Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist and is cited by Graham Thompson as the first painter of African descent to become an international art star. He started as a graffiti artist in New York City, and in the 1980s produced Neo-expressionist painting. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988.
Lawrence Parker (born August 20, 1962), better known by his stage name KRS-One, is an American MC and producer. Over his career, he has been known by several pseudonyms including "Kris Parker," "The Blastmaster," "The Teacha," and "The Philosopher. " At the 2008 BET Awards, KRS-One was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for all his work and effort towards the Stop the Violence Movement as well as the overall pioneering of hip-hop music and culture.
Fred Brathwaite (born 1959), more popularly known as Fab 5 Freddy, is an American Hip hop historian, Hip hop pioneer and former graffiti artist. He was active in New York City in the 1970s and early 1980s, and later hosted the first hip-hop music video show on TV, "Yo! MTV Raps".
Futura 2000 (born 1955) is an internationally acclaimed graffiti artist. He started to paint illegally on New York's subway in the early seventies, working with other artists such as ALI. In the early eighties he showed with Patti Astor at the Fun Gallery, along with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hambleton and Kenny Scharf. Futura 2000 began painting "legally" as the live on-stage backdrop painter for The Clash's 1981 European tour.
Frank Shepard Fairey (born February 15, 1970) is a contemporary artist, graphic designer, and illustrator who emerged from the skateboarding scene. He first became known for his "André the Giant Has a Posse" sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from the comedic super market tabloid Weekly World News. His work became more widely known in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, specifically his Barack Obama "HOPE" poster.
Bio is the tagger name of Wilfredo Feliciano (born April 20, 1966). He started painting graffiti on New York City subways in 1980, and is one of the founding members of the TATS CRU. The "cru" was formed along with Brim and Mack originally known as T.A.T. Cru. Bio has painted for many major movies and music videos and has exhibited his work throughout the world.
Andrew Zephyr Witten is a graffiti artist, lecturer and author from New York City. He began creating graffiti in 1975 and first signed using the name "Zephyr" in 1977. He has been identified as a graffiti "elder", who along with Futura 2000, Blade, PHASE 2, Lady Pink and TAKI 183 invented styles and standards "that continue to be used and expanded upon today".
TAKI 183 is one of the most influential graffiti writers. His "tag" was short for Demetaki, a Greek alternative for his birth-name Demetrius, and the number 183 came from his address on 183rd Street in Washington Heights. He worked as a foot messenger in New York City and would write his nickname around the New York streets that he frequented during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Barry McGee (born 1966 in San Francisco, California) is a painter and graffiti artist. He is also known by monikers such as Ray Fong, Twist and further variations of Twist, such as Twister, Twisty, Twisto and others.
Mark Machado, better known as Mister Cartoon, is a Mexican American tattoo artist and graffiti artist based in Los Angeles, California. Machado designed the logo for Cypress Hill and Italian rapper Fabri Fibra. He has tattooed the bodies of Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem, Method Man, Xzibit, Prodigy, Travis Barker, Scott Raynor, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé Knowles. In addition to tattoos, Machado's work has been used by Nike, Toyota, T-Mobile, MetroPCS and in Grand Theft Auto.
Margaret Leisha Kilgallen (October 28, 1967 – June 26, 2001) was a San Francisco Bay Area artist. Though a contemporary artist, her work showed a strong influence from folk art. She was considered a central figure in the Bay Area Mission School art movement.
Josh MacPhee is an artist, curator and activist living in Brooklyn, New York. MacPhee graduated from Oberlin College in 1996 and spent eight years as an artist and activist in Chicago, Illinois where he established a distribution system called justseeds in order get more radical art projects out to the public. At its inception Justseeds primarily offered art by Josh MacPhee; now the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is a cooperative of 25 like-minded artists.
Mear One, born 1971 as Kalen Ooderman in Santa Cruz, California, is a Los Angeles-based fine artist, famously known for his often-political street graffiti art. Commonly referred to as the 'Michelangelo' of graffiti, Mear One is commonly associated with CBS (Can't Be Stopped - City Bomb Squad) and WCA (West Coast Artist) crews. As a graphic designer, Mear One has designed apparel for Conart, Kaotic, as well as his own Reform brand.
Rammellzee, is a graffiti writer, performance artist, rap/hip-hop musician and sculptor from New York. Rammellzee's graffiti and art work are based on his theory of Gothic Futurism, which describes the battle between letters and their symbolic warfare against any standardizations enforced by the rules of the alphabet; his treatise, "Iconic Panzerisms", details an anarchic plan by which to revise the role and deployment of language in society.
Cool "Disco" Dan (the quotes are part of the phrase) is the pseudonym of graffiti artist Dan Hogg (born December 31, 1969 in Washington, D.C.). His standard mark, a particularly styled rendering of his name, has proliferated in the Washington metropolitan area, notably on surfaces along the route of the Washington Metro Red Line.
Lee Quiñones, born 1960 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and raised in New York, is an American graffiti artist. Some of his paintings belong in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. and are featured in the books Subway Art and Spraycan Art. Along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lee Quiñones was one of the innovators of New York’s street-art movement. By 1976, graffiti artists such as Quiñones began painting entire murals with his crew, the Fantastic 5.
Jeffrey Soto is a visual artist currently working in Riverside, California. He is married to Jennifer and has a daughter Shannon Daisy. Soto graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 2002. He has become established as an artist involved in the Pop-Surrealism movement (See also Lowbrow) He has shown his paintings and installations throughout the United States and internationally, including the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City.
Daniel "Chaka" Ramos (Born August 27, 1972) in Los Angeles, California was one of the most prolific Graffiti Taggers of the late 20th century. CHAKA tags were widespread, from Orange County on up to San Francisco, even appearing on the bass drum of Dave Grohl, when his band Nirvana did the video for the song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit. " The bass drum is the location where a band's name usually appears.
Jonathan Avildsen is an American actor and infamous graffiti artist who has played a handful of minor roles mostly in feature films, with a few appearances both in television and in documentaries dealing with the graffiti subculture.
Lady Pink is a graffiti artist. She was raised in Queens, New York, and started her career in 1979 when she started writing graffiti while a student at the High School of Art and Design, and made a name for herself as one of the only females capable of competing with men in the graffiti subculture. She was featured in the film Wild Style and Martha Cooper's book Hip Hop Files. She also worked with Jenny Holzer.