Blade from The Crazy Five (TC5) is one of the best and most influential figures in graffiti in America at the high point of graffiti’s history. Working in New York, he has influenced writers past and present and continues to do so. Blade is best known for his partnership with Comet, with whom he ‘bombed’ many times. Blade and Comet are credited with creating the blockbuster lettering style.
Modern graffiti actually began in Philadelphia in the early sixties, when Cornbread and Cool Earl scrawled their names all over the city. By the late sixties, it was flourishing in Washington Heights, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. The New York Times took notice in July 1971, with a small profile of a graffiti artist named TAKI 183. But Julio 204 was using a Magic Marker and spray paint on city walls as early as 1968, and in 1971, writers like JOE 182 began bombing marking as many surfaces as possible.
By the mid-seventies, many subway cars were so completely covered in top-to-bottom paintings (known as masterpieces) that it was impossible to see out the window. For writers, this was a golden age, when the most prolific could become known as kings by going all-city ”writing their names in all five boroughs. Mayor Lindsay declared the first war on graffiti in 1972, beginning a long, slow battle that seemed to culminate in May 1989, when the last graffitied train was finally removed from service.
Thanks and © to New York mag.