Our Man Flint… Terror161 Drops Knowledge About A Widely Unknown Legendary Graff Figure

This article was posted by Senior Editor 2 years, 4 months, 2 weeks, 6 days, 18 hours, 40 minutes ago.

Jay Edlin featured a profile on the early graffiti writer Flint… as well as a handful of photographs from his archives in the book Graffiti 365. Flint… made a name for himself in the early 1970’s writing with LSD OM and Tracy168. He was also one of the few graffiti writers at the time behind the lens of a camera documenting what was going on around him. Today he is beginning to receive recognition for his prolific body of work (and is the subject of 12ozProphet’s next collaboration dropping soon!) Scroll down to read Part 1 of Terror161’s biographical post on Flint…

Flint - Bad, But Not Evil responding to the Flint 707 tag on the wall

Flint Gennari remains one of the most unique artists and photographers ever spawned by the graffiti movement. A loner with a rebellious spirit, FLINT…, like Stay High 149, co-opted his identitiy from a popular spy series, in this case borrowing his moniker from super-spy Derek Flint played by James Coburn in late 60’s James Bond parody films “In Like Flint” and “Our Man Flint”. Impacted by the Kennedy assassination, The Viet Nam War and the civil rights movement , he began carving the name Flint.. into picinic tables and writing long political diatribes signed by his new alias. This was the gestation period for the graffiti moniker he would popularize later. Flint Gennari grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn , just a few blocks away from Ex Vandals founder Dino Nod and legendary first generation Brooklyn tagger Scooter.

Pray and Chopper 13


Although he rolled with the Ex Vandals , the first all city graff crew, FLINT..  remained somewhat of a loner. He developed a love for photography and found he had an innate sense for capturing the moment. As graffiti transitioned from signatures to piecing FLINT… kept his work conceptual. As graffiti became a sport for the masses , FLINT…  stopped writing political sayings and began implementing thought provoking catch phrases that epitomized cool and left readers scratching their heads. The plain FLINT… tag changed as Gennari added seriphs to his letters making his tags look as though they were typewrittten. All of us were trying to forge our own identities as non-conformist rebels, but when thousands of kids embrace non-conformity simultaneously they become conformists. FLINT.. approached writing conceptually. As a kid I was blown away by FLINT…‘s neat tags with sayings that are forever embedded in my cranium such as :For Those Who Dare, Bad But Not Evil, For Ladies Only and the ubiquitous THINK FLINT… which a slew of other writers appropriated. FLINT… attended Art and Design High School where he would drop his photography major, finding he already knew more than the teachers and take up film making instead. Just as he did with writing FLINT…  approached photography from an outside the box perspective. While most photographers and writers concentrated on capturing simply the pieces on the train, FLINT… focused his lens on the people and the process.


BK neighbor Flip One SSB

Using only black and white film he captured portraits of the architects of graffiti in their prime, building the most historically significant archive ever captured on film with an insider’s eye . During this period he would meet Tracy 168, LSD OM and fellow alumni, Steve 61, SJK 171, Shadow, Dime 139 and Al Diaz aka Bomb 1 , who would eventually write SAMO along with Jean Michel Basquiat .

Flint and early partner Chopper 13

Coming Soon: Part 2 - The Rebels and Al Diaz on FLINT… and Basquiat with exclusive video interview.

Tags:
Graffiti,

© Senior Editor & 12ozProphet - Saturday April 07, 2012 at 11:25 AM

There are 6 comments...

nycisdead106 on 12ozProphet

FLINT 707.. for those who dare. Always was my favorite writer of all time next to DONDI CIA. There’s never enough out there of this guy or I’d have posted it already :-D

nycisdead106 on 12ozProphet

Aw man that photo collection must be fucking amazing

spencer4u on 12ozProphet

Maybe FLINT… is unknown beause this cat never got up on the trains.
Took photos of famous up writers.
“Legendary”?  To give knowledge one must be up on their history. Ya dig?
“FLINT 707 ” bombed Brooklyn trains.  Nuff said.

Terror161 on 12ozProphet

The article is about FLINT… not 707 . Although both are legends. I saw FLINT…s name and sayings all the time as a teenager and the sayings he wrote impacted many of us. FLINT 707 revolutionized writing with his 3D and tag style influenced pieces. UGA didn’t admit too many slouches, but FLINT ... wasn’t even competing on the outside the train conventional artistic level that Flint 707 was. MICO had sayings too but FLINT… was unique. Everyone’s got their own take on history and this cat’s conceptual approach makes him legendary . It’s funny how all these 50 something cats with an agenda are all re-inventing themselves in 2012 as kings. FLINT… is a legend in my book. He would never consider himself one and that’s more than you can say for half these mofo’s who bestow legend status on themselves.

spencer4u on 12ozProphet

Nah son it dont work like that. Blogging here doesnt make you an authority. Flint… cant
be compared to cats who wrote on trains, Its all about your opinion here..cool..but facts are facts.
He amazed you with his quotes with markers. Thats not Lengend material Ya Dig?
UGA? MICO? FLINT 707 exactly…

Terror161 on 12ozProphet

Yo ,

There’s no shortage of people trying to define what a legend is or isn’t. Or if graffiti should be called graffiti or an element of Hip hop or some other nonsense. No shortage of 50 somethings calling themselves legends now. I’m a 50 something myself so please don’t try and define what’s legendary to me, because I was there from early on , from a different part of the city and what impacted me had a lot to do with logistics . I saw the birth of graff on the #1 line and the BMT’s were a bit out of my jurisdiction.MICO , PISTOL , KILLER , SAVAGE killed IRT’s whereas FLINT 707 didn’t have as large a presence on those lines. FLINT 707 had the majority of his work on BMT’s .Hell yeah, FLINT 707’s pieces were amazing and light years ahead of their time and had IRT cats talking. I saw FLINT… and his sayings approach stood out from the pack as did his plain and typewriter styles. If you want to get at me directly you got my info. No need to hide behind an alias. You know who I am and that makes one of us. If you read my blog. I am not comparing him to cats that wrote on outsides of trains . He took a different road while others alll travelled down the same path. It’s not a contest and no slight on 707 to give FLINT.. his due. His photographic body of worl alone makes him a legend and having a blog doesn’t make me an authority any more than your approval does.  Your deciding who I get to consider a legend is like telling me I can’t like Led Zeppelin because you dig Santana.  To each his own. Ya dig?

  //  Show All    |   Hide 12   //  Hide All

Speak Up...

You must be a 12ozProphet member and logged in to participate. Registration is FREE and it only takes a minute, so Sign Up now. As a 12ozProphet member you'll be able to comment, save and vote on content, message other users and get access to many other member-only features.

Click here to Login or click here to Sign Up for an account on 12ozProphet.