12 Questions With Curve For Release of Styles Wars Tee
1. When and where did you first see Style Wars?
Around 1994 in New Haven CT. Me and my bro started riding our bikes to the local flea market right around the time we were getting interested in graff. There were tons of pieces on the trailers and trucks of the market, which also drew us in. We could find comics, vintage spray paint, sneakers, records, mix tapes, so we were there every Sunday. One vendor had a lot of videos like Shaw Brothers and Japanimation, all stuff we were into. Through a growing interest in graff via things like YO! MTV Raps videos, and the back page in The Source, we followed the clues. Or, somebody put us on about Wild Style, Beat Street, and Style Wars. We decided to take a chance and ask the Flea Market video guy. He was like “Oh yeah!” and had it for us within a week.
2. Were you with anybody when you first watched it?
Yes. My brother Vital One and our friend David Miller.
3. What were you writing at the time?
I had a new name everyday, all were taken. Spy, Mes and SN to name a few. In ’95, I moved onto the walls and was attempting to do pieces and characters. Because I was so, physically, small these were no bigger than 3 ft wide. By the next summer, I grew about a foot and developed a tag, throwie, and straight letter. I decided on my name and stuck with that.
4. Was it the first graffiti movie you had seen?
Before ever seeing Style Wars in its entirety, I would stay up all night to catch a public access show “Graffiti TV” hosted by a local celebrity by the name of Dooley-O. He had vintage and recent footage of guys like Eroc, DF crew, Crest, Serk, the TSB crew, Brat, Demo, Cain, Cek, really wilding out, street bombing, and in places I saw everyday on my way to school. There was also footage of walls in Co-op City and 238th St bridge, mixed in with clips from Wild Style and Style Wars, all over funky and sinister beats. Much respect to Dooley-O for bringing music and art to the forefront.
5. What were you thinking after you finished watching?
I was super hyped up, I couldn’t believe how awesome the whole thing was. It was exciting to feel that I had a ton of work to do.
6. Are there any pieces that still stand out in your mind?
The Zephyr and Revolt pieces on the ledge in the Upper West Side. I love how bold, simple, and stylish those pieces were on a raw cement wall. Also the fact that it was on a wall rather than a train especially appealed to me because it was a more attainable goal for me at that time.
7. What was the most inspirational quote to you?
The part where Iz the Wiz, and company, go underground and someone shouts, “This place Is bombed!” I always liked the way Iz talked about personally exploring the tunnels, history, finding rooms, and maps. That quote about going somewhere hidden from the world to take his time and be creative really inspired me.
8. Who is featured on the shirt?
From left to right, top to bottom, it’s Seen, Case2, Cap, Skeme, Min, Trap, Iz the Wiz, Dez, and Dondi.
9. Dead or alive, who would you like to paint with on a subway car?
Any of them.
10. When did you last watch Style Wars?
I’ve seen it maybe a hundred times. But I recently watched it on a rainy day while I was sketching. I was sketching faces and I looked up and thought, “Wow! Here is an awesome set of people that are all icons in their own way.” I thought of it like the character roster of a comic book. I just quickly decided on those 9 writers, I didn’t leave anyone out for any particular reason.
11. Why did you concentrate on that era for this shirt?
There’s been a lot of graff with nods and samples from that era being painted nowadays. I feel it’s important to focus attention on the past, in general. At this point in time it is not considered a rip-off but an homage. Henry Chalfant, Tony Silver, and Martha Cooper could not have known the incredible worldwide impact their documentary would have. These people helped lay down a foundation for the culture and they should be honored.
12. Can you share any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
There’s more on the way. I have a small comic coming out and a new print series in the works. I’m always plotting on a handful of things so its really about where the cards land and what comes out first. I recently collaborated with OnlyNY clothing company on a shirt design and I’m always updating my Tumblr. You can get the Style Wars t-shirt at The Curvazoidian Shop, which has some other t-shirt designs as well.
Many thanks to Curve for taking the time to sit down with us! Stay tuned to 12oz for updates as new designs are announced, and be sure to visit the Curvazoidian Shop for additional related products.