graffiti 101: andrew ZEPHYR witten

Andrew Witten began spray painting in New York City in 1975, he chose the moniker Zephyr  in 1977 and began to spray paint MTA Trains.  As one of the first major graffiti artists he is responsible for many of the styles that are standard among graffiti today, one in particular is the use of sharp contrast in the edges of lettering.

Zephyr was featured in the Hip Hop movie Wild Style and was the artist who designed and painted the logo.  Because most of his early work was on MTA trains it has been lost, however, Zephyr was among the first generation of graffiti artist to take their art from the street into galleries.

In the early 80s, Zephyr began to show in galleries, he took his work along with other artists Fab Five Freddy, Futura 200, Dominique Philbert and Dondi White to Japan on a tour in 1983.  As one of the first graffiti artists, both in terms of street art and gallery art, Zephyr has been responsible for creating styles that been taken, incorporated and manipulated, but are ever present in graffiti today.  The transition from street to gallery art functioned in a part to legitimize the graffiti movement and destigmatize it in the eyes of both the arts community and public appeal.