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Brandon Benefield, aka “Real One”, or simply known as “Real” to many, was introduced to Graffiti by a soon-to-be lifelong friend, known around our crew as “Larg One”. During the summer of 1992, Real was forced into summer school. Larg One and Real had a class together. Real noticed him drawing on a book cover in class and at that moment, Real’s life was forever changed. It really piqued this young man’s interest. He had to ask what he was doing and that’s where it all started. Soon they were brainstorming graffiti names. The name “Rel” stuck for a short period until another crew member, now known as “Clown”, said just put the “A” in it and write Real. And, that’s what stuck; Real One. As time went by, these talented artists built their crew. The talent among them grew and grew. Real looked up to the crew member “Clown” and always considered him his mentor. Whether they knew it or not, the leaders of the Graffiti group, Leon and Tone, were mentors for the rest of the crew. Soon, graffiti lead in to meeting all kinds of new people and networking. In 1995, music made its way into the young artist Real’s life. This multi-talented young artist recorded an album. Real One released his first music project independently with the group Cali Souldiers. Real One has since moved onto a solo career releasing his 1st album “Hustlin Habits”. His sophomore release titled “Reefer Madness” won multiple awards. A third album released “Flight 420 Real One” has since been releasing singles working with artists like Grammy award winning artist Grandmaster Melle Mel, Mac Dre RIP, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Spice 1, San Quinn and so many more. Real One is a self-made man with many talents.
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Graffiti Art From Around The World
Futura 2000 is a contemporary American graffiti artist. Over the course of his career, he transitioned from making New York-based subway graffiti in the early 1970s, to exhibiting at Fun Gallery in the 1980s. Futura’s major contribution to graffiti art was his use of abstraction, adopting a style of painting characterized by its blending of text and imagery. Born Leonard McGurr on November 17, 1955 in New York, NY, he went on to collaborate with the punk band The Clash, designing their album art and performing live graffiti during their concerts. Today, McGurr’s work can be found in the collections of the Museo de Arte Moderna di Bologna, the Musée de Vire in France, and the Museum of the City of New York. No longer working in graffiti, Futura now lives and works as a graphic designer in Brooklyn,
George Lee Quinones
George Lee Quinones is an American-Puerto Rican artist known for the graffiti he made on New York subway cars during the 1970s and 1980s. Quinones addressed political and cultural issues through his graffiti, with quotes such as “Earth is Hell, Heaven is Life” and “Stop the Bomb.” Born George Lee Quinones in 1960 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, he was raised in the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York. The artist began bombing subway cars in 1974, and by 1976 he was already well known for his work. Many of these paintings are only documented by Instamatic color photos, though during the time some of them survived for several months without being removed. By the mid-1980s, he had begun working on canvas and exhibiting his work in galleries. He has gone on to collaborate on graphics for clothing brands such as Supreme and Adidas. The artist currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Today, Quinones’s works are held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Groninger Museum in the
James Prigoff is an author, photographer and lecturer on the
subject of worldwide urban murals. He is one of the most
important photographers of aerosol art on the international
scene. He started worldwide documentation of murals in the late
1960's. His interest would eventually lead him to aerosol art
(graffiti). His personal photographs are one of the most
extensive collections of aerosol art in the world. During the late
1970s and the early 1980s, Prigoff documented many aerosol
artmovements from beginning to end across the United States
Frank Shepard Fairey isn’t your average street artist that uses spray cans to get up. Born February 15, 1970, his medium is iconic prints with wheat paste rolled over them, so they stick to the surface he’s applying them to. My first introduction to his work was in San Francisco in the early to mid-90’s. At the time, I thought it was a painted stencil. Come to find out, it was a print wheat paste of Andre the Giant’s face! I remember being pumped about it because I’m a huge wrestling fan. His signature wheat paste prints became one of his trademarks. I saw them on billboards, rooftops, and light poles. They were everywhere, and it was awesome to see; no name, no text at all, just Andre’simage. One way or another, it made a statement when you saw it! Now you can find that image on his clothing line OBEY. Emerging from the skateboard scene, Frank has built OBEY into a mega empire for popular clothing and accessories. He became widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential election for his Barack Obama "Hope" poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston has described him as one of the best known and most influential street artists. His work can be found in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
FRANK SHEPARD FAIREY
Fernando Carlo was born in New York City in 1968. He began his street art in 1985 after encouragement from his cousin. Fernando adopted the tag name “COPE2”. Fittingly, this graffiti legend now resides in The Bronx, the birth place of hip hop. He actively painted in the city especially in the 80’s and 90’s. It was like everywhere you looked you’d see a Cope throw up! One couldn’t miss his trademark bubble letters. His crews are “KD”and “TNB” and he is known as the “ambassador” of New York City Graffiti. He started painting in 1978 and his work can be found in galleries and cities around the world. COPE2 is a self-taught artist who is a celebrated figure for the last 30 years in the graffiti art culture. One of New York City’s most legendary prolific graffiti artists, he developed his style in the subways and streets of the Bronx by creating graffiti productions on subways and the streets of NYC. Today, you can catch COPE2 in the studio painting, bringing his raw energy into abstract masterpieces that are uniquely intertwined with his trademark bubble letters and tags on canvases. He has also delved into curating successful group exhibitions. COPE2 crosses between art world, mainstream and street culture
Known in pop-culture and the graffiti circle as “The First Lady of Graffiti”, also known as “Lady Pink”, is a strong, talented woman named Sandra Fabara. Lady Pink was born in Ecuador in 1964, raised in New York City and currently resides in the countryside north of the Big Apple. While still in high school, she was already exhibiting paintings in art galleries, and by the age of 21, Lady Pink had her first solo show at the Moore College of Art. In 1979, she picked up a can and began her journey in graffiti art. In no time, she was widely known as the only female capable of competing with the boys in the graffiti subculture. Pink painted subway trains from the years 1979-1985. Lady Pink used her graffiti and murals as acts of rebellion and self-expression and empowering women. As Lady Pink says, "It's not just a boy’s club. We have a sisterhood thing going." In 1982, she had a starring role in the motion picture "Wild Style" where she was able to display her exceptional art herself. That renowned role and her other significant contributions to graffiti have made her a cult figure in the hip-hop subculture. As a leading participant in the rise of graffiti art, Lady Pink's canvases have entered prestigious art collections such as those of the Whitney Museum, the MET in New York City, the Brooklyn Museum and the Groningen Museum of Holland. She has made a name for herself in the fine arts worldas her paintings are highly prized by collectors all over the globe. Today, Lady Pink continues to create new paintings on canvas that express her unique personal vision. She also shares her 30 years of experience with teens by holding mural workshops and actively lecturing to college students.