Graffiti History

New York Graffiti:

Graffiti dates back to the earliest of times. And although New York City did not invent graffiti, in the late 1960s, New York graffiti artists created the form that would reverberate in cities throughout the world. Originally, the writing on the New York streets walls was used to mark territory. Later, the race was on to get one's name up in as many places as possible. Subway cars quickly became the canvas of choice, since writers could send their names from the Bronx all the way to Far Rockaway. Around this time, a delivery boy who went by the name of Taki 183 was written up in the New York Times for tagging the part of the Bronx he rode through. You'll notice that subway cars have become a popular subject of homage to the Graffiti Masters working with Gallery 69: LA 2, Lava I & II, Bama, Metro and StayHigh 149, whose works recorded the history of this artistic movement one train at a time.

The Gallery Scene:

For many writers, it was inevitable that graffiti would make its way into galleries, yet the introduction of this art form into formal settings has encounted significant resistance, both from the established art world and the writing community. In 1972, Hugo Martinez, who was a sociology major at the City College of New York, assembled the most talented graffiti writers of the era under the umbrella of the United Graffiti Artists (UGA). The other major graffiti shows took place in the Razor Gallery in Soho (1973), Galleria Medusa in Rome (1979), Esses Studios (1980), Fashion Moda gallery (1981), the Sidney Janis Gallery (1981), Museum of American Graffiti in New York (1989), "Graffiti at Auction" in New York City (2000) and The Brooklyn Museum (2006).

Gallery 69 Graffiti Artists:

From the walls of the five boroughs to the walls of GALLERY 69, we are bringing together the fusion of history and modern culture in this cohesive timeline of the graffiti writers: StayHigh 149, Cornbread, Crash, LA 2, Lava I & II, Metro, Bama, Seen, Taki 183, Slave, King 2, Ree 2, Clyde, Mico, Kool Kito, Fuzz One, Dr. Nuse 89, RD-357, Chino Malo, Joz and Easy, Blade, and Kit 17.

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