Taki 183 returns!


On July 21st, 1971 the headline ‘Taki 183’ Spawns Pen Pals appeared in the NY Times.  On May 13th, 2009, Taki 183 got a website.  The first two lines of the Times article read as such “Taki is a Manhattan teenager who writes his name and his street number everywhere he goes. He says it is something he just has to do.”  I didn’t want to pay for the rest of the article but, you can (or if you’re smart, download it from his site or peep it after the jump.)  I am more concerned with spending my money on one of the spraypainted prints that are for sale on his website.  Yes, that tag above is original, and spraypainted by Taki himself.  True graffiti history.


“Graffiti writers around the world know the name that started it all: TAKI 183. A kid from 183rd Street in northern Manhattan, TAKI 183’s simple signature captured the attention of a reporter and, on July 21, 1971, the article “TAKI 183 Spawns Pen Pals” appeared in The New York Times. Just like that, TAKI 183 became a graffiti legend, with rumors spreading that he even tagged a Secret Service car and the Statue of Liberty. Amid all the rumors, TAKI 183 remained silent. Now, almost four decades later, TAKI 183 has emerged to tell his story.

This site includes photos of TAKI 183’s work, images of his friends and contemporaries, his true story and, for the first time, official TAKI 183 limited-edition screenprints.

There are currently three screenprints available in the store: “Collage” features a design made up of the The New York Times article and various high school newspaper articles and drawings about TAKI 183; “Red Subway Tile” features an ornate tile pattern of the New York City subway walls and an original TAKI 183 paint tag; and “Blue Subway Tile” includes the tile pattern and TAKI 183 tag, plus marker tags by his mentors PHIL T GREEK the 1st, PHIL T GREEK the 2nd and GREG 69.”


3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. dr. ego

    saying that one person started graffiti is bullshit.
    you can call names like taki 183 or cornbread (who wrote actualy earlier then taki)
    why does history always want to be that black and white and give credit to 1 person.

    paint markers and spraypaint are repsponsible for the start of graffiti as we know it now. not just one human being.

  2. peter

    it is interesting to note though that the article about taki 183 really started a trend, and so maybe it was not taki 183 as a person, but the hype started by this article that made graffiti more than a niche phenomenon.

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