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New Book On NYC Graf Scene On The Way (swipe)


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New Book On NYC Graf Scene On The Way


Photographer Peter Sutherland will release a book chronicling New York City's graffiti writers.


"Autograf: New York City’s Graffiti Writers" presents a never-before-seen look at the people and places of New York's legendary graffiti scene.


The book features portraits by FUTURA, STAY HIGH 149, LADY PINK and DOZE, to name a few and each one of the portraits is authentically tagged by the individual writers using the same paint markers that brought them fame.


Additionally, the book features over fifty landscape photographs as well as handwritten text by legendary recluse REVS.


"Autograf" is the only book to showcase New York City’s graffiti scene as it was created and defined by some of the most prolific artists.


Sutherland, a filmmaker and photographer who was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and raised in Colorado, moved to New York City in 1998 and filmed his first feature documentary, "Pedal," a film about NYC bike messengers.


Sutherland also worked as director of photography on "Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator," the critically acclaimed documentary about Gator, a famous skateboarder who was convicted of murder in 1991.


"Autograf" hits stores in May and will sell for $29.95.

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Originally posted by mackmode

Additionally, the book features over fifty landscape photographs

sounds like a copy might find a home on my bookshelf. i agree with captain rubbish, the revs shit sounds chill. i also like the whole "markers that brought them fame" idea [just another sucker for gimmicks].

but to get to my point, what do you mean by "landscape photos"?

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Re: Re: New Book On NYC Graf Scene On The Way (swipe)


Originally posted by rinse

sounds like a copy might find a home on my bookshelf. i agree with captain rubbish, the revs shit sounds chill. i also like the whole "markers that brought them fame" idea [just another sucker for gimmicks].

but to get to my point, what do you mean by "landscape photos"?


prolly connector shot from street bombing or prodo..


Ethread,you might be right..

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Originally posted by DirtySanchez

thats just how the book looks, photos of people and then tags ontop of it, most heads covered they faces, but some didnt. the book has that kind of feel . like that pic of the guy in the jacket you all seem to be sweating so profusedly at.


nice,you seems to have some info on it,do you know about more people in it?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Originally posted by SkyFlax

powerHouse Books is pleased to announce the Spring 2004 release of



New York City’s Graffiti Writers

Photographs by Peter Sutherland


Text by REVS


A controversial art form and provocative cultural phenomenon, graffiti has inestimably influenced our entire environment—from music and fashion to advertising, architecture, and graphic arts. Yet it is an illegal activity, which makes its practitioners wanted criminals. Motivated by a desire for self-expression and recognition, the act of marking one’s territory is done at the risk of severe consequences including fines and jail time. Graffiti writers are outlaws, unknown artists whose faces are known only to their peers. Treated as criminals by the law and dismissed as artists by the establishment, writers are perceived as either alluring anti-heroes or loathsome vandals, and usually remain anonymous to their audience. But not to photographer Peter Sutherland.


With an eye for style, Sutherland captures all of the gritty glory and glamour of the graffiti world and its warriors. Collected for the first time in Autograf: New York City’s Graffiti Writers, Sutherland presents a never-before-seen chronicle of the people and places that populate New York’s famed graff scene. Featuring old-school legends FUTURA, STAY HIGH 149, LADY PINK and DOZE, as well as COPE 2, KAWS, CYCLE, CLAW, VFR, KR, EARSNOT, SERF, NATO, NET, RATE, SACER, UFO, and DSENSE, among many others, each one of the fifty-three portraits is authentically tagged by the individual writers using the same paint markers that brought them fame. Complemented by over fifty landscape photographs and featuring handwritten text by legendary recluse REVS, Autograf is the only book to showcase New York City’s graffiti scene as it was created and defined by some of the most prolific artists of our time.


Autograf will be released in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland by Die Gestalten Verlag

For more information, please contact Helga Beck, Publicity Director



HC, 7.6 x 10.25 inches, 112 pages

96 four-color and 14 black-and-white photographs

ISBN 1-57687-203-3 $29.95

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  • 3 weeks later...




Born in Cincinnati in 1980, MERZ began writing graffiti in 1995. “I was fascinated by this strange, underground subculture and knew right away that’s what I’d be doing.” Attracted to the visual stimulation of colors and letter forms, MERZ adds, “It was also the mystery of it, not knowing who these people are, or how they got to these crazy spots. A friend of mine at school was already into it; he knew everyone in the scene and showed me the ropes.


“Writing was everything for me. From the ages of 14-21, all I would do is scope spots, hang out in freight yards, take pictures, look at pictures, travel to every city I could, paint every spot I could. There is nothing like coming off a sick highway block letter and driving past it the next day, knowing that everyone has to look at it,” MERZ states with satisfaction, before recalling some less pleasant situations.


”I’ve only been arrested three times (which isn’t that much compared to some writers), but I have spent too many nights running from cops in neighborhoods I shouldn’t have been in, hiding on rooftops, in crackhouses, and in abandoned buildings. But in a weird way, they have all been great experiences. It’s all about the story at the end of the day: being the only white dude in a huge cell block of, like, 100 black guys, all sleeping on these bunk beds, or hiding in a trench for eight hours by myself in a town I’ve never been before, with the cops threatening to shoot me. You can’t really write and not expect this to happen.


“I had one major downfall in Virginia, where I was visiting a friend for a few days, got caught, and ended up having to do hundreds of hours of community service, pay some ridiculous fines, and having to travel to some shitty town multiple times just to take care of legal business. I felt it finally caught up to me. I can’t afford the risk at this point in my life, nor do I feel like sitting in some nasty jail cell when I can barely pay rent. Part of me really wants to still be out there bombing, and I still fiend to go write because there’s nothing else that will give me that satisfaction, the release—but I feel that if graffiti isn’t fun, and it becomes more about paranoia and stress, then it’s not worth it.


Since he has left the life of a graffiti writer, MERZ has focused on pursuing his career as a painter, exhibiting across the United States in group shows at Minna Gallery, San Francisco; Fahrenheit Gallery, Kansas City; GV/AS Gallery and Mccaig Welles Gallery, both in Brooklyn; Arc Gallery, Chicago; the Modart Breast Cancer Benefit at Triple Five Soul, New York; S.S. Nova Gallery, Cincinnati; and Space 1026, Philadelphia. His corporate clients include Coca-Cola, Toyota, Mavi Jeans, and Macy’s Department Store.


MERZ has studied painting and drawing at The School of Visual Arts and The Art Students League of New York, both in New York. A selection of his paintings were recently published in Morning Wood, compiled by Roger Gastman and published by Ginko Press, where he explained, “I try to use everything I learn from life drawing and painting to create my own, surreal, tweaked-out world. I’m sick of of always seeing the standard, well-executed paintings of young, pretty people. I’m more interested in exploring the awkward and grotesque, what lies beneath the fake, glossy surface that we use to hide from what’s really going on.”





Born in Manhattan in 1975, and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, NATO began writing “NATO” in 1988 but had a few aliases prior to that. “I got into graffiti as a wee lad riding the 7 train high above the streets of Queens County,” NATO recalls. “Knees on the seats, face pressed against the glass, I would ask my mother, ‘How do they get on the roofs and do that?’ ”Don’t look at that, it's bad" she would answer, not seeing the sparkle in my baby browns. And so it began, my life as a graffiti writer.


“I must have been about 8 or 9 when I became the king of every pole on my block... but eventually rooftops would become my specialty, only fitting I suppose—the Vandal Squad has my file, they could tell you more,” NATO states, referring inquiries to the anti-graffiti task force of the New York City Police Department, “It was a fun ride, the whole way. I wouldn’t change a thing.


”My street-bombing career came to a screeching halt in the year 2000, when I caught a felony charge. The day after knocking out three trains, end-to-end with etch-bath (it’s the stuff kids use to write their names on windows), the Vandal Squad came to my crib and arrested me.... But instead of rolling over and dying, I absorbed it and used the energy to re-invent myself.”


Today, NATO is the Graffiti Editor of YRB NYC magazine in which his four-page section keeps the tri-state area up-to-date with the latest in New York City graffiti news. He freelances as a writer and photographer for Frank 151 and also does occasional articles for Mass Appeal magazine.


Represented by the original graffiti gallery in New York City, the Martinez Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, NATO has shown his sculptures, paintings and photos in numerous group shows, as well as most recently exhibiting at the Jeffrey Charles Gallery, London, in a group show called “Bombers,” which included the work of fellow writers JA, SKUF, VEEFER, EARSNOT, and GIZ. “The sculptures I showed in London were old, rusted spray cans left behind at the scene of the crime. I excavated them, brought them home, and gave them new life by tagging them with colorful, raised lettering and mounting the best ones on 7 x 10 foot wood backdrops. Since I collected so many, I tied together in pairs the ones that didn’t get mounted and threw ‘em over wires like I would sneakers when I was a kid. Sometimes I felt more like an archaeologist than a graffiti writer.”


The only American artist chosen for a group show at The MUSAC [spain’s Museo De Arte Contemporáneo], León, NATO’s work will also appear in FILES, a four-page spread in the accompanying catalogue for the exhibition, published in February 2004. In 2002, NATO participated in the international indoor/outdoor visual experience NOVIEMBRE PUBLICO. Curated by Antonio Zaya for the inauguration of Martinez Gallery’s Brooklyn space, the exhibition also included Egyptian sculptor Mona Marzouk, painter and performance artist Charo Oquet, Brazilian artist Fabiana De Barros, and colleagues EARSNOT (New York) and MOSCO (Mexico).


“I decided to participate in Autograf and work with Peter Sutherland because I thought his idea to take portraits of graffiti writers and compile them in a book was innovative. I mean, who else has done that? As far as I know, nobody.”





Born in Manhattan in 1973, NET started noticing graffiti in 1979. “I used to see PRAY up a lot, and I modeled my first tag, RAY, after her,” NET recalls. “I didn’t really start writing until I was nine or ten. It wasn’t like I was hitting the trains or the streets; it was just locally, you know? A toy has got to start somewhere. What really got me into graffiti was seeing people up in A LOT of different places, like the same person would hit on 14th Street and the Long Island Expressway. I had a lot of questions in my head, like who are these people? Why are they doing this? How did they do it? The first tags I used to see around—PRAY, CHISSY, P13, OE TMD, CHRIS 217 and JONONE 156—these are the people inspired me.


“I experimented with a few names prior to settling with the one I have now. I had the names TRIL, TAVE, TGIF, and DECK. I came up with NET in 1987 and have been writing that ever since. The most active I have been is from 1998 to the present, but its not like I’m banging out throw-ups and going bombing on a regular basis. I almost always carry around something to write with though (markers, mops).


“I really love taking tags and that’s what I’m renowned for in graffiti. I love walking tracks in and around the city—all different rail lines, like points from the north and south coming into and out of the New York City metro area. These spots get a lot of play. They’re high visibility areas. I also love taking tags in the streets but now it’s a little different with the police. It’s a lot harder to cover a lot of ground with the police and security up the ying yang. It sucks to get bagged—I’ve had enough of it.


“I’m painting canvases and delving into other artistic endeavors—as opposed to constantly looking over my shoulder every time I hit up a tag. This is what keeps me in check—artwork other than graffiti. My paintings are character based and I use graffiti punctuation and accents. I try to strictly use materials that writers use (spray paint, paint markers, homemade markers, squeeze bottles, bucket paint, stickers). I am inspired by New York City—through interaction with people from all walks of life in bars, restaurants, in the subway, on the street.”


On his photograph in Autograf, underneath his name, NET wrote, “HEC UFC RIP.” When asked about this, he explained, “I had just met him the night he died. We went bombing in the tunnels and he was struck by a train and killed. It was really strange. We knew each other through mutual friends (KECH REC, CB FTR) and my ex-girlfriend used to work for his wife. HEC UFC, a.k.a. Hector Ramirez, was a very talented artist. He was the senior art director for the graphic design firm AMSTER YARD. He worked on the Stella Artois campaign, and did a few Lugz clothing ads. He also received awards in Belgium for his graphic design work. I was deeply affected by his passing, and I am sure he is smiling down on earth right now. Rest in peace, HEC. Your memory will not be forgotten. You are my primary motivation for wanting to do art of the than graffiti. Rest in peace.”

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