SHARK – New York City, 1988 – Fine Art Print
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More than 30 years after visiting New York in 1988, it still remains the most impressive trip I ever made in my life as graffiti writer. Three years after watching Style Wars and Wild Style on German TV, Zodiak and I were standing on the platforms of the New York Subway, watching bombed cars passing by with tags and throwups, panels and whole cars. Riding the subway with all the insides and seeing all the tags was an unbelievable experience as a young graffiti writer.
At the ages of 17 and 18 we had a place to stay in Hoboken in New Jersey. Every morning we took the PATH train to New York, then rode the subway all day, from Dyre Ave to Coney Island and back to East 180 St. We hung out at East Tremont Ave and watched all the rush hour trains passing by, met some writers, even Milk from Germany. We did tags inside and in between the cars we were riding and saw our tags running next day. Later, we found a perfect photo spot at Sunset Park close to the 38th St. Yard and went into the scrap yard. We were in Paradise.
Although I have seen many painted trains and complete destroyed subway cars, like in Amsterdam, Athens or all the trains we did in Dortmund, the New York Subway will always be the special one, as it is for many others of my generation. I guess it’s just because it was the first view, the first picture, the first adventure that turned us into graffiti writers.
Even today, while the trains in New York are clean, I still feel this special appeal with its sound, its smell and the way the trains crawl along the elevated tracks. And, as it was said in Style Wars, the New York subway cars are still getting written on.
SHARK started writing in 1984 and belongs to the first generation of graffiti writers in Germany. As member of the legendary TUF (The United Force) crew he was a driving force in making his hometown Dortmund one of the most important cities in the history of European graffiti in the 1990s.
In his starting days just a handful of articles, books and movies have been rare sources for any kind of information on graffiti. Traveling to cities like Amsterdam (1985) or Munich, London and Paris (1986) expanded his horizon and helped build connections within the Old World but eventually only lead to a bigger and more significant trip: New York City.
In 1988 it was time to not only visit, but to also leave some marks at the birthplace of graffiti. Only four years after its peak was documented in Subway Art, he witnessed the last rearing of trainwriting in NYC while the Metro Transit Authority was about to win the battle against graffiti. Visiting the graffiti Mecca and experiencing the phenomenon seemed to have shaped SHARK’s attitude as a writer, who is still part of the game 33 years later.
For the first time ever SHARK decided to publish a print and chose an exclusive shot from his 1988 New York trip. The 30 cm x 40 cm sized print shows an original photo slide, capturing him as an 18-year-old catching his iconic signature on the outside of a legendary NYC subway train in Brooklyn. The fine art print is printed on outstanding Hahnemühle Photorag, limited to 100 pieces only, signed, embossed and hand numbered by SHARK. To enjoy the full 80s flavour, every order get one of three selected motive postcards from his NYC visit on top.
30 x 40 cm, Edition of 100, signed, embossed and hand numbered by SHARK
Paper: Hahnemühle PhotoRag® matte 188 g/qm
Released: December 2021
Exclusively at Hitzerot.