I currently have a copy of the book “Mascots & Mugs” in my bathroom “library”. Reading through the book, I noticed that a lot of the writers interviewed attended the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. I had no idea that so many influential graffiti artists attended this school. I did some research and compiled a list of notable alumni
Some Writers who attended: Taki 183, Flint, Pistol, Tracy 168, Lee, Daze, Lady Pink, Mare 139, Erni (Paze), Midg, Size, Seen TC5, Kaze, Tack, Airborn, Doze TC5, Web TC5, Pure, Sento, Reas, Kev Tm7, Son One, Opel, & Fab 5 Freddy
Other alumni: Tony Bennett, both members of the rap act Mobb Deep, Pharoahe Monch, fasion designers – Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs
Spray cans and underage drinking on school grounds. Graffiti art show at Art & Design (From Hip Hop Files)
Mare 139 & Lady Pink in an Art & Design Bathroom (From Hip Hop Files)
I also attended this school from ’93 (Freshman year) – when I got kicked out in early ’95 (still a Freshman). Maybe it was the 2 hour commute from Staten Island, or maybe it was my fault that I fucked up by majoring in architecture, but the only class I could pass in that school was gym.
From what I remember Art & Design was an underfunded public art high school. It was seven floors with escalators that did not work and no lockers for students. We had to buy and transport our own supplies. As an architecture student they expected me to carry a T-Square everyday on the ferry and train. Many times we would arrive at the school in no mood to sit in bullshit classes. We would often end up bombing in the school stairwells, leaving to walk around Manhattan catching tags, Riding the outside subway lines, checking for spots, or heading over to the Met Museum of Art. We were not interested in looking at the art, we would go there because they had cushioned couches to sleep on near the dining area.
Going to Art & Design, I did learn a lot more about Graffiti. I ended up having a better idea of who did what, and where they were from in the city. Writers came to that school from all 5 boroughs. Linking up at school, I was able to network with kids, venture out to new places to paint and see what was going on. There were often black-book sessions in the school lunchroom. Black-books and Design markers were sold in a store right in the cafeteria (but who was buying shit back then?)