just WF

"Just WF"

A source of pride to local businesses and residents, this wall is one of three in Inwood under Crane’s curatorial management.

Photos 1 and 3 by City-as-School intern Travis Hicks; photos 2, 4, and 5 by Lois Stavsky

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