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Discussion in 'Brick Slayers' started by trew, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. trew

    trew Member

    Joined: Dec 24, 2001 Messages: 603 Likes Received: 0
    So here is the concept, you find interviews, then you find a flick of the writer so as not to upset those who have the "rules" of 12 oz deeply engrained into their belief system, and you post the flick along with the interview. Simple as that. I'll start it off in a second, so don't get all pissy quite yet, just wait for a few seconds and I'll start it off

    INDEX -

    HAZE 29.......................................................Page 1
    GKAE...........................................................Page 1
    EL MACON (THE MAC).....................................Page 1
    JA................................................................Page 1
    OTHER.........................................................Page 1
    DELT............................................................Page 1
    CES.............................................................Page 1
    SCORE story.................................................Page 1
    BATES..........................................................Page 1
    BATES again.................................................Page 1
    O'CLOCK......................................................Page 1
    HECK...........................................................Page 1
    SABER/TYKE..................................................Page 1
    EAZ..............................................................Page 1
    SIME............................................................Page 1
    TOTEM2........................................................Page 1
    NACE............................................................Page 1
    RASP............................................................Page 1
    SEEN...........................................................Page 1
    TM CREW......................................................Page 1
    RIME.............................................................Page 1
  2. MrMajicMarkker

    MrMajicMarkker New Jack

    Joined: Jul 20, 2001 Messages: 27 Likes Received: 0
  3. trew

    trew Member

    Joined: Dec 24, 2001 Messages: 603 Likes Received: 0
    HAZE 29 Interview

    CAN CONTROL - Freight Train Special Number Two (Issue 12 - 1996)


    Haze of the famed Mad Society Kings and Art Work Rebels Graffiti crews is deep into his two hundred and sixtieth freight...

    Zaftig Burners running all country and Canada. Across the doors. Under and/or on the numbers. Over and around the ladder. Top to bottom or end to end.

    Can Control caught up with Haze on a short trip up north for FR-8 and wall action.


    CC: Why freights?

    HAZE: I like the fact that they travel all country. Also that there is so many blank trains waiting. It seems like an open field for my generation. Something in Graffiti that isn't played out. Yet...

    CC: Are toys getting it? Are they finding out about freights?

    HAZE: Ya. The toys are infiltrating.

    CC: Are your crews organized about your freight bombing?

    HAZE: Well it's only some of our members who do the freight bombing, but no we're not really organized we just get drunk and go hit freights!......

    CC: What about at the meetings, do you talk about freights?

    HAZE: Ya we bring it up. The ones who do them say what they did, but we don't talk about them that much.

    CC: Has freight bombing replaced much? Have you less time for walls, etc?

    HAZE: for me it's replaced freeway bombing. We still paint yards, and we do the right freeways. With the city's buffing, and freeways being the same old thing, freights are the right alternative.

    CC: What writers in the crews do freight bombing?

    HAZE: Phable, Krises, Bles, Gkae, Fate, Havok, Push, Chunk, etc, etc.

    CC: Do you think other city's have a real freight scene or how many city's do you think are just out to get drunk and bomb trains?

    HAZE: For kids in city's who don't have a good city or downtown graff scene, freights might be all they have. Their only exposure to graffiti might be trains rolling through their city from L.A. or New York.

    CC: Do you keep up with your freights? Do you know where they roll, or what train number is at what yard?

    HAZE: I hear by word of mouth, about my trains seen in Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta, Arizona, New Mexico, New York.

    CC: Is it possible to hit trains in L.A. Now or is it over run with cops and toys?

    HAZE: The scene is burnt! You have to have balls to paint freights out there. Cops roll through the yards, but you know, that makes it real...

    CC: I asked some of this a minute ago, but, is freights taking away the drive to do the "ill" shit in city bombing?

    HAZE: NO, there's a new wave of hardcore bombing in L.A.. My boy Gkae brought that back (See Can Control All Bombing Issue). Their going up big with letters and with colors.

    CC: what are your favorite freight achievements?

    HAZE: As a crew, we started to do as many end to ends as we could. AS far as me alone, I've done e to e's, a top to bottom, but I want more.

    CC: Is there still a rush hitting freights after 200 trains?

    HAZE: I still get a rush going and coming from the yards. It's still the best rush!

    CC: Are you able to shoot flicks of all your trains?

    HAZE: I did in the beginning. Now I just let them float around, see if I find them.

    CC: Are they coming back?

    HAZE: Some do. There are some that just disappeared. I don't know what happen to them. Never got to see or shoot them after doing it.

    CC: Do you paint only certain trains, or sides of the train?

    HAZE: I've seen a lot of people stamped when the workers put the numbers back in. They stamp on both sides of the train when they repaint the numbers. I try to avoid the numbers. I'll do color peices under them, or off to one side, I don't want to see just one of my "E's" floating... The workers will do extra large boxes sometimes to repaint the numbers. Boxes way to big. I've seen dope peices just stamped.

    CC: does it feel like it now, or do you think it will ever feel like, the trains are really bombed?

    HAZE: I didn't think so at first, but now some places I go to see or hit trains every car is done. Most of it is toys like at L.A.'s Budweiser lay-up. That place was very easy and chill to bomb, but now it looks like a fucking toys yard. Wack pieces on all the trains and walls, empty cans everywhere. I don't know what's happening.

    CC: So once again, why freights?

    HAZE: It seems like this is my spot in graffiti. By the time I got into graffiti most things seemed burnt, but this is something I could feel good about: "Hitting a lot of freights".

  4. trew

    trew Member

    Joined: Dec 24, 2001 Messages: 603 Likes Received: 0
    GKAE Interview


    Stole from Guerillaone.com -

    Interview: GKAE MSK
    Interview by: Eklips Awr August 2, 1999

    Q- What do you write?

    Gkae- Gkae, Mad Society Kings.

    Q- How long have you wrote?

    Gkae- A good nine years now, 95' being my best.

    Q- Who are your influences?

    Gkae- Yeah everything I see, older writers who came before me, gang graffiti, and all the all city writers.

    Q- How many times have you been locked up?

    Gkae- Five times now, this being the longest. I've done 16 months so far, and I just started a three-year term.

    Q- How do you feel about the fact that a rapist got a lighter sentence than you did on the same day?

    Gkae- I didn't know that, but it doesn't suprise me; people feel threatened by graffiti, because they don't understand it. When the judge handed me three years he said,"...you don't have one victim you have tens of thousands of victims that have to see your graffiti on their way to work."

    Q- What would you tell younger writers?

    Gkae- If you do graffiti realize what you are risking, but if you do it go all out!

    Q- Do you regret it?

    Gkae- No

    Q- What do you regret?

    Gkae- Hurting my family and friends. I don't regret the graffiti, I feel a majority of it wasn't wrong.

    Q- What's jail like?

    Gkae- It's no picnic. Ha Ha. It's a headache, constant politics and the food sucks.

    Q- Is it a problem being white in jail?

    Gkae- L.A. County, yes. Prison, no. It's gotten easier in the past five years. Southsiders and whites hang out more now.

    Q- Does it help being Gkae in jail?

    Gkae- No, because most of these peoples world's are small, and aren't concerned with graffiti. They could teach you how to cook meth or crack, but they don't know the first thing about graffiti.

    Q- How do you feel about your education being on hold?

    Gkae- At least when I go to prison I can take my basic college courses.

    Q- Do you think you'll still be on point when you get out?

    Gkae- Yeah, I won't be gone for that long. I read a lot, especially the newspaper.

    Q- Sum up the whole situation in jail?

    Gkae- Doing time and I got time to do. Just sitting waiting to get out.

    Q- What will you do when you get out?

    Gkae- Finish school, make some money, live a semi-normal life as a parolee.

    Q- Do you have any last words?

    Gkae- If there is something I want people to know is that I did bomb hard, and I don't want to be known as the the guy who went to prison for graffiti. If I bomb again? it's up to me.

  5. fr8lover

    fr8lover Guest



    website is down temporarily, otherwise id have a lot more flix...

    FF: Alright Mr. Mac, first things first. What do you write, which crews do you push?
    MAC: I write the Mac and my main crew is NG. I also push DSC, CIA and TOP, also. But NG is the main crew.

    FF: Okay. CIA and TOP, the New York City crews?
    MAC: Yeah. DONDI's crews.

    FF: Right on. Was he a big influence in your starting to write?
    MAC: Very big influence, or inspiration at least. Especially the flicks of him in subway art, we all know the ones.

    FF: How did that come about?
    MAC: The magic of the internet, actually. Hooked up with DURO CIA who asked me to be down. Normally, I would've felt weird about writing for a crew like that where I wasn't really "down" with all the members. But hey, DONDI was a hero, so I couldn't pass it up.

    FF: How exactly did you start to write, and when?
    MAC: Well, I did my first character in '95, it was through friends, specifically VENK and STOEK DSC.

    FF: Just seeing other friends write, wanting to try it yourself?
    MAC: Well, STOEK was a little bit older and had started around maybe '92-93 and I respected his talent, and he invited me to paint. From then on I was hooked.

    FF: What kind of artistic backround did you have before you picked up a can?
    MAC: I was hardcore into comic books, always drawing comics. I still do actually. Along with a little bit of acrylic painting here and there.

    FF: So you were into characters from a young age?
    MAC: Oh yeah. For sure, I was always into drawing people and faces and whatnot. Graff was a cool medium that made it exciting to be an artist, to use my art for adventure, you know?

    FF: Definetely. Did you ever do letters or anything more typically 'associated with graffiti?'
    MAC: Yeah, certainly. Tags of course. I made a few attempts at pieces here and there, I still do an occasional piece, but its not my strongsuit. But I love handstyles.

    FF: But since you first started drawing comics, characters were the obvious favorite?
    MAC: Oh yeah, characters were the first love. I just enjoyed painting faces, and people and things.

    FF: But your characters aren't at all like most of the overused stereotypical graffiti chartacters. How did you start doing the realistic portraits?
    MAC: Well thanks. I like to think I'm adding to the scene, doing something at least a little bit different. I don't know how or when exactly I started with the realistics, but I definetely have to give credit to HEX TGO from LA for inspiration. I guess I just like painting stuff that looks real, or at least fairly realistic. I don't get down with the full color the way some people do.

    FF: Especially faces? I've always wondered who exactly all these people are. Friends? People you see? Many self portraits?
    MAC: Yeah, the faces. Haha. Those are a mix of people. Most of them are of my friends, with a bunch of me too; not because I'm egotistical, but I'm the cheapest easiest model, you know?

    FF: Definetely. And you don't have to rely on that person sitting there for you for extended periods of time!
    MAC: Haha. Well, of course not. That's not exactly practical.

    FF: Back to the color thing. I really enjoy seeing the black and white portraits. Some of them even look like sticking a face onto a copier. Anything to that?
    MAC: Yeah, well. Not to take any mystery away from that, but that's what I've used a lot for reference, xerox copies. And if I start seeing other people doing the same thing I keeel you mon!

    FF: I'll get the word out!
    MAC: Pity the foo!

    FF: What do other writers think of your work? Do they all respect the amount of emotion and feeling that they convey, compared to say block letters or a wildstyle piece on a wall?
    MAC: Shit, I don't know. Depends on the writer I suppose. Some dig it and are totally cool, others just don't get it. But in general, people seem to dig it, though its an interesting point.

    FF: Now I'm a freight guy, and I see a lot of your work and your friends rolling through my area. What got you into the freight scene?
    MAC: Ahhh, freights! Yeah, I love freights, what can i say? They're just great. I think for me personally it was just a better alternative to walls. It was a chance to just go and get down and not worry about what other people thought. And of course, there's the fact that freights go everywhere, all over the US, Canada, Mexico.

    FF: Well put! How was your first experience going to the yard and doing what would usually be done on a wall or a canvas?
    MAC: Hmm. It was frustrating for the first train, a little bit better by the second, and on the third I was feeling pretty damn good. It's a funny thing to be trying to concentrate and be creative, while also keeping your senses open and being ready to run.

    FF: I have to ask, any juicy yard stories? Chases?
    MAC: Hmm. Well, there are certainly stories that include some close calls with ghetto birds, cops, running, getting shot at, but I'll save those for another time. Haha. Sorry to disappoint. I will mention one time though, that isnt exciting or anything, but it was just a great night. It was a few years ago, when I was visiting Pittsburgh and I painted a couple nice end to ends with some friends, and the weather was perfect. The river was right behind us, and the city behind us, looking all romantic. The paint was coming out just right, felt like I was in a movie. That was just one of those magic moments, you know? Maybe not super exciting or unique, but for me it was food for the soul.

    FF: Always better than a chase story, thats for sure. Now you love freights and walls, I've seen a few canvases of yours too. Any gallery shows yet?
    MAC: Yeah, a few, but nothing big time. Nothing serious, and basically nothing I've gotten much money for.

    FF: What do you think about writers "selling out," those arent my words, but a feeling felt by a lot of people. I should've said, what is your opinion on gallery shows?
    MAC: Well, it's kinda like...you either paint graffiti or you don't, you know? And on the other hand, you should try to stick to your guns and not sell your soul, but sometimes you just gotta get by, or have a family to support. I think as longa s you're actually going out and painting and taking risks and getting down, then it's hard to sell out. I think gallery shows can be great, sometimes pretentious, but sometimes really great.

    FF: Kind of along the lines of what is graffiti and what isn't?
    MAC: Right.

    FF: Well, Mr. Mac, I think I'm out of questions. Any other comments you'd like to make?
    MAC: Best I can think of off hand is just thanks for the interest and appreciation, and I'm happy to be painting. Hopefully I can maybe help inspire some other people to get busy too, help beautify our trains and walls, and maybe create a little mystery out there. Make some kid at a railroad crossing trip out and wonder what the hell he just saw passing by. Haha.

    FF: I know I did when I saw a smushed face staring back at me!
    MAC: Haha. Great.

    FF: Any shoutouts or anyone or anything you'd like to say something to?
    MAC: Just as I planned.

    FF: Haha. You know the drill!
    MAC: Just much respect to my crews, my other friends, the southwest, my parents. And much love to Siloette, and I'd like to thank the academy. Haha. Just doing my part to keep the west wild. Paz!

    FF: Haha. Very nice, very nice. Thanks for taking the time to let me ask you some questions, and I hope to keep seeing your stuff rolling by on our beautiful freight system!
    MAC: No problem, man. Like I said, thanks for taking an interest. America the beautiful, I love trains.

    THEMISHE New Jack

    Joined: Sep 3, 2001 Messages: 1 Likes Received: 0
    Bump for a fresh thread and a fresh Haze interview.
  7. trew

    trew Member

    Joined: Dec 24, 2001 Messages: 603 Likes Received: 0
    JA Article


    Originally posted by "*see-phore*", who has since been banned - but thanks for posting the article before you left man

    Here it is -

    THE FIRST TIME I meet JA, he skates up to me wearing Rollerblades, his cap played backward, on a street corner in Manhattan at around midnight. He's white, 24 years old, with a short, muscular build and
    a blond crew cut. He has been writing graffiti off and on in New York for almost 10 years and is the founder of a loosely affiliated crew called XTC. His hands, arms, legs and scalp show a variety of scars
    from nightsticks, razor wire, fists and sharp, jagged things he has climbed up, on or over. He has been beaten by the police -- a "wood shampoo," he calls it -- has been shot at, has fallen off a
    highway sign into moving traffic, has run naked through train yards tagging, has been chased down highways by rival writers wielding golf clubs and has risked his life innumerable times writing graffiti --
    bombing, getting up.

    JA lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment. There's graffiti on a wall-length mirror, a weight bench, a Lava lamp to bug out on, cans of paint stacked in the corner, a large Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) sticker on the side of the refrigerator. The buzzer to his apartment lists a false name; his phone number is unlisted to avoid law-enforcement representatives as well as conflicts with other writers.
    While JA and one of his writing partners, JD, and I are discussing their apprehension about this story, JD, offering up a maxim from the graffiti life, tells me matter-of-factly, "You wouldn't fuck us over, we know where you live."

    At JA's apartment we look through photos. There are hundreds of pictures of writers inside out-of-service subway cars that they've just covered completely with their tags, pictures of writers wearing orange safety vests -- to impersonate transit workers -- and walking subway tracks, pictures of detectives and transit workers inspecting graffiti that JA and crew put up the previous night, pictures of stylized JA 'throw-ups' large, bubble-lettered logos written 15 feet up and 50 times across a highway retaining wall. Picture after picture of JA's on trains, JA's on trucks, on store gates, bridges, rooftops, billboards -- all labeled, claimed and recorded on film.

    JA comes from a well-to-do family; his parents are divorced; his father holds a high-profile position in the entertainment industry. JA is aware that in some people's minds this last fact calls into question his street legitimacy, and he has put a great deal of effort into resisting the correlation between privileged and soft. He estimates he has been arrested 15 times for various crimes. He doesn't have a job, and it's unclear how he supports himself. Every time we've been together, he's been high or going to get high. Once he called me from Rikers Island prison, where he was serving a couple of months for disorderly conduct and a probation violation. He said some of the inmates saw him tagging in a notebook and asked him to do tattoos for them.

    It sounds right. Wherever he is, JA dominates his surroundings. With his crew, he picks the spots to hit, the stores to rack from; he controls the mission. He gives directions in the car, plans the activities, sets the mood. And he takes everything a step further than the people he's with. He climbs higher, stays awake longer, sucks deepest on the blunt, writes the most graffiti. And though he's respected by other writers for testing the limits -- he has been described to me by other writers as a king and, by way of
    compliment, as "the sickest guy I ever met" -- that same recklessness sometimes alienates him from the majority who don't have such a huge appetite for chaos, adrenaline, self-destruction.

    When I ask a city detective who specializes in combating graffiti if there are any particularly well-known writers, he immediately mentions JA and adds with a bit of pride in his voice, "We know each other." He
    calls JA the "biggest graffiti writer of all time" (though the etective would prefer that I didn't mention that, because it'll only encourage JA). "He's probably got the most throw-ups in the city, in the country, in the world," the detective says. "If the average big-time graffiti vandal has 10,000 tags, JA's got 100,000. He's probably done -- in New York City alone -- at least $5 million worth of damage."

    AT ABOUT 3 A.M., JA AND TWO OTHER WRITERS go out to hit a billboard off the West Side Highway in Harlem. Tonight there are SET, a 21-year-old white writer from Queens, N.Y., and JD, a black Latino writer the same age, also from Queens. They load their backpacks with racked cans of
    Rustoleum, fat cap nozzles, heavy 2-foot industrial bolt cutters and surgical gloves. We pile into a car and start driving, Schooly D blasting on the radio. First a stop at a deli where JA and SET go in and steal beer. Then we drive around Harlem trying a number of different dope spots, keeping an eye out for "berries" -- police cars. JA tosses a finished 40-ounce out the window in a high arc, and it smashes on the street.

    At different points, JA gets out of the car and casually walks the streets and into buildings, looking for dealers. A good part of the graffiti life involves walking anywhere in the city, at any time, and not being afraid -- or being afraid and doing it anyway.

    We arrive at a spot where JA has tagged the dealer's name on a wall in his territory. The three writers buy a vial of crack and a vial of angel dust and combine them ("spacebase") in a hollowed-out Phillies
    blunt. JD tells me that "certain drugs will enhance your bombing," citing dust for courage and strength ("bionics"). They've also bombed on mescaline, Valium, marijuana, crack and malt liquor. SET tells a
    story of climbing highway poles with a spray can at 6 a.m., "all Xanaxed out."

    While JD is preparing the blunt, JA walks across the street with a spray can and throws up all three of their tags in 4-foot-high bubbled, connected letters. In the corner, he writes my name.

    We then drive to a waterfront area at the edge of the city -- a eserted site with warehouses, railroad tracks and patches of urban wilderness dotted with high-rise billboards. All three writers are now high,
    and we sit on a curb outside the car smoking cigarettes. From a distance we can see a group of men milling around a parked car near a loading dock that we have to pass. This provokes 30 minutes of
    obsessive speculation, a stoned stakeout with play by play:

    "Dude, they're writers," says SET. "Let's go down and check them out," says JD. "Wait, let's see what they write," says JA. "Yo -- they're going into the trunk," says SET. "Cans, dude, they're going for their
    cans. Dude, they're writers. "There could be beef, possible beef," says JA. "Can we confirm cans, do we see cans?" SET wants to know. Yes, they do have cans," SET answers for himself. "There are cans. They are writers." It turns out that the men are thieves, part of a group robbing a nearby truck. In a few moments guards appear with flashlights and at least one drawn gun. The thieves scatter as guard dogs fan
    out around the area, barking crazily.

    We wait this out a bit until JA announces, "It's on." Hood pulled up on his head, he leads us creeping through the woods (which for JA has become the cinematic jungles of Nam). It's stop and go, JA
    crawling on his stomach, unnecessarily close to one of the guards who's searching nearby. We pass through graffiti-covered tunnels (with the requisite cinematic drip drip), over crumbling stairs overgrown
    with weeds and brush, along dark, heavily littered trails used by crackheads.

    We get near the billboard, and JA uses the bolt cutters to cut holes in two chain-link fences. We crawl through and walk along the railroad tracks until we get to the base of the sign. JA, with his backpack on,
    climbs about 40 feet on a thin piece of metal pipe attached to the main pillar. JD, after a few failed attempts, follows with the bolt cutters shoved down his pants and passes them to JA. Hanging in midair,
    his legs wrapped around a small piece of ladder, JA cuts the padlock and opens up the hatch to the catwalk. He then lowers his arm to JD, who is wrapped around the pole just below him, struggling. "J,
    give me your hand, "I'll pull you up," JA tells him. JD hesitates. He is reluctant to let go and continues treadmilling on the pole, trying to make it up. JD, give me your hand." JD doesn't want to refuse, but he's uncomfortable entrusting his life to JA. He won't let go of the pole. JA says it again, firmly, calmly, utterly confident: "J give me your hand." JD's arm reaches up, and JA pulls JD up onto the catwalk. Next, SET, the frailest of the three, follows unsteadily. They've called down and offered to put up his tag, but he insists on going up. "Dude, fuck that, I'm down," he says. I look away while he makes his way up, sure that he's going to fall (he almost does twice). The three have developed a set pattern for dividing the labor when they're "blowing up," one writer outlining, another working behind him, filling in. For 40 minutes I watch them working furiously, throwing shadows as they cover ads for Parliament and Amtrak with large multicolored throw-ups SET and JD bickering about space, JA scolding them, tossing down empty cans.

    They risk their lives again climbing down. Parts of their faces are covered in paint, and their eyes beam as all three stare at the billboard, asking, "Isn't it beautiful?' And there is something intoxicating about seeing such an inaccessible, clean object gotten to and made gaudy. We get in the car and drive the West Side
    Highway northbound and then southbound so they can critique their work. "Damn, I should've used the white," JD says.

    The next day both billboards are newly re-covered, all the graffiti gone. JA tells me the three went back earlier to get pictures and made small talk with the workers who were cleaning it off.

    GRAFFITI HAS BEEN THROUGH A NUMBER OF incarnations since it surfaced in New York in the early 70s with a Greek teen-ager named Taki 183. It developed from the straightforward writing of a name to highly tylized, seemingly illegible tags (a kind of penmanship slang) to wild-style throw-ups and elaborate (master) "pieces" and character art. There has been racist graffiti political writing, drug advertising, gang graffiti. There is an art-graf scene from which Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiac, LEE, Futura 2000, Lady Pink and others emerged; aerosol advertising; techno graffiti written into computer programs; anti-billboard graffiti; stickers; and stencil writing. There are art students doing street work in San Francisco ("nonpermissional public art"); mural work in underground tunnels in New York; gallery shows from Colorado to New Jersey; all-day Graffiti-a-Thons; and there are graffiti artists lecturing art classes at universities. Graffiti has become part of urban culture, hip-hop culture and commercial culture, has spread to the suburbs and can be found in the backwoods of California's national forests. There are graffiti magazines, graffiti stores, commissioned walls, walls of fame and a video series available (Out to bomb) documenting writers going out on graffiti missions, complete with soundtrack. Graffiti was celebrated as a metaphor in the 70s (Norman Mailer's "The Faith of Graffiti"); it went Hollywood in the '80s (Beat Street, Turk 182!, Wild Style); and in the '90s it has been increasingly used to memorialize the inner-city dead.

    But as much as graffiti has found acceptance, it has been vilified a hundred times more. Writers are now being charged with felonies and given lengthy jail terms -- a 15-year-old in California was recently
    sentenced to eight years in a juvenile detention center. Writers have been given up to 1000 hours of community service and forced to undergo years of psychological counseling; their parents have been hit
    with civil suits. In California a graffiti writer's driver's license can be revoked for a year; high-school diplomas and transcripts can also be withheld until parents make restitution. In some cities property owners who fail to remove graffiti from their property are subject to fines and possible jail time. Last spring in St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Antonio and Sacramento, Calif., politicians proposed legislation to cane graffiti writers (four to 10 hits with a wooden paddle, administered by parents or by a bailiff in a public courtroom). Across the nation, legislation has been passed making it illegal to sell spray paint and wide-tipped markers to anyone under 18, and often the materials must be kept locked up in the stores. Several cities have tried to ban the sales altogether, license sellers of spray paint and require customers to give their name and address when purchasing paint. In New York some hardware-store owners will give a surveillance photo of anyone buying a large quantity of spray cans to the police. In Chicago people have been charged with possession of paint. In San Jose, Calif., undercover police officers ran a sting operation -- posing as filmmakers working on a graffiti documentary -- and arrested 31 writers.

    Hidden cameras, motion detectors, laser removal, specially developed chemical coatings, night goggles, razor wire, guard dogs, a National Graffiti Information Network, graffiti hot lines, bounties paid to
    informers -- one estimate is that it costs $4 billion a year nationally to clean graffiti -- all in an effort to stop those who "visually laugh in the face of communities," as a Wall Street Journal editorial raged.

    The popular perception is that since the late 1980s when New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority adopted a zero tolerance toward subway graffiti (the MTA either cleaned or destroyed more than 6,000
    graffiti-covered subway cars, immediately pulling a train out of service if any graffiti appeared on it), graffiti culture had died in the place of its birth. According to many graffiti writers, however, the MTA, in its attempt to kill graffiti, only succeeded in bringing it out of the tunnels and train yards and making it angry. Or as Jeff Ferrell, a criminologist who has chronicled the Denver graffiti scene, theorizes, the authorities' crackdown moved graffiti writing from subculture to counterculture. The work on the trains no longer ran, so writers started hitting the streets. Out in the open they had to work faster and more often. The artistry started to matter less and less. Throw-ups, small cryptic tags done in marker and even the straightforward writing of a name became the dominant imagery. What mattered was quantity ("making noise"), whether the writer had heart, was true to the game, was "real." And the graffiti world started to attract more and more people who weren't looking for an alternative art canvas but simply wanted to be connected to an outlaw community, to a venerable street tradition that allowed the opportunity to advertise their defiance. "It's that I'm doing it that I get my rush, not by everyone seeing it," says JA. "Yeah, that's nice, but if that's all that's gonna motivate you to do it, you're gonna stop writing.
    That's what happened to a lot of writers." JD tells me: "We're just putting it in their faces; it's like 'Yo, you gotta put up with it.'"

    Newspapers have now settled on the term "graffiti vandal" rather than "artist" or "writer." Graffiti writers casually refer to their work as doing destruction." In recent years graffiti has become more and more about beefs and wars, about "fucking up the MTA," "fucking up the city."

    Writers started taking a jock attitude toward getting up frequently and tagging in hard-to-reach places, adopting a machismo toward going over other writers' work and defending their own ("If you can write,
    you can fight"). Whereas graffiti writing was once considered an alternative to the street, now it imports drugs, violence, weapons and theft from that world -- the romance of the criminal deviant rather than the artistic deviant. In New York today, one police source estimates there are approximately 100,000 people involved in a variety of types of graffiti writing. The police have caught writers as young as 8 and as old as 42. And there's a small group of hard-core writers who are getting older who either wrote when graffiti was in its prime or long for the days when it was, those who write out of compulsion, for each other and for the authorities who try to combat graffiti, writers who haven't found anything in their lives substantial or hype enough to replace graffiti writing.

    The writers in their 20s come mostly from working-class families and have limited prospects and ambitions for the future. SET works in a drugstore and has taken lithium and Prozac for occasional depression; JD dropped out of high school and is unemployed, last working as a messenger, where he met JA. They spend their nights driving 80 miles an hour down city highways, balancing 40-ounce bottles of Old English 800 between their legs, smoking blunts and crack-laced cigarettes called coolies, always playing with the radio. They reminisce endlessly about the past, when graf was real, when graf ran on the trains, and they swap stories about who's doing what on the scene. The talk is a combo platter of Spicoli, homeboy, New Age jock and eighth grade: The dude is a fuckin' total turd. . . . I definitely would've gotten waxed. . . . It's like some bogus job. . . . I'm amped, I'm Audi, you buggin . . . You gotta be there fully, go all out, focus. . . . Dudes have bitten off SET, he's got toys jockin' him. . . .

    They carry beepers, sometimes guns, go upstate or to Long Island to "prey on the hicks" and to rack cans of spray paint. They talk about upcoming court cases and probation, about quitting, getting their
    lives together, even as they plan new spots to hit, practice their style by writing on the walls of their apartments, on boxes of food, on any stray piece of paper (younger writers practice on school
    notebooks that teachers have been known to confiscate and turn over to the police). They call graffiti a "social tool" and "some kind of ill form of communication," refer to every writer no matter his age as
    "kid." Talk in the graffiti life vacillates between banality and mythology, much like the activity itself: hours of drudgery, hanging out, waiting, interrupted by brief episodes of exhilaration. JD, echoing a common refrain, says, "Graffiti writers are like bitches: a lot of lying, a lot of talking, a lot of gossip." They don't
    like tagging with girls ("cuties," or if they use drugs, "zooties") around because all they say is (in a whiny voice), You're crazy. . . . Write my name."

    WHEN JA TALKS ABOUT GRAFFITI, HE'S reluctant to offer up any of the media-ready cliches about the culture (and he knows most of them). He's more inclined to say, "Fuck the graffiti world," and scoff at graf shops, videos, conventions and 'zines. But he can be sentimental about how he began -- riding the No. 1, 2 and 3 trains when he was young, bugging out on the graffiti-covered cars, asking himself, "How did they do that? Who are they?" And he'll respectfully invoke the names of long-gone writers he admired when he was just starting out: SKEME, ZEPHYR, REVOLT, MIN.

    JA, typical of the new school, primarily bombs, covering wide areas with throw-ups. He treats graffiti less as an art form than as an athletic competition, concentrating on getting his tag in difficult-to-reach places, focusing on quantity and working in defiance of an aesthetic that demands that public property be kept clean. (Writers almost exclusively hit public or commercial property.)

    And when JA is not being cynical, he can talk for hours about the technique, the plotting, the logistics of the game like "motion bombing" by clockwork a carefully scoped subway train that he knows has to stop for a set time, at a set place, when it gets a certain signal in the tunnels. He says, "To me, the challenge that graffiti poses, there's something very invigorating and freeing about it, something almost spiritual. There's a kind of euphoria, more than any kind of drug or sex can give you, give me . . . for real."

    JA says he wants to quit, and he talks about doing it as if he were in a 12-step program. "How a person in recovery takes it one day a time, that's how I gotta take it," he says. You get burnt out. There's pretty
    much nothing more the city can throw at me; it's all been done." But then he'll hear about a yard full of clean sanitation trucks, the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade (a reason to bomb Fifth Avenue) or a
    billboard in an isolated area; or it'll be 3 a.m., he'll be stoned, driving around or sitting in the living room, playing NBA Jam, and someone will say it: "Yo, I got a couple of cans in the trunk. . . ." REAS, an old-school writer of 12 years who, after a struggle and a number of relapses, eventually quit the life, says, "Graffiti can become like a hole you're stuck in; it can just keep on going and going, there's always another spot to write on."

    SAST is in his late 20s and calls himself semiretired after 13 years in the graf scene. He still carries around a marker with him wherever he goes and cops little STONE tags (when he's high, he writes,
    STONED). He's driving JA and me around the city one night, showing me different objects they've tagged, returning again and again to drug spots to buy dust and crack, smoking, with the radio blasting;
    he's telling war stories about JA jumping onto moving trains, JA hanging off the outside of a speeding four-wheel drive. SAST is driving at top speed, cutting in between cars, tailgating, swerving. A number
    of times as we're racing down the highway, I ask him if he could slow down. He smiles, asks if I'm scared, tells me not to worry, that he's a more cautious driver when he's dusted. At one point on the FDR, a car cuts in front of us. JA decides to have some fun.

    "Yo, he burnt you, SAST," JA says. We start to pick up speed. Yo, SAST, he dissed you, he cold dissed you, SAST." SAST is buying it, the look on his face becoming more determined as we go 70, 80, 90 miles an hour, hugging the divider, flying between cars. I turn to JA, who's in the back seat, and I try to get him to stop. JA ignores me, sitting back perfectly relaxed, smiling, urging SAST to go faster and faster, getting off, my fear adding to his rush.

    At around 4 a.m., SAST drops us off on the middle of the Manhattan Bridge and leaves. JA wants to show me a throw-up he did the week before. We climb over the divider from the roadway to the subway tracks. JA explains that we have to cross the north and the southbound tracks to get to the outer part of the bridge. In between there are a number of large gaps and two electrified third rails, and we're
    135 feet above the East River. As we're standing on the tracks, we hear the sound of an oncoming train. JA tells me to hide, to crouch down in the V where two diagonal braces meet just beside the tracks.

    I climb into position, holding on to the metal beams, head down, looking at the water as the train slams by the side of my body. This happens twice more. Eventually, I cross over to the outer edge of the
    bridge, which is under construction, and JA points out his tag about 40 feet above on what looks like a crow's-nest on a support pillar. After a few moments of admiring the view, stepping carefully around the
    many opportunities to fall, JA hands me his cigarettes and keys. He starts crawling up one of the braces on the side of the bridge, disappears within the structure for a moment, emerges and makes his way to an electrical box on a pillar. Then he snakes his way up the piping and grabs on to a curved support. Using only his hands he starts to shimmy up; at one point he's hanging almost completely upside down. If he falls now, he'll land backward onto one of the tiers and drop into the river below. He continues to pull himself up, the old paint breaking off in his hands, and finally he flips his body over a railing to get to the spot where he tagged. He doesn't have a can or a marker with him, and at this point graffiti seems incidental. He comes down and tells me that when he did the original tag he was with two writers; one he half carried up, the other stopped at a certain point and later told JA that watching him do that tag made him appreciate life, being alive.

    We walk for 10 minutes along a narrow, grooved catwalk on the side of the tracks; a thin wire cable prevents a fall into the river. A few times, looking down through the grooves, I have to stop, force myself
    to take the next step straight ahead, shake off the vertigo. JA is practically jogging ahead of me. We exit the bridge into Chinatown as the sun comes up and go to eat breakfast. JA tells me he's a vegetarian.

    IF YOU TALK TO SERIOUS GRAFFITI writers, most of them will echo the same themes; they decry the commercialization of graf, condemn the toys and poseurs and alternately hate and feel attached to the authorities who try to stop them. They say with equal parts bravado and self-deprecation that a graffiti writer is a bum, a criminal, a vandal, slick, sick, obsessed, sneaky, street-smart, living on edges figurative
    and literal. They show and catalog cuts and scars on their bodies from razor wire, pieces of metal, knives, box cutters. I once casually asked a writer named GHOST if he knew another writer whose work I had seen in a graf'zine. "Yeah, I know him, he stabbed me," GHOST replies matter-of-factly. "We've still got beef." SET tells me he was caught by two DTs (detectives) who assaulted him, took his cans of paint and sprayed his body and face. JA tells similar stories of police beatings for his making officers run after him, of cops making him empty his spray cans on his sneakers or on the back of a fellow writer's jacket. JD has had 48 stitches in his back and 18 in his head over "graffiti-related beef." JA's best friend and writing partner, SANE SMITH, a legendary all-city writer who was sued by the city and the MTA for graffiti, was found dead, floating in Jamaica Bay. There's endless speculation in the
    grafworld as to whether he was pushed, fell or jumped off a bridge. SANE is so respected, there are some writers today who spend time in public libraries reading and rereading the newspaper microfilm
    about his death, his arrests, his career. According to JA, after SANE's death, his brother, SMiTH, also a respected graffiti artist, found a piece of paper on which SANE had written his and JA's tag and off to
    the side, FLYING HIGH THE XTC WAY. It now hangs on JA's apartment wall.

    One morning, JA and I jump off the end of a subway platform and head into the tunnels. He shows me hidden rooms, emergency hatches that open to the sidewalk, where to stand when the trains come by. He tells me about the time SANE lay face down in a shallow drainage ditch on the tracks as an express train ran inches above him. JA says anytime he was being chased by the police he would run into a nearby subway station, jump off the platform and run into the tunnels. The police would never follow. KET, a veteran graffiti writer, tells me how in the tunnels he would accidentally step on homeless people sleeping. They'd see him tagging and would occasionally ask that he "throw them up," write their names on the wall. He usually would. Walking in the darkness between the electrified rails as trains race by, JA tells me the story of two writers he had beef with who came into the tunnels to cross out his tags. Where the cross-outs stop is where they were killed by an approaching train.

    The last time I go out with JA, SET and JD, they pick me up at around 2 am. We drive down to the Lower East Side to hit a yard where about 60 trucks and vans are parked next to one another. Every vehicle is already covered with throw-ups and tags, but the three start to write anyway, JA in a near frenzy. They're running in between the rows, crawling under trucks, jumping from roof to roof, wedged down in between the trailers, engulfed in nauseating clouds of paint fumes (the writers sometimes blow multicolored mucous out of their noses), going over some writers' tags, respecting others, JA throwing up
    SANE's name, searching for any little piece of clean space to write on. JA, who had once again been talking about retirement, is now hungry to write and wants to hit another spot. But JD doesn't have any paint, SET needs gas money for his car, and they have to drive upstate the next morning to appear in court for a paint-theft charge.

    During the ride back uptown the car is mostly quiet, the mood depressed. And even when the three were in the truck yard, even when JA was at his most intense, it seemed closer to work, routine, habit. There are moments like this when they seem genuinely worn out by the constant stress, the danger, the legal problems, the drugging, the fighting, the obligation to always hit another spot. And it's usually when the day is starting.

    About a week later I get a call from another writer whom JA had told I was writing an article on graffiti. He tells me he has never been king, never gone all city, but now he is making a comeback, coming out of
    retirement with a new tag. He says he could do it easily today because there is no real competition. He says he was thinking about trying to make some money off of graffiti -- galleries. canvases, whatever . . .
    to get paid.

    "I gotta do something," the writer says. "I can't rap, I can't dance, I got this silly little job." We talk more, and he tells me he appreciates that I'm writing about writers, trying to get inside the head of a vandal, telling the real deal. He also tells me that graffiti is dying, that the city is buffing it, that new writers are all
    toys and are letting it die, but it's still worth it to write.

    I ask why, and then comes the inevitable justification that every writer has to believe and take pleasure in, the idea that order will always have to play catch-up with them. "It takes me seconds to do a quick throw-up; it takes them like 10 minutes to clean it," he says. "Who's coming out on top?"

    KEVIN HELDMAN lives in New York. This is his first piece for "Rolling Stone." (ROLLING STONE,FEB 9,1995)

  8. HAL

    HAL Guest

    The Mac interview is fucking awesome. Now that's what graffiti is all about for me.
  9. cornhustlah

    cornhustlah Elite Member

    Joined: Dec 6, 2000 Messages: 2,655 Likes Received: 3
    very nice indeed...i'm pretty sure i've got that Rolling Stone with the JA article...lovin the Mac script...
  10. cornhustlah

    cornhustlah Elite Member

    Joined: Dec 6, 2000 Messages: 2,655 Likes Received: 3

    here we go...some shit on some KWOTA crew guyz outta Canada... caught this article in a mag my freakin parents get called "Utne Reader,"
    later caught it online when doing some research... my bad on the format tip....

    The Art of Vandalism

    by Allen Abel for "Saturday Night" magazine

    Trainpainters work at night, trespassing in rail yards. They go by code names to shield themselves from arrest. This
    is their world.

    Canada's most beautiful vandal is a fallen angel with filthy hands. He is one of about thirty-five such criminals
    across this country, white males in their twenties, who obsessively, furtively, jubilantly practise what they - and
    some who see their creations - hold to be a form of art.
    The vandal and his accomplices haunt train yards and paint elaborate graffiti on the boxcars. They do this
    because it is illegal, because walls and alleys are boring, because it unites them with hobo tradition. They do it
    because freight cars move.
    "Every artist dreams of having a show in Chicago," he says. "Well, I have a show in Chicago every day, and in
    New York, and in all the small towns along the tracks." You may look at these photographs - some are of his work -
    and decide that this is true art; or the opposite, that it is bestial sabotage. Maybe you will want him and the others
    locked up, sent away, attached for damages, paddled (they tried to pass a law allowing that in California), forced to
    scour the rolling stock.
    I have pledged not to identify him - or any of his peers - although naming, "monikering," tagging, proclaiming an
    invented identity is the nucleus of his endeavour. In public, the Canadians who paint freights prefer to be known by a
    single, choleric noun: CASE, FLOW, TAKE, CHROME, FEAR. Or a maudlin adjective: ALONE, OTHER, SOLO, HIGH. They
    baptize themselves into brotherhoods with puffed-up titles like "Those Damn Vandals" and "Bombs Away."
    They like to trespass in the Canadian Pacific or Canadian National or Burlington Northern yards in Ottawa,
    Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Toronto, or whistle stops in between, to floridly paint a boxcar or a tanker or an
    auto-rack overnight, alone or with their crew, identifying themselves by moniker and telephone area code (FLOW 514
    from Montreal; OTHER 604 when he's in Vancouver).
    Then, they send it off with a benediction, that someone might spot the train in Charlotte or Saskatchewan or
    West Texas and notify the creator with a message on another rail car:

    Alternatively, a painter may forgo a major production and simply move rapidly from car to car to car, tagging each
    with a small logo or ornamental signature, keeping score in a notebook of the serial numbers of the wagons he hits.
    An American man who signs himself "The Solo Artist" is said to have autographed 100,000 cars over twenty years.
    For larger works that can cover an entire seventy-foot hopper or tanker, a lifetime count of 300 pieces marks a man
    for the defacers' Hall of Fame.
    Some of the painters I've met are the sons of bankers and university professors. Most can cite chapter and verse
    of the Criminal Code, and several have been fined, or briefly jailed, under section 430 (1): "WILFUL AND FORBIDDEN
    ACTS IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN PROPERTY. Every one commits mischief who wilfully (a) destroys or damages property;
    (B) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective."
    Quite a few have been to art school. Most work afternoons, invisibly, as Mike or Art or Steve or Joel, their fever
    dissipated in the daylight world.
    The Internet is rife with photographs of their "productions" and "end-to-ends." (Webmasters give these domains
    such names as "Visual Cancer" and "Visual Orgasm.") Some trainpainters add their e-mail addresses to their pieces, so
    that anyone spotting a car they have bombed can instantly report its whereabouts. Occasionally, legitimate profit
    comes when they are asked to co-opt their creativity into a civic mural, or design a T-shirt, or colour a canvas for a
    gallery wall.
    They spend the money on markers and spray cans. Lacking cash, the compulsion is so strong, they'll steal
    whatever they need.
    The beautiful vandal I am talking about is in a wheelchair. A train crushed him when he was a teenager; he won't
    stand or walk again. His moniker is the universal symbol for wheelchair parking with a railroad track running through it.
    It is painted in white, a foot or so high, on about 5,000 of North America's 1.6 million freight cars.
    Now he is twenty-four. His hair is already greying, fingernails blackened, eyes bottomless. He tells me, "I'm in a
    league of my own, 'cause of my predicament."
    The urge is still in him. Friends carry him down to the yards. Last spring, he rode a boxcar across the country.
    Getting on, getting off, he would hand his chair to an accomplice and climb to it.
    "We thought, if our art can move around this system, why can't we?" he says.
    "Do you envy the hoboes of the Great Depression?" I ask him.
    "That's not envy," he replies. "That's empathy. I've spent excessive hours talking to tramps in the hobo jungles,
    searching for the meaning of what that was about. It was about hardship, man."
    He believed, when he was younger, that graffiti was a deposition of American ghetto frustration and creativity. In
    Canada, short on slums and grimness, it was merely copycat crime.
    "Then, trains started bringing the art in," he says. "All of a sudden, in a stale environment where there was no
    other graffiti, I would see a piece and think, 'Holy shit! Where's that from?'
    "It became an issue of synchronicity - being around at the right time, when a car happened to be passing by.
    There was that sense of wonder - where are these guys from? - and I built this chaos theory of it. All this art,
    moving around chaotically, where none of the artists are in control of where it goes.
    "Think of it, man - you're sitting in your car at some crossing on the Prairies and all of a sudden this art comes
    rolling past you, and you happen to look up and you see this thing and you have about half a second to see it and
    you'll never get another chance.
    "It's just synchronicity - that's why seeing a piece on a freight is special, as opposed to seeing a piece on a wall
    where someone tells you where to go to see it.
    "That's my favourite theme - synchronicity. Do you know how to increase your synchronicity?" he asks.
    "Increase your awareness."
    The two men who conduct me into the Montreal freight yards could not be more opposite. One is a self-professed
    wastrel, defined by his apartness; the other is groomed and Spartan. One is the son of a physics professor; the other
    doesn't want his father's occupation revealed.
    The latter is part of an established crew that bombs walls and abandoned factories as well as freights. He calls
    himself FLOW, because as a child he had a fascination with wolves and FLOW is wolf spelled backwards. He is
    twenty-eight, muscular, soft-spoken, a non-drinker, he says, non-smoker, no drugs. He has hit about 1,500 boxcars
    this year alone with his moniker of a diesel engine coming at you down the tracks. He has model trains at home.
    "If I didn't have the job I have now," FLOW says, "I'd love to work on trains. This is where the new generation of
    rail fans is coming from - from graffiti."
    The other man is slender, twenty-seven, unkempt, bushy, matter-of-fact when he professes that his best work is
    done alone, after midnight, with forty ounces or more of strong malt liquor in him; a "solitary committer," as in
    Whitman's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. He, too, loves trains - he rides freights and even buys tickets on VIA and
    AMTRAK, just to be moving, to stare from the window, high on awareness.
    He used to sign SHAMUS (his real middle name) but changed to OTHER because it suited the personality he was
    trying to create. His railway art is unlike anything I have ever seen, anywhere - faces, haunted, downcast,
    tormented, melting as if they were waxen, heads four feet high on tankers and hoppers, painted freehand,
    spontaneously, often accompanied by verse:

    She left me Alone

    Friends have tried to steer him into a university fine-arts program - he has taken a few courses - but he detests
    the classroom setting ("I don't really fit the school thing") and fears the critique that inevitably comes when art
    stands still.
    "It seems like such an obvious thing," OTHER says, walking toward the yards. "Put your name on something and
    see where it goes."
    "When you paint a wall," says FLOW, who has painted hundreds, "everybody can stand there as long as they
    want and see all the mistakes you made."
    We hike south of Central Station, cross the Lachine Canal from downtown Montreal, pass the CN police depot,
    scramble up and down the loose, weedy embankments, and end up under the Victoria Bridge. About 300 freight cars,
    mostly greasy black tankers and corrugated Hanjin intermodal containers from Korea that graffiti artists rarely bother
    with, are lined up in a skein of engineless trains.
    Some of the cars have been sitting here for quite some time - a monumentally troubling work on a grey hopper
    labelled OTHER AS AN EARLESS SPERM was painted weeks before; he is delighted to show it off, and dismayed that it
    has not yet been moved down the rails. It is a self-portrait of the science professor's son, with the side of his face
    leaking away.
    From another of his freight cars:
    "I'm not crazy about this term 'artist' for what I do," FLOW says, methodically chalking his moniker on a
    succession of CN boxcars, while sleek VIA passenger coaches and thunderous switching engines and motor traffic on
    an overpass roar by us. He turns toward OTHER, who is sketching a series of angular aliens holding pitchforks, and
    some warped teddy bears and pussycats - venally cute.
    "He's an artist," FLOW says. "He can draw faces and stuff. I don't think my stuff belongs on canvas. But his
    "Why do you do this?" I ask.
    "I don't know why I still do it," FLOW replies. "Maybe I'm just a loser?" In answer to the same question, OTHER
    hands me a photograph of a soliloquy he painted on a grey chemical tanker:
    "It's all about movement," OTHER says. "Message in a bottle, but the bottle always comes back."
    They teach me the craft and the code. Never paint over the serial numbers of the cars; the workers need them.
    A green Burlington Northern boxcar whose number begins with 249 is headed for its home in Vancouver. If you hop a
    freight, huddle in the end of a Wheat Pool grain hopper; bring water and a sweater. Lie to the cops; you're just here
    to take pictures. Never lie to your friends. Lie low.
    I walk away as the two men attend to their industry, and study the emblems and the signatures on the cars:
    HAPPY FR8s; ROCKIN' ON STEEL; COSE from Winnipeg; CYDE from Switzerland. I am amused, intrigued, a little afraid -
    I feel as though I am standing in a canyon between skyscrapers that could jolt into life at any moment.
    When we leave, walking north through the derelict streets, we pass a shop that has placed, in its windows, prints
    of Van Gogh sunflowers and starry nights. I ask if the men consider this to be true beauty.
    "If I was going to buy a piece of art," FLOW shrugs, "I'd get something with trains in it."
    There's a rail line that slides behind Gastown in Vancouver, towards a dock called the Ballantine Pier. A sculptor
    named George Pratt has his studio down here, and he has erected a plinth inscribed with a Biblical quotation from the
    book of Jesus Son of Sirach. The quotation praises carpenters, engravers, artisans. It could be the anthem of the
    graffiti writers and their belief that they embellish the blankness of their towns: "All these trust to their hands: and
    every one is wise in his work. Without these cannot a city be inhabited . . . . They shall not be sought for in publick
    counsel, nor sit high in the congregation: they shall not sit on the judges' seat, nor understand the sentence of
    judgment: they cannot declare justice and judgment; and they shall not be found where parables are spoken. But
    they will maintain the state of the world, and [all] their desire is in the work of their craft."
    I am on my way to meet TAKE5, another of Canada's most respected rail-yard fiends. Early for the appointment, I
    wander along the tracks, as I now find myself doing everywhere I go, looking for the wheelchair logo, or The Solo
    Artist's flourish, or the work of OTHER and FLOW.
    TAKE5, an ebullient young man in a CP ball cap, meets me at a beery, down-market hotel. His work is to the
    expected standard - his own handle in huge, elaborate letters, which he paints in vibrant colours on the sides of
    worthy freights. He does not attempt to imitate OTHER's mad, moody portraits - no one could.
    "One night I bombed the roof of my high school," he says, beginning his story. "The principal came out and said,
    'Aren't you TAKE5, who's been doing graffiti all over town?'
    "I said, 'Oh, no, sir - TAKE5 is a girl. And then I said to him, 'There's nobody else up here, sir - tell me, what do
    you really think of it?

  11. bestburners

    bestburners New Jack

    Joined: Mar 12, 2002 Messages: 93 Likes Received: 0

    You're from Amsterdam, how important is Amsterdam for you?

    Important. it's got everything you want from a city like dirt and tolerancy (ask MILK and FUME)

    You're one of the famous pioneers from the dutch graffiti scene and member of the legendary U.S.A; Flashing back; can you give the readers any idea how life was back In the days?

    I started in 1983. When I started I wasn't aware of graffiti elsewhere than in Amsterdam. I never heard of subways in NYC and piecing, I only knew about tagging, because that's what I saw, tags: EGO, DR.AIR, WALKIN JOINT, OK. I started together with JEZIS, I wrote FIX. Back than I never understood that "QUIK-thing". It was a huge throw up, but I couldn't figure out how somebody was able to do such a thing, it must have took him at least 20 cans I thought. Later I found out that there was a graffiti gallery nearby which showed the graffiti heaven for me; photos from Henry were exhibited. That's when I started piecing together with six other guys the U.S.A. Those days were cool, we were experimenting with different styles and things, trying to find out wich styles would fit the best to us. All the time we could find out something new, things we didn't know yet.

    What's the secret of your success; like where have you got your style from?

    I don't know

    Are you influenced or inspired by someone?

    I’ am influenced by letterstylers, the people who were really into letter designing.

    Are you using any form of art education?

    Yes, I think so I’ am using more 3d effects. My letters are supposed to be things which you can just pick of the wall; that suits to my education, designing objects.

    How Important is NYC to ya?
    New York is where the roots are. The best graffiti ever came from New York.

    What's your view about style?

    Style has got to be recognizable, individual. I respect everybody who's style is like that

    What's your goal, anything you wanna reach?

    Fame, I’ am reaching for fame and recognition, more fame and more recognition and doing the best piece I ever did.

    Who do you respect and who are your partners?

    I respect my INC-partners; GASP and CES furthermore CAT, BANDO, BLADE, LEE and T-KID. They have my deepest respect.

    Why do you write MESS? Nice letters, better to form than DELTA.

    Some shorties;
    What's you're favorite paint?
    no favorite.

    What's you're favorite comic?
    Heinz, Krazy Kat by Herriman.

    Who's you're favorite girl ?
    Antonella, Axellina, Babet,

    What do you think about oral sex?
    I think oral sex sucks.

    Source: Bomber Magazine Vol.3 Issue 1, May-June 1992
  12. bestburners

    bestburners New Jack

    Joined: Mar 12, 2002 Messages: 93 Likes Received: 0


    NS: How did you get your name?
    CES 53:1 started to write NICES, then one time I decided to put the N and the I away that's how I got CES. 53 comes from 5300 the zone area of the center of the city from Rotterdam.

    NS: By whom are you influenced?
    CES 53:Jimi Hendrix, using drugs, American comics. The Fact that you're doing illegal things.

    NS: What do you do daily?
    CES 53:I'm a maximum profiteer.
    NS: Why do you do graffiti?
    CES 53: I think it's funny.

    NS: What attracks you most in graffiti?
    CES 53:The fact that Graffiti is illegal and done by underground people.

    NS: What is style according to you?
    CES 53:They always ask me that, next question.

    NS: When is a letter right?
    CES 53: A letter can only graphical not be right. But a letter is made by that artist at that moment and he stands behind his work so the letter is right.

    NS: What kind of spraycans do you prefer?
    CES 53:I use everything it does not matter what brand it is. But mostly German paint because that is the best.

    NS: What caps do you prefer?
    CES 53:German caps and caps from deodorant cans like Henry M. and L’Oreal.

    NS: Who is the king for you.
    CES53:There is always such a bullshit about this. There is nobody the best that is such a crap. If somebody finds a writer a king than is that an opinion and that’s different for everybody. It's better to say Kings, because there are always people who get as much as possible out of themselves. For me those Kings are: CAT 22,DELTA, SHOE, GHOST, REAS, SENTO, CEMNOZ, MILK.

    NS: Where have you been on this earth. to see or to do Graffiti?
    CES53:Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, Berlin, Dortmund, Munchen, Koln, Dusseldorf and Oranjestad(Aruba).

    NS: Have you ever been caught?
    CES53:One time they took my body for committing certain facts, but I have never been caught because you stop then immediately.

    NS: Do you have contacts with writers in Holland or in other countries?
    CES53:No I talk a lot with myself.

    NS: How do you get your paint?
    CES53:Let's put it this way: I have never bought one can.

    NS: What colors do you like to work with?
    CES 53:I spray with anything but I like to use black the most but not for the outlines. I like all colors one most beautiful color is bullshit.
    A color becomes beautiful depending like how you use the color it has nothing to do with the
    color itself.

    NS: Your most recent work is sprayed in a new style how did you get to that?
    CES53:I will explain how I got that it is very
    simple. Everything a writer writes is a reflection of his opinion and state of mind
    at that moment. And my opinion at this
    moment is to spray shaky. That is why I also think that you don't need a sketch when you are spraying. You stay the same then.
    I always spray what comes into my mind at the moment itself.

    NS: With who have you done
    pieces with?

    NS: What do you think of American style?
    CES 53:I think it is very cool because everything is more free over there.
    In Europe writers are more quiet that’s why you see a lot bubble style. A lot of writers are afraid to try something else.

    NS: Do you have a message for all writers? CES53:Keep on writing and stay yourself.

    Source: Nowskool, Year:3, Issue:3
  13. SleepAnDream

    SleepAnDream Elite Member

    Joined: Mar 2, 2002 Messages: 3,078 Likes Received: 0
    i dont think ive ever stared at a computer screen for this long ever at one point in my life...but still a tight thread...bump for tired eyes...
  14. moyen

    moyen Member

    Joined: Nov 4, 2001 Messages: 369 Likes Received: 0

    This might be the most interesting post I've read on 12oz in a while. Big ups for the idea....wish I could contribute
  15. DONUT2002

    DONUT2002 New Jack

    Joined: Mar 10, 2002 Messages: 41 Likes Received: 0
    Re: B_________U________M_________P

    i totally feel the same way.