The Infamous Archives: History

Puerto Rico


Blen 167 BNA explains a few facts about the development of graffiti in the Boricua homeland.

Puerto Rico’s graffiti from the 1980s is more or less the same as that of any other country: very much inspired by “Style Wars” and Subway Art. But Puerto Rico experienced something unique that didn’t happen in many other countries: Old school writers from places like New York were sent off to spend their summers with family in Puerto Rico. Writers like Flite TDS, Bio TATS Cru, Tez 3, Duke and many others were the biggest inspirations to Puerto Rican graffiti; later came many others.
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Mad City


Often left out of the history books, Madison, Wisc., has a rich, yet slept-on, graffiti history.

By Crimey, with help from Therok and Dusty Ass Task

Graffiti has always had a small presence in Madison, Wisc., since the early-80s due to its proximity to Chicago, as a home to a large university and as one of the original stops on the “Style Wars” movie tour. Around 1990 it really took shape when Rex DST, a Chicago/Milwaukee resident, moved here to do some of the first quality graffiti. Around the same time, in this small, hippy-filled Midwestern city, the crew TKE formed, which consisted of local writers Tense, Sip, and Focus, to name a few. Tense would eventually move to Oakland in 1993 and establish a solid connection with TDK.
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The History of American Graffiti: Behind the Book


The co-creator of the new volume The History of American Graffiti, Caleb Neelon, talks about the approach he and Roger Gastman brought to their ambitious project.

Text by Caleb Neelon

Photography Courtesy of Temple University Libraries

The History of American Graffiti book began with an interest and a need, I think. Lots of people have wanted to write a history of graffiti. Lots more have wanted someone else to write one, so they could read it. Because Roger and I had done a bunch of books before, people started asking us if we wanted to try a comprehensive history of American graffiti, and the conversations became serious around five years ago.
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