In the early 1970’s, life as a graffiti artist in high school was riveting for a young SJK 171.
SJK 171 attended High School of Art and Design in NYC with other known artists such as, Al Diaz who went on to be known as SAMO with Jean-Michel Basquiat. Also, in attendance during this time was …Flint Gennari and Tracy 168.
Articles and Media Coverage
“King of the A Trains”
SJK 171 was coined "King of the A Trains" as stated in the following article:
Street Art Originals Cornbread, Shepard Fairey and More on Graffiti’s Radical Change
- SJK 171's drawing seen above also shows his signature squiggly lines that he introduced in 1971.
Credit: Guernsey's Auction House, New York City June 14-15, 2000. SNAKE 1's black book sold at auction.
Also shown: United Graffiti Artists catalog, "Artists Space", New York City 1975
In 1971, SJK 171 was the first graffiti artist to use the "squiggly lines" in his work, that 10 years later were used by fellow artist Keith Haring. You can read more about his style of writing in the link(s) below.
RAPID ENAMEL THE ART OF GRAFFITI 1984
The Renaissance Society @ The University of Chicago
A collaborative show was done with A-One, Blade, Daze, Duster, Futura 2000, Koor, Lady Pink, Phase 2, Quick, Lee Quinones, Rammellzee, Kenny Scharf, Toxic, and United Graffiti Artists (which featured members SJK 171, MIKE 171, and few others).
This was the 1st collaborative canvas created by United Graffiti Artists members, circa 1972.
Artists included: SJK 171, MIKE 171, JEC *, HENRY 161, STITCH 1 R.I.P., CAT 87, RICK II, SNAKE 1, SODA 1, COCO 144, PHASE 2, and ME 163.
Link: View Canvas Here
Razor Gallery 1973
This was the 1st ever, in history, gallery to showcase graffiti. This was the first time graffiti mades it way off the streets and into a gallery.
Link: Specific Object
Artists Space 1975
Link: Collective Canvas 8' x 30'
Eric Firestone Gallery 2010 Art Basel: Wynwood, Miami
The featured painting, from 1972, was on loan from a private collection.
A collaborative show with other United Graffiti Artists members featured SJK 171's 22'' x 47'' canvas: BLUE SKY.
The painting itself is handmade– from the wood to stretching the canvas. The painting features a unique combination of spray paint and marker.
Link: Soul of Miami
Link: Miami New Times
Museum Features and Collections
MOCA Los Angeles "Art in the Streets" 2011
The featured painting from the early 1970s was on loan from a private collection.
- SJK 171's 10''x 34'' painting titled "Latin Pride" included artists such as:
SJK 171, STITCH 1 R.I.P., COCO 144, KROME 100, and MICO.
The show also includes a United Graffiti Artists gallery of photos featuring early pioneers of graffiti art.
The Museum of the City of New York 2014
SJK 171's work is included in the permanent collection.
MOCA Denver 2017
This show featured artists such as,
- Ryan McGinley
- Wall Writers
The Wall Writers portion featured work from the early pioneers in street art from Washington Heights, NYC.
Such as, SJK 171, MIKE 171, TAKI 183, COCO 144, SNAKE 1, WICKED GARY, FRITZ, and more.
Philadelphia's crew included CORNBREAD, KOOL KLEPTO KID, LEWIS, COOL EARL, TITY, and more.
Link: 303 Magazine
Beyond the Streets: Featured in Los Angeles, New York City, and more to come...
Beyond the Streets features the work of 150 artists from around the world.
Los Angeles, California 2018
The show includes the cultural beginnings from the late 60s to early 70s of United Graffiti Artists, which was founded in 1972. UGA included 20 of the best graffiti artists in New York City. SJK 171, MIKE 171, TAKI 183, and HENRY 161 were some of the cultivators from the start of graffiti in Washington Heights, New York City.
Also included in the show, Writers Corner 188 is another club that began in the early 1970s, which was started by fellow artist STITCH 1 R.I.P. SJK 171, MIKE 171, SNAKE 1, and ROCKY 184 were among its members.
Brooklyn, N.Y.C. 2019
- Beyond the Streets N.Y.C. features a brand new 2019 "SJK 171" 3' x 4' painting, in collaboration with MIKE 171. This painting is featured above, it is made of acrylic paint and acrylic markers. Also featured is SJK 171's painting from a private collection which dates back to 1972-1973.
- Some of the artists included in this show were TAKI 183, SNAKE 1, MIKE 171, SJK 171, JEC *, COCO 144, Wicked Gary Fritz, HENRY 161, and Al Diaz, who also attended High School of Art Design with SJK 171 + more!
Museum of Graffiti - Miami, FL 2019
The Museum of Graffiti is the world's first museum
exclusively dedicated to the evolution of the graffiti art form.
- The museum is dedicated to the preservation, exhibition, and celebration of graffiti art. (MOG)
- Featured in the show are early documentations of this vivid art form by
photographers: SJK 171, Flint Gennari, Martha Cooper, Jim Prigoff,
John Naar, Henry Chalfant, and more.
Media Coverage: New York Times
This Times article features the chronological journey Museum of Graffiti takes its visitors on, featuring the 1970s wall which showcases early work from SJK 171.
Films and Documentaries
Wall Writers 2016
"Narrated by John Waters, Wall Writers is a documentary about graffiti in its innocence. Through unprecedented access to TAKI183, CORNBREAD, and other legendary writers, Wall Writers features photographs and archival footage from the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time when underprivileged city kids refused to remain in the shadows." (IMDb)
Image Credit: SJK 171, NYC 1971
Double Exposure, Black and White
Mural Credit: Slick , OG Slick
Editorial credit: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock
Graffiti artists SJK 171, Charles Henry aka Flip One, Mike 171 and Flint Gennari pose during the opening of the Museum of Graffiti on December 04, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
Source: Getty Images North America
Photos featured in the museum from 1971: one of the first triple outline design and stylized lettering.
Credit: SJK 171