one of the original creators of the
art form called "graffiti," studied at
the institute of Higher Learning, better known as
the Lexington I.R.T. His canvas was the subway
car and his pallet various cans of spray paint.
"The best year for graffiti
was 1973," he ruminates. "Styles
were coming out. We got into this thing with
colors. First it was two colors, then three
colors, then four. What makes me a powerful
artist, " he states, " is that
my paintings are alive, strong and very bright.
The color combos make it. Balance: each color as
strong as it is enhances the color beside it,
going back and forth. Giving style and balance
and movement, that is what makes a good
"After the colors,"
TRACY 168 continues, "the
challenge became who could do the biggest piece,
the wildest. Then it was top-to-bottom, whole
car, whole train. We worked on clouds and flames.
We got into lettering. Everybody was trying to
develop their own technique. When I would go into
a yard (train), the first thing I would do is
look around and see who was good. That would be
my objective. To burn the best writer in the
yard, and I wouldn't leave until I did something
better than him."
Because of these types of
beginnings, most street graffiti was based on the
macho culture of competition. How long will you
take to do a car before you get caught? How big
can you write your name? It was fueled by a rage
against a society which didn't care about its
kids. It was a form of communication and a way to
gain recognition outside of community. It was
perceived as the only way to escape the ghetto,
and to become known and recognized in faraway
places, like Brooklyn.
The Story Part II
© 1997 Bronx Mall. All