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Lee Quiñones

New York, NY

Puerto Rican-born Lee Quiñones was raised in New York’s Lower East Side and painted his first subway piece in 1974. Quiñones was instrumental in moving enamel art above ground when he painted “Howard the Duck,” the first entire 25-by-30-foot handball-court mural, in the spring of 1978 outside of his Corlears Junior High School #56. LEE transitioned from trains to canvas with his first international show at Galleria La Medusa in Rome in 1979 — a breakthrough for graffiti, as he was one of the first American writers to exhibit abroad. His work went on to feature in Charlie Ahearn’s influential film, Wild Style, in Henry Chalfant’s Style Wars, in the band Blondie’s “Rapture” video, and in permanent collections around the world.