Die New Yorker Graffiti-Avantgarde hat gestern (11.06.2012) eine weitere Ikone verloren. StayHigh149 verstarb im Alter von 61 Jahren an Leberzirrhose. Besonders wegen seiner sehr frühen innovativen Werke und seiner fortdauernden Präsenz auf den Straßen war Wayne Roberts aka “The Voice of the Ghetto” seit den späteren 60igern eine respektierte Größe in der Szene. Mehr nach dem Jump. Rest In Peace STAYHIGH149.
“Well, with me it has always been a fun thing; I enjoy getting up you know. So I stay away from beef. If I see that somebody has beef, I go the other way, it’s not worth it. It’s a hard enough time to get your name up. Other guys did though, one guy goes over someone else and the next thing you know they want to fight each other. Its not worth it, its not what graffiti is about, Graffiti is about getting up, if you go over someone else and then they go over you, how are you going to get up? You’re only knocking yourself down when you do that, its dumb, it’s a dumb thing to do.”
Today, at 6;14 P.M. Wayne Roberts drew his last breath. He had been fighting a debilitating battle with cirrhosis of the liver, which ultimately took him from this world. Born on October, 20th 1950, Wayne held the distinction of being graffiti’s elder statesman dating back to the artform’s infancy. Wayne’s Stay High 149 tag is my favorite ever for both it’s style and spirit and his smoking stick figure ,co-opted from the 60’s “The Saint” TV show remains graffiti’s most enduring icon. Handwriting is the root of our culture and evolved before piecing crossed anyone’s mind. During the nascent pre-masterpiece era Stay High 149’s tags mesmerized thousands of would be followers , myself included. In his hands, markers were transformed into magic wands and the insides of trains became his gallery. Two and three tone rainbow colored flo-master uni-wide renditions of his “voice of the ghetto” tags raised the stylistic bar higher than anyone else could ever reach. He battled addictions through most of his adult life, disappearing from 1976 -2000.His re-emergence worthy of a NY Times article, introduced him to a new generation of fans. It was during this time that I met and got to know Wayne. What impressed me most was his humility. Modesty and graff are almost mutually exclusive, but Wayne Roberts radiated kindness and humility. The Voice of the Ghetto spoke loudly and eloquently and a whole generation listened.Simply put, he was the truth. He is the type of figure who will be written about in art history books a hundred years from now. My condolences to his daughter, Michelle and son Dwayne. Your father was my hero. (Text: Terror 161)
STAYHIGH149 – Das Buch
96 Seiten, Hardcover (191 x 254 mm)
Durchgehend farbig, Englisch