Taki 183 interview

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Interview of Taki183

Taki, where did you grow up?

I grew up in Washington Heights, moved there when I was a little kid. A lot of Greeks at the time stayed with the Greeks, then that changed with the Heights, the183th street, hung out with everybody and it was a pretty nice place to grow up.

Is it safe to say Washington Heights was the birthplace of modern graffiti in New York City?

I would say the east side of Manhattan was the birthplace of graffiti because that’s where the media picked it up. They couldn’t give a crap what happened in Washington Heights or the Bronx. When it happened on the east side, that’s when it was in the paper.

When you started writing graffiti, what were you calling it? Did you call it tagging or writing?

I think we were calling it writing, but if we saw a subway car we would say, “Let’s go hit the car.” If you hit it from end to end, you’d “kill the car”— that was how we talked Part of the reason it became big during the summer of ’70 is because I was going to summer school at George Washington High School and my desk was full of graffiti. I had written my name and all these people would write on my table also. I already had a name and people were meeting me and they would go out and write. That was the big summer I was working as a messenger. I was in a lot of places and I just kept writing; as long as I had a marker I’d keep writing. It was addictive.

rest of the interview via Ilovegraffiti

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