In the graffiti arsenal, the paint roller is a workhorse. It provides even coverage, laying a foundation for a piece or wiping the slate clean. Add an extender pole to your roller and all manner of otherwise hard-to-reach spots become a possibility. I’m an unabashed fan of blockbuster roller letters with drop shadows, the bigger and more visible, the better. And with a little practice, some unique styles can be worked out of a roller. Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of roller action on vacant billboards along the BQE as well as rooftops along the J/M/Z lines.
Portraits by Seedr.
My forays into benching have admittedly been few and far between – more for lack of time than opportunity – but I’ve fast become a fan of the freight moniker. Small and relatively easy to miss in comparison to the larger pieces that dominate many boxcars, monikers are part of a unique, symbol-laden language of and by those who ride the rails.
If you’ve got $20 to spare, I can highly recommend you get your hands on a copy of Bill Daniel’s excellent documentary on freight monikers, Who is Bozo Texino?.
Gaia’s chicken-headed man or the Eggyolk?
Since the heyday of painted trains, there have been a number of excellent documentary films that highlighted the burgeoning graffiti movement. The legendary Style Wars and Wild Style come to mind, as well as the more recent Infamy and Bomb It. To date Hollywood has shied away from producing fictionalized accounts of graffiti culture, although that probably isn’t a bad thing, given that graffiti vandalism is often exaggerated and sensationalized. Fortunately for us, first time director Florian Gaag, an active member of Munich’s graffiti scene for many years, has delivered an impressive cinematic debut that accurately represents the writer lifestyle. Filmed on location in Munich and Warsaw, Wholetrain includes striking footage of rolling stock featuring the work of writers Won, Cemnoz, Pure, Ciel and Neon. And if that weren’t enough, Gaag collaborated with Hip Hop great KRS One on the film’s soundtrack.
Next Tuesday, New York will be treated to a free screening of Wholetrain, followed by a discussion between director Florian Gaag and writer Pure. No stranger to painted trains, Pure started writing in the late 70s and has since gotten down with infamous writers such as Reas, Ven, Jonone as well as fellow TFP member Sento.
Film Screening + Conversation
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, 7:00pm
Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
5 East 3rd Street (at Bowery)
New York, NY 10003
Tel.: +1 (212) 439-8700
Closest Subway: 6 at Bleecker Street
Admission is free, no reservations required.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s what others had to say about the film:
Ket: “I loved the movie. I thought that Wholetrain represented the scene the best – ever. It really captured what writers go through and their struggles; they were humanized, they weren’t caricatures. I appreciate that. I remember that it made me feel that I was there with those guys, living with those guys. It took me back to a time when I was living the way those kids were living. I thought it was very authentic in that sense.”
Henry Chalfant: “Wholetrain shows the human dimensions of Graffiti-Writing. The social conflicts of the protagonists are fascinating and allow you to take a look at the writers’ real lives. Real characters, real problems. Wholetrain is a very good film that not only reflects writing culture but also leaves room to authentically portray the writers’ social reality.”
See you Tuesday.
Hert and Atak have been catching my eye lately.
“Neck Face (b. 1984, Stockton, California) is an anonymous graffiti artist. He is known for his frightening drawing style and humorous writings.” [Wikipedia]
Below is a selection of some of my favorite Neck Face drawings and writings – seems he’s been in town recently, as the top one was new to me.
The below are my 30 favorites of the year – favorite pieces, moments or shots. Scroll all the way down to view this as a slideshow.
MTA, Los Angeles, CA
Big thanks to Stefan, Jeremy, Till and Peter for all the support!
Summer 2008 I spent a week in Paris – discovering Horfe was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. If you’re not familiar with his weird and wonderful work, be sure to check out his Flickr group.
He must have come through New York at some point, as I’ve recently come across a couple of pieces he did with Kuma, another favorite writer of mine.