Grrlz Gettin Ova: Tribute to Barbara 62 and Eva 62
Barbara 62 and Eva 62 were two of the earliest female graffiti writers to become as prolific as they did, and for that a tribute is in order. Although Barbara and Eva were not the first female writers of their time, they were certainly two of the most widely recognized, and remain two of the most famous female graffiti artists of their era to date.
Although Barabara 62 and Eva 62 were from Manhattan, their names were virtually everywhere. Not only were they all city, but their tags spread out beyond New York and all the way down the East Coast. In his book Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in New York, Craig Castleman quotes writer Bama in an account of his shocking discovery that Barbara 62 and Eva 62 had tagged just about everything all the way down to Florida when they went for a trip to Miami.
“My mother came back from Florida, she had a picture she took in front of Jackie Gleason’s studio. On the wall in the back of my mother, it said ‘Barbara and Eva 62—Hello New York!’ She showed me that picture and I freaked out. Wendell came back from South Carolina. He told me he knew what Barbara and Eva did. They took a bus down to Florida and everywhere the bus stopped, he said he saw their names. In every place the bus stopped in, they hit all the way down the East Coast. At all those little Howard Johnsons. Everywhere.” Quote by Bama from Craig Castleman’s Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in New York.
Not only did Barbara and Eva tag their way down to Miami, but they also hit up spaces that seemed impenetrable by female writers: such as boys’ locker rooms, for instance. Bama retells this story as well:
“DeWitt Clinton [High School, in the Bronx]. The boy’s locker room. The downstairs bathroom next to the showers. ‘Barbara and Eva 62,’ ‘Charmin.’ Spray paint. In the bathroom downstairs by the shower! I didn’t go to the school, they didn’t go to the school. I had trouble getting in there. These are girls and there isn’t any way a girl can get through the door at Clinton because Clinton is an all-boy school. And yet they were downstairs and it was their handwriting.” Quote by Bama from Craig Castleman’s Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in New York.
The legacy of Barbara 62 and Eva 62 is one that lives on in the hearts of writers and graffiti freaks everywhere, male and female, through photographs and stories like the ones Bama provides. Big ups to Barbara 62 and Eva 62, and may the legends live on for years to come.