CLASSIC HITS – New York’s Pioneering Subway Graffiti Writers
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If you think about New York subway graffiti, names like SEEN, DONDI, LEE, QUIK or ZEPHYR may come to you mind with extravagant style pieces, multicolored fill-ins and backgrounds, ornate designs, highlights and comic-like characters placed next to the piece. Mid 80s books and movies documented the peak of New York subway writing and formed a blueprint of how a prefect graffiti has to look like for decades.
This ideal shaped the look of graffiti all around the globe and was the stylistic point of departure for stylewriting outside of NYC (as shown in ZAR ZIP FLY ZORO or The history of graffiti in Greece). At this moment the city however could look back on a twenty year old history of namewriting, starting from simple tagging in the streets, to the first hits on subway trains, outlined pieces, etc..
In CLASSIC HITS Alan Fleisher and Paul Iovino tell the story of “New York’s Pioneering Subway Graffiti Writers”. While the photographers Bill Ray, Jack Stewart, Alan Fleisher and Robert Browning show never before published treasures from their 1970s trainspotting archives, iconic writers of these times are featured in own chapters where they share their thoughts and stories: ALE ONE, ALL JIVE 161, BLADE, CHECKER170, CLYDE, DEATH, FDT56, IZ THE WIZ, LAVA 1&2, PNUT2 and VAMM.
Even though most of the pieces do not often have more than three or four colors, these rare photographs let us witness an era where letters starting from tags became simple bubble pieces, having 3D blocks, shadows, backgrounds and later would become masterpieces, executed as End-2-End, Top-2-Bottom or even Wholecar. This book is not only a definite must-have if you are into the history of stylewriting, but also if you are interested in the origins of a style which celebrated a comeback in the last years.
144 pages, 25,5 x 20,6 cm, Hardcover
Release date: 2012
Publisher: Alan Fleisher & Paul Iovino / Dokument Press