Following up on the first six episodes (EPISODES 01-02, EPISODES 03-04, EPISODES 05-06) of THE RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – FROM NEW YORK TO EUROPE, it´s time to take a closer look into the beginnings of the UK graffiti scene talking to pioneers like PRIDE, 3D, MODE2, INKIE and a few more. The movie WILD STYLE and the book SUBWAY ART as well as MTV Music videos like BUFFALO GALS has been the first real influences on the very small Bristol and London scene back then in 1982 and 1983.
WILD STYLEW, which featured Grandmaster Caz and The Cold Crush Brothers, among many others. Collaborating with Fab5Freddy, who did a little bit of everything on the film, including producing and acting, and Lee Quiñones, who starred as the protagonist Zoro, Charlie Ahearn’s movie was shown 1982 and 1983 in Germany on TV. “We had gotten funding from a German television station, so they aired it first,” Freddy says in Episode 02. “We had also sold the foreign rights to Channel Four in England, so there were later a lot of pirate VHS tapes floating around the UK which eventually found themselves all over Europe.”
THE RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – FROM NEW YORK TO EUROPE | EPISODE 07 | BRITISH PIONEERS
In 1983 in Bristol, England, a crew of multiracial teenagers that included artist Banksy, future members of Portishead (Geoff Barrow), Massive Attack (Daddy G, Mushroom and 3D), DJ Milo, Tricky and Soul II Soul’s Nellee Hooper saw Wild Style at a local theater and lost their collective minds. A few of them united under the name The Wild Bunch, a band of renegades that set their sights on the sounds and culture of the underground.
With dub beats, sampled sounds and surreal lyrics, Massive Attack’s brilliant debut Blue Lines became the blueprint of a new generation. The dreamy, sample-heavy music they made was called trip hop. As 3D said in 1998, “We were blown away by the entire New York scene. At that time my entire life was writing graffiti and hanging at The Dug Out.” (The Dug Out was Bristol’s equivalent to Wild Style’s Dixie Club.)
Another important place of the London Scene was COVENT GARDEN, a old market place where young kids met and were able to paint legally. A meeting point that played an important role for the first graffiti writers there. In this episode you can learn how the small group of young UK writers finally came together to build a scene.
In episode 08 the series follows MODE2 from London to Paris and how he met with BANDO and later on with SHOE. The three and a few others formed the first european graffiti crew called CRIME TIME KINGS. Paris was the central gathering spot at the time, precisely groups met at 110 Rue du Bac. The reason behind the seemingly ordinary address was the house of BANDO’s mother Aki, where Crime Time Headquarters settled.
The trio started out in the streets of Paris and soon all over Europe. They provided the perfect foundation for a group of agitated youths to gather and unite under the name of CTK, under which they began their international journey scattering graffiti all over. Especially BANDO´s and SHOE´s style travelled that way to Germany or Denmark.
THE RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – FROM NEW YORK TO EUROPE | EPISODE 08 | CRIME TIME KINGS
In Episode 09 and 10 the series goes to Germany talking to a few pioneers from Hamburg, Kiel, Dortmund, Berlin and Munich, such as STONE, LOOMIT, CANTWO, DAIM, HESH, JBK, NEON, POET and some more. The german graffiti writing movement has its roots in the early ´80s. With the first pieces popping up in Hamburg and Munich it took some time to call it a scene. Also in Germany the Movie WILD STYL E had a huge impact, when it was screened on german TV ZDF. STONE and NEON also name the release of the SUBWAY ART Book in 1984, or gallery shows with works on display by NY Subway Artists, like the one in 1984 at Gallery Thomas in Munich and of course the german medias. The episode 09 also following up on the CRIME TIME KINGS (Episode 08) and when they travelled Munich in 1986 with a complete new kind of strategy and style. This and some more events influenced the small but already very powerful graffiti movement in Germany.
THE RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – FROM NEW YORK TO EUROPE | EPISODE 09 | GERMANY 1983-1986
All those episodes telling more or less the same story: Small groups of kids became amazed and interested in Graffiti Writing after seeing movies, books, gallery shows, music videos, record sleeves or through networking with some of the New York Graffiti Artist. But the big explosion of Graffiti Writing in Germany and Europe starts later in 1987 to 1989. A period of time that will be featured in SEASON 02 of THE RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – FROM NEW YORK TO EUROPE. The focus of Episodes 11 to 15 will be on PARIS, BERLIN, SCANDINAVIA and SOUTH EUROPE before the series travels further east.
With Episode 10 the first season of THE RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – FROM NEW YORK TO EUROPE is completed and according to RED TOWER FILMS and ARTE CREATIVE it will be continued in February 2018! Still, there is so many history to tell, like how the BERLIN Graffiti Scene exploded and became SPRAYCITY. Or how important the PARIS scene has been back then. If you want to watch all 10 episodes of Season 01 again check out this page on ARTE CREATIVE!
THE RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – FROM NEW YORK TO EUROPE | EPISODE 10 | GERMANY 1986-1988