LEE turns 50!
It is truly an iconic event to witness a pioneer of a movement that has spawn the globe become old enough to tell the tale of graffiti’s wonder years. By recognizing Lee Quinones in celebration of his 50th birthday, it is also a celebration of graff culture and its longevity in an ever evolving pop culture of fads. It is a triumphant salute to the world in saying “check me out son, I’m still here!”, and lay to rest the nay-sayers claim that graffiti died out with the NY subway trains of the 80s. In fact, graff is thriving even stronger than ever with a culture that has tapped into markets of all mediums and has several generations of writers still going on strong.
Lee in my opinion is the first icon of graffiti that has opened doors for other writers and the outside world in recognizing the true power of spray paint. The indelible mark he has made in the name of graff can be seen as one of the first writers to take murals to a new heights in the late 70s. He introduced concepts of color combinations, characters and letter formations that were never before witnessed on trains and walls. The trains themselves were transformed overnight from resembling a bathroom wall of scribbles, to frescoes of the freshest burners ever to run on a third rail. The world soon caught on of this emerging force from the barrios of NYC, and who better to be at the forefront for the world to see in videos and movies doin’ his thang than Lee himself – as himself.