Friday, December 30, 2011

KAVES designs label for 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau

The marketing director of the firm where I work gave me the most thoughtful holiday gift. She knows about my passion for graffiti and street art and gave me a bottle of

2011 Beaujolais Nouveau. The label just happens to have been designed by Brooklyn's own "Mr. KAVES". And so the bottle sits in my fridge. The New York Daily News recently ran an article on KAVES and the design.

-- Eric Deal

Friday, November 4, 2011


Henry Chalfant, the producer of the film Style Wars just shared some information with me regarding the film and its restoration effort.

Pitchfork features an interview with Mr. Chalfant, Linda Habib the film's line producer and two of the artists featured in the film-- Carlos" MARE 139" Rodriguez, and John "CRASH" Matos.
Read story at Pitchfork.

Support the Style Wars fund raising drive at Kickstarter.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Looks like law enforcement in the UK is getting into the street art game.

Saw this on the BBC web site and had to share it.

-- Eric Deal

Gloucestershire Police have stencilled the number of arrests the force has made on streets around Gloucester.

The street stencils, applied at 30 city sites, are to highlight the force's "harder approach" to lawbreakers as part of Operation Scorpion.

Since its launch in September, the countywide operation "aimed at tackling any low-level issues" has led to 102 arrests in Gloucestershire.

Supt Rob Priddy said the stencils were a way to "draw attention to our work".


Thursday, October 27, 2011


I received an advance copy of this book a few months back, but decided to wait till it was available for purchase to blog on it.

This book is unique in that it is perhaps the first book to cover both street art and graffiti effectively. It is written by Jay Edlin aka TERROR 161/JSON, an veteran of New York's subway graffiti movement. He's a cat with a reputation of being difficult to please, so the selection of artists in the book is real cream of the crop -- no scrubs or mid-level players here.

365 covers the artists with succinct and at times witty profiles. The book is a crash course in both street art and graffiti.

In an era where literally thousands of images of graffiti and street art are available in books and on the Internet Graffiti 365 has some rare gems..Don't sleep…Grab it!

-- Eric Deal

From the Publisher
About the book
Graffiti 365 delivers the first real insider’s view into the contemporary graffiti and street-art scenes, as well as their antecedents. A fun, wide-ranging survey of the international graffiti movement, this book uses more than 600 rare, previously unpublished, or legendary images to introduce and describe important artists—from Blade to Banksy—and styles—from bubble to wild. Along the way, Graffiti 365 covers different eras, cities, legendary walls and crews, police and public responses to graffiti, and more.

The author of Graffiti 365, J.SON, has been an artist and historian of the graffiti movement for decades—he started writing graffiti in 1973 and retired in 1984. Unparalleled in its breadth and depth of coverage, Graffiti 365 is a wide-angle snapshot of an entire movement.

About the author
Jay “J.SON” Edlin has written for The Source, Blaze, and Mass Appeal. He recently was interviewed for Jon Naar’s Birth of Graffiti.

Andrew “Zephyr” Witten is the author of Dondi White: Style Master General and has written for Vibe, The Source, and Juxtapoz.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Support KickStart MARE 139 Exhibit



Carlos MARE139 Rodriguez


Help Kickstart this amazing exhibition by donating your support and receiving art in return. I can’t do this with out the help of our creative community and our supporters so help spread the Kickstarter url- or donate to the cause.

The more support we receive the more expansive the effort will become to advance the exhibition in the gallery and public space. This will be a groundbreaking effort for my sculptural graffiti works and I hope you all can be a part of it. My collaboration with John Wendelbo will push into new boundaries and we want you all to own a part of it by becoming advocates for the show.

What are we doing?

a LIVE 28 foot long, 8 foot tall graffiti and stencil mural outside the Carrack on Parrish Street Saturday Nov 19th: you, your kids, somebody gets to bring home a part of the wall, and it’s all during Durham ART WALK.

What’s the deal?

The wall mural has been subdivided into a bunch of panels of different sizes, some 1’x1’ and up to 4’x8’. We are pre-selling only blank panels ahead of time to pay for the show (we have a seriously wild installation for you that week end indoors at the Carrack): you can purchase a panel, you have no idea what will be on it besides the excellent Art of any and all MARE139 / WENDELBO collaborations. What you do know is that it’s going to be awesome, raw, genuine and authentic. Of course panel sales stop before the beginning of the performance, wouldn’t be fair otherwise! We also DO NEED to pre-sell $1000 within the next two weeks to make sure all goes smoothly.

Hi Arts NYC pledges to match $2,500 towards the show if we meet that goal!

To get more info, view a video of a 3D sculpture we will be using as the basis for one of our lay-ups, or to buy a panel now and visit our kickstarter page here! (simply follow the ‘back this project’ button once you’re there).

See you on Saturday November 19th downtown Durham at 111 west Parrish Street!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I'd recently been on New Jersey Transit and it looks like there is some effort to get some graffiti moving on it. I saw remnants of pieces buffed off the train exteriors. It felt like almost ever other train had a car with a buffed painting. I even saw some incomplete pieces… as if the writers got raided or the train pulled out of the yard before they could finish. The system also has plenty of track side pieces. It's not New York 1976, but, hey, it made my day more interesting!


Saturday, October 15, 2011


Like I said, I haven't been blogging much...Back July I attended a book launch party for The History of American Graffiti, Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon's latest book. It was held at The Hole, Kathy Grayson's new gallery located on the Bowery in lower Manhattan. The big draw at the event was the presence of a group of New York's pioneering graffiti artists who are featured in the book. TAKI 183, SJK 171, SNAKE1 MIKE 171, LAZAR, ROCKY 184 and others signed books. The event drew more folks from art world circles than graffiti writers, but many were in attendance, like PAID 3, REVOLT, ZEPHYR, TERROR 161, WANE ONE, IVORY TM7, T-KID 170, DOC TC5 and giants such as LSD OM and FDT 56.

About the book

The scope of the book is quite vast, in fact if feels a bit like an encyclopedia. It covers modern graffiti from its beginnings in Philadelphia and New York but also touches on earlier movements like freight train monikers and Cholo graffiti. What really makes this book stand out is that it sheds light on many cities that have been generally overlooked like Kansas City, Cleveland, New Orleans and others. My personal favorite part of the book is the photo of a tag by JULIO 204, one of New York's earliest writers.. To the best of my knowledge it is the first and only book to publish such a photo.

The History of American Graffiti --The big picture!


From the Publisher

The History of American Graffiti By Roger Gastman; Caleb Neelon, Harper Design, Hardcover


JAMES TOP is constantly putting together unique events. For the past year he has been working with HIP HOP USA on series of graffiti art battles set on a pretty unique canvas— sneakers. In July I dropped by one of the battles.

Organized by Terry Nelson for Hip Hop USA, and curated by JAMES TOP, the exhibitions include photographs of the artists' original paintings on subways and hand painted recreations of the paintings on Hip Hop USA's white canvas sneakers.

Artists represented in the exhibition include: STAY HIGH 149, JAMES TOP, JESTER, SPAR TFP, KING 2, KING BEE, SLAVE, TON, AZ ONE, LAVA I & II, PASER aka Popmaster Fabel, SHADOW TR, ALE ONE and many others.

I vibed on some cool music and art chilled with JAMES and my man REE MTA, but the a real highlight of the evening was meeting KING 2 for the first time. KING was one of my childhood heros. During the mid 70s he ran with guys like TRACY 168 and PEL. He banged out a lot of great pieces on the IRT 4 line. He was one of the best of the era, so I expected a bit of arrogance, but the cat was totally humble. What a day!


I have been busy with personal stuff, so I did not blog much over the summer, but now that my time is freeing up a bit I figured I'd share a few things.

Over the summer the French street artist visited New York City. JR is best known for pasting large scale portraits in public spaces. JR is the 2011 recipient of a TED Prize. The New York Times ran a great article on him last year.

Here are photos from his 2011 visit to New York City.

Monday, August 15, 2011


My head is spinning with this news so I really don't know what to say, but I feel the need t share a few spontaneous thoughts.
KASE 2 was by far one of the most amazing people I have ever met. In a childhood accident he lost an arm and a leg. Despite that fact he became one of the most accomplished, respected and feared individuals in the artistically competitive and physically demanding world of graffiti.
Back in the days graffiti writers gathered at the 149th Street writers' bench to socialize. KASE was the type of guy who could pack the bench or clear it. As one of the movement's most innovative and influential style masters, young writers would flock to him in admiration, but he was also a very intimidating figure, known for his fighting ability and street hardened ways. As they say on the street "He had cats shook." so writers might also scatter upon his arrival.
My fondest memories of his work are the outstanding whole cars he produced with his partner BUTCH 2 on the 2 and 5 lines back in the mid 1970s. They really set the bar high for how style and concept cars should be done. Those joints truly got me lifted!!
During the course of writing Graffiti New York I interviewed one of New York's best-known graffiti cops, Detective Kevin Hickey and he shared memories about writers who made a memorable impression on him.
Hickey recalled receiving a call from another cop who shared a story about chasing a one armed youth who left him in the dust in a foot chase. Hickey laughed at him and said” I’m sorry to hear you couldn't keep up with this kid, but I'm also sorry to tell you that not only did he have just one arm, he also had just one leg." For me that summed it all up---KASE was extraordinary.
Much like Muhammad Ali, KASE was a boastful and charismatic showman and much like Muhammad Ali, he had unquestionable ability to back up every word. He ranks among greats such as PHASE, RIFF, NOC, BILLY, PART, CHAIN and DONDI.
He was the King of what? THE KING of STYLE!!!
I extend my condolences to his family, The TFP Family and his extended family of artists across the globe who mourn his loss.


Yesterday SHIRT KING PHADE reached out to me with the news that his friend and mentor the legendary KASE 2 TFP had passed on.

PHADE shared his thoughts and this photo.

"As one of Kase 2's first born when it comes to what the kids call today 'Swag' I respectfully send out my condolences out to the Jeffrey Brown family. Me and Kase met in 1978, We quickly became friends and he began to mentor me as his protege. We fought side by side in the street, Kase respected me not as an underling but almost as an equal. he helped shape and groom my aerosol art career in its early stages. He always had perception as to what was next.He is truly 'King of Style'. Kase gave me an outline in 1978 of my name 'Phade'. He was impressed that I was able to scale his art professionally, and proportionately so we became piecing partners. Wether it was one of his moniker names or our names, we painted hard. Kase took me to clubs like Celebrity club, Harlem World, Renaissance ballroom, Audubon Ballroom. He enabled me to meet the heroes of the day such as Busy Bee and Kool dJ AJ. The Moore House Crew we called ourselves. That was Kase's family he always mentioned Dee,Glenn, Crusader Rob, Al boogie,Tray-Bag, Gill Seville etc. We became his extended family. He taught me how to stand up as a man and protect my artistic ability by any means. So many words can describe Jeff pka Kase 2 The Fantastic Partners. When Butch came home he embraced me also. They together embraced my team Lil Seen, Doze, Daze, Lady Pink, Harold, LC, EC3, CUE, he showed us all how to be and conduct ourselves as 'Kings" . There were collaborations that only pictures can bring bck the memories of those nights at Gunhill rd lay-up and bussin' 6 whole cars. Kase/Butch, Phade/Agent, kel139/Cos, Mare/shy 147,piecing with Skeme/Dez, Lil Karado/SO, Jap 115, Moet, Gnome etc. Kase was unselfish, willing to teach and always opened his heart and doors for others. I have been so blessed to meet and be a pivotal part of this mans life that meant so much to others. 33 Years of knowing a true King of Style I can brag about that, but missing Kase is gonna be hard. I wear my crown proudly and do daily watch the throne, that was Kases life....letting you know who the true Kings of Style are and whose crowns are on tight.
Thanks to a mentor, brother, historian, fighter, artist supreme, To the King Of Style thanks for the memories and the Love of the life game we are in Hip Hop."

Edwin Sacasa aka King Phade the one and only

Photo: Kase2, Butch 2, EC3, Cue 1979 TFP) Copyright/Edwin Sacasa (Phade 1998 Ultimate Hip Hop Experience collection)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mr. Kaves: “New York, New York: Big City of Dreams”

Hionas Gallery
89 Franklin Street, 212-274-9003
Tribeca / Downtown
July 15 - August 13, 2011
Opening: Thursday, July 14, 6 - 8 PM

All You See is….Sex in the City!

I can't recall how I stumbled onto this photo, but the instant I saw it I fell in love with— not so much for the style, but for what it signifies. I do not know who did the car or when it was done (has to be post 2001 because of the American flag on the car). I also have not ruled out the possibility that it is a Photoshop hoax, but it speaks volumes as to the influence of the 1983 documentary film Style Wars, as well as cultural importance of painting on subway cars. (Directed by Tony Silver and Produced by Henry Chalfant, Style Wars is widely recognized as a catalyst and a blue print for graffiti art movements across the world. )

This painting on a New York City subway car is reference to dialogue in the film Style Wars, where the artist SKEME describes a painting he did on the subway. "All you see is.. Crime in the City" . The painting here "All you see is... Sex in the City" is a tribute to SKEME's work with a clever tie in the HBO television series Sex in the City.

This painting could have easily been done on a wall and those in the know would have still got the joke, but the artist chose a Subway Car—a real prize, especially in an era where the subways are relatively graffiti free.

Hey, hoax or not I love the concept!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Crime in the Museums

The fact that Deitch's Art in the Streets exhibition was criticized from this angle was predictable. Though I am in complete disagreement with Ms. MacDonald's position, I am posting a link to the City Journal article. However, I am compelled to preface it with the fact—for those unfamiliar with her— that she is the author of many intellectual gems such as" The Myth of Racial Profiling.

Crime in the Museums

America’s first major graffiti show celebrates urban sabotage.

By Heather MacDonald

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Graffiti Tour

Recently I had the pleasure of hosting a private graffiti and street art tour of New York City. My guest was Raphaela Platow, Director and Chief Curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. I tried to pack as much as I could into a few hours of cold weather.

We started off in the East Village, taking in SERF, ADEK, Shepard Fairy, Kenny Sharf, and FAUST and an abundance of others.

We also dropped by the Dorian Grey Gallery on East 9th street to see Angel Ortiz aka LA2's exhibition. We almost did not get in,. We caught Owner, Christopher Pusey on his way out, but he was kind enough to postpone what was doing and allow us to view the work.

The paintings tied in closely to the visual language Ortiz developed along side Keith Haring during an extensive period of collaboration between the two in the early 1980s.

The gallery, a new hot spot East Village also recently featured an extensive collection of drawings by John CRASH Matos.

Next we hit the streets of Brooklyn and peeped works by WANE ONE, EWOK, KEO , TATU XMEN, OS GEMEOS and others.

The highlight of the tour was a visit to LEE Quinones' studio where he was in the midst of painting work that will feature prominently in Jeffrey Deitch's "Art in the Streets" exhibition at MOCA in Los Angeles.

It was a real privilege to be among the first to set eyes on the work. IT'S OFF THE METER KID!! but sorry I cannot post photos until LEE gives the green light, which perhaps will be after it is unveiled at MOCA later this month.

Finally we stepped off to Queens and checked in at the 5 Pointz. For those that don't know it factory building situated on a full square city block that is covered entirely with graffiti art. It is billed as the largest outdoor exhibition of graffiti art in the world.

Unfortunately 5 Pointz's existence is under threat. It was recently announced that there plans underway to develop the location into hi-rise luxury housing.

5 Pointz artistic director Jonathan MERES Cohen is currently engaging support to save the location.


Graffiti vs. Street Art 2

It great to see this wall alive with art again. Back in the 1982 Keith Haring painted it. This was followed in 1983 with a collaborative work by Haring, DAZE (Chris Ellis), NOC 167 (Melvin Samuals), LA2 (Angel Ortiz ), Kenny Scharf, the late A ONE (Anthony Clark).

For decades the wall remained relatively inactive except for the occasional throw up (which I loved) or advertisement . Then in 2008, Deitch Projects, the Haring Foundation and Tony Goldman of Goldman Properties facilitated a reproduction of Haring's 1982 mural in celebration of what would have been Haring's 50th birthday.

Since then, thanks to Jeffrey Deitch and Tony Goldman the wall has seen a series of murals related to Graffiti and street art. It has featured works by Brazil's OS GEMEOS (Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo), San Francisco's TWIST (Barry MCGee), Shepard Fairey, a memorial to SACE (Dash Snow) and most recently a work by Kenny Scharf.

Most of the works survived without incident, but the Fairey and Scharf suffered repeated attacks. They got plastered with throw ups.

Perhaps it is personal or perhaps it is the graffiti vs. street art beef. Graffiti and street art has not exactly co-existed in peace. A lot of street artists are oblivious to the street code and often disrespect graffiti. On the other hand a lot of writers see street artists as pushovers and just don't respect street art one bit.

Maybe I was being naive and too idealistic in thinking that given Fairey and Scharf's longevity in public space and track record of collaborating with writers that they would be given a higher measure of respect than the typical street artist.

Either way hats off to Scharf for battling back.

PS I'd Love to see LEE Quinones bust one out with FUTURA on this wall when MOCA LA "Art in the Streets" comes to the Brooklyn Museum next year… anybody listening? LOL


Eric Deal

Related posts:

Graffiti vs. Street Art 1

Graffiti vs. Street Art: TEAM ROBBO vs. BANKSY