The one and only, ALI!
Today is Henry Chalfant’s birthday. I took this picture twenty years ago on my old block. He is standing in front of the building which Robert Duvall use to live in. The thing is, even though Henry is the foremost expert on NYC grafitti, his expertise really started a few years after I had stopped writing. He was nice enough to pose next to this Joe-136 tag which meant a lot more to me, than it did to him! The tag was only visible after a hard long rain. Then it would appear magically like a Polaroid photo to remind me of 1971 when I would keep track of what was being written on those subway walls and tenement halls…
I was shocked when I found this arrangement and it takes a bit to shock me. I guess I thought it may have been one of those Santeria sacrifices which were quite popular in New York twenty years ago. (Might still be)
At this point one would have to be at almost 50 years old to remember what grafitti was like in 1970. I do recall monitoring the “First Wave” tags, and Stitch-1 with his pal Snake-1 killed the Broadway line and much more…Tags are very hard for some people to appreciate and if you weren’t part of the scene, chances are you thought they were just chicken scratch!
©Matt Weber A.K.A. MALTA! S.A.
This tag is early first wave and interesting in the fact that the writer has borrowed or stolen at least three things from other writers. His “Saint” which he borrowed from Stay HIgh-149 is a rather crude attempt to say the least. Then he has also borrowed the “Crown” which RAT and several other early writers used, and finally the interlocking SP was made famous by SPIC-54 if my memory is correct….