Graffiti Is Not Vandalism & Man One Proves It

As long as humans have been communicating, they’ve been drawing on walls. But what we think of as graffiti is probably marked by the invention of the aerosol paint can in 1949. Spray-painted graffiti became a common sight in Europe in the ’60s and is widely thought to have started in the US in Philadelphia in the ’70s, moving to New York City later that decade. The street art -- or as it was more often classified at the time -- vandalism, maneuvered in message from the personal to political to punk rock. By the ‘80s it started reflecting the emerging hip-hop culture. And that was where it found the artist who would one day be known as Man One.

Artist, curator, teacher, and mentor, Man One is one of the most successful muralist and graffiti artists working today. His stunning sprayed walls can be seen all over the world and his work is recognized for its vibrant colors and bold strokes. But in the early ‘80s, he was a kid who wanted to be a breakdancer. Enraptured by the beats of bands like Egyptian Lover, Jonzun Crew, and the World Class Wreckin’ Cru, which would one day represent itself as NWA, he set out to become a breakdancer....more