When I was 15, in the 80's, I was just starting out in my efforts as a graffiti artist. I was attending Music and Art High School in Harlem, and my mentor, in an effort to expose me to some higher forms of graffiti, took me to a gallery show at a local community center. Black books under glass, spray paint on canvases, as well as photos of masterpieces on trains and walls, filled me with adrenaline and inspiration. Â In order to steer a more diverse viewer in to the gallery, the show was entitled "Urban Folk Art". That phrase followed my tag from then on. "UFAÂ©" was the name of the crew I formed and ran with until I went away to school. In the early 90's when I returned from art school, I formed an artist collective that consisted of artists of varying mediums I knew up at school, as well as friends I rolled with growing up in Brooklyn, This collective was aptly named "Urban Folk ArtÂ© Studios".
We set up shop in Bushwick in '91, long before the onslaught of artists and musicians that have flooded that area since. In a 2700 loft that 5 of us lived in, we set up a silkscreen studio that would fund the collectives other endeavors. These endeavors included Guerilla art projects, curating our own art shows, a line of tshirts that sold at style purveyors of the time such as Union, Patricia Fields, and 99X, and teaching art to at risk kids. As time went on, I became weary of being perceived as primarily a commercial print shop, so I began deconstructing the physical aspect of the studio, which at this pont had moved to Williamsburg, and was in the Tung Fa Noodle building next to the Williamsburg bridge. I closed up the print shop and went on my own personal artistic odyssey to apprentice at a tattoo shop south of Harlem.
Sunday, Aug 1, 2021
Thursday, Aug 5, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Thursday, Aug 5, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR