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Kel First aka KEL139 (born Randy Rodriguez) is a recognized graffiti-style master who began painting trains during the mid-1970s. His generation of style masters has left an indelible mark on writing history. Raised between Manhattan and the South Bronx, exposure to graffiti on the subway lines between these two boroughs influenced the development of Kel’s aesthetique of wild-style lettering. His admiration of pioneers like Kool 131, Noc 167, Part 1, Chain 3, Slave and others drove his ambition to gain status alongside these style masters. Early in his career, Kel was a devoted follower and student of graffiti history. He often sought out the best writers for

While early graffiti received its notoriety from street tagging it was New York City's trains that proved to be the perfect canvas of choice for writers looking to see their names fly across the city. While the exterior graffiti dashed by commuters in a blur the subway interiors afforded writers a captive audience and the attention of other writers who would also compete for available surfaces. It was within the trains that hand styles would reign supreme and allow writers to hone their skills before they attempted a masterpiece on the exterior. The conductor door on display at the Museum illustrates

On December 12, 2019, Phase 2, the Hip Hop pioneer, aerosol artist and writer, passed away in New York. The artist who went by a variety of names including True, True Mathematics, Phase Too, Lonnie Wood and Lonnie Marrow is considered widely to be the architect of the writing movement that many call graffiti, a term that he rejected in life due to its derogatory implications. A child of the civil rights era, Phase was an activist and agitator, who rallied for writers to control their destiny and their movement. He started painting at the dawn of the writing movement

In today’s world, a clash between a large corporation and an aerosol artist usually results in an uproar from outspoken keyboard warriors who slam big businesses on social media for their violations.  Active painters like Revok, Smash 137, and Ahol Sniffs Glue gained the support of the masses when faced with a decision to take pending copyright violations to court. Not naïve to the power of social media, where the hashtag #graffiti has been used 41.9 million times on Instagram, violating companies typically fold rather quickly in the face of a potential media image crisis.   Unfortunately, Canadian-born artist Daniel Bombardier, AKA Denial,

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