UGA – Beyond The Streets

UGA


A

A-ONE

AIKO

Al Diaz

Alexis Ross

Alicia McCarthy

André Saraiva

Andrew Schoultz

Anthony Lister

Anti-Graffiti

 

B

BANKSY

Barry McGee

BAST

Beastie Boys

Ben Jones

Bert Krak

Bill Barminski

Bill Daniel

BLADE

Broken Fingaz

Buddy Esquire

buZ blurr

 

C

Carl Weston

CES

Cey Adams

Charlie Ahearn

Chaz  Bojórquez

Claudia Gold

Cleon Peterson

COCO 144

Conor Harrington

Corita Kent

CORNBREAD

C.R. Stecyk III

Craig Costello

CRASH

 

D

DABSMYLA

Dan Witz

Dash Snow

DAZE

DEFER

DELTA

Dennis Hopper

Doze Green

 

E

Eddie Martinez

EINE

EL BARTO

Emory Douglas

Estevan Oriol

 

F

Fab 5 Freddy

FAILE

Faith XLVII

Felipe Pantone

Fly Tip Theater Puppets

Chris FREEDOM Pape

FUTURA 2000

 

G

Gajin Fujita

Glen E. Friedman

Globe Poster

Gordon Matta-Clark

Greg “CRAOLA” Simkins

Guerrilla Girls

 

H

HACER

Eric Haze

HENRY 161

Henry Chalfant

Herbert Migdoll

HO Scale Trains

HuskMitNavn

 

I

INVADER

 

J

Jane Dickson

Jason REVOK

Jean-Michel Basquiat

JEC*

Jenny Holzer

Jim Prigoff

Joe Conzo

John Ahearn

John Fekner

John Tsombikos

Jon Naar

José Parlá

Julie Reich, Ph.D

 

K

KATSU

KC Ortiz

Keith Haring

Kenny Scharf

KILROY WAS HERE

Kristofferson San Pablo

Kunle Martins/ EARSNOT

 

L

LADY PINK

LA-ZAR

Lee Quiñones

Lisa Kahane

 

M

MADSAKI

Maripol

Mark Gonzales

Mark Mothersbaugh

Martha Cooper

Matt Weber

Maya Hayuk

Michael Lawrence

Mike 171

Miss 17

Mister CARTOON

 

N

Nina Chanel Abney

NOC 167

 

P

Pat Riot

Patrick Martinez

Paul Insect

Political Graffiti

POSE

PRAY

 

R

RAMMELLZEE

Randall Harrington

RETNA

Richard Colman

Richard Hambleton

RIME

RISK

ROCKY 184

Ron English

Ron Finley

Ruby Neri

 

S

SABER

Sam Friedman

SANESMITH

Sayre Gomez

SEEN

Shepard Fairey

SHOE

SJK 171

SLICK

SNAKE 1

snipe1

Spray Paint Can Collection

STAY HIGH 149

Stephen Powers

STITCH 1

SWOON

 

T

Takashi Murakami

TAKI 183

TATS CRU

TENGAone

Tim Conlon

Timothy Curtis

Todd James

Trash Records

 

U

UGA

 

V

Venice Pavilion

VHILS

Victor Reyes

 

W

WICKED GARY

Writers Corner 188

 

Z

ZESER

 

#

1UP CREW

720°

 


The colorful world of graffiti caught the eye of Hugo Martinez, a 22-year-old student at the City College of New York who had studied street gangs and, inspired by the Latin Pride movement, took a particular interest in Puerto Rican graffiti writers. He went searching for the people behind the names he had seen on the walls and found HENRY 161, who connected him to the rest of the Washington Heights writers. Impressed with their energy and talent, he invited them to do a painting demonstration in a room at City College (with the school’s permission), providing paper, spray paint and markers. Twelve writers showed up that day and by the fall of 1972, they formed a group called United Graffiti Artists (UGA). Members included SNAKE 1, SJK 171, MIKE 171, STITCH 1, HENRY 161, WICKED GARY, BAMA, COCO 144, PHASE 2 and several more.

Martinez invited writers from Brooklyn and the Bronx into the fold and as word spread about the organization, writers voted in new members themselves. Martinez referred to the writers as artists and focused on getting their work onto canvases and into gallery shows. In December of 1972, the first UGA show was hosted by City College, featuring a collaborative work on one 10-by-40-foot wall canvas. The show was so well-received that it was covered by The New York Times.

In early 1973, UGA headquarters moved from Martinez’ small apartment to the studio of Herb Migdoll, an arts photographer who had attended the City College show. He pitched the idea of collaborating with the artists to Twyla Tharp and the Joffrey Ballet. In April, eighteen wall writers participated with the Joffrey Ballet in the performance entitled Deuce Coupe. They painted a rolling backdrop on stage as dancers leaped about through what Migdoll recalls as “a mist of lethal enamel spray paint.”

The event proved a pivotal moment in graffiti’s history—a month later New York magazine ran a cover story on the graffiti movement, featuring many of UGA’s members, which lead to a warehouse space provided by the city, private commissions and on September 4, 1973, a group show at the Razor Gallery in Soho.

A few other shows took place, but clashing personalities, financial disputes and aging writers turning their interests toward other things disrupted the group. By 1975, UGA was over. Some of the writers quit painting altogether while others still continue to show in galleries today. Some went to art school and some say they will forever be taggers and wall writers.

Paintings and Photographs by: COCO 144, SNAKE 1, SJK 171, Michael Lawrence, Herbert Migdoll, WICKED GARY, JOE 182 and JEC*

BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Dan Bradica.