SJK 171, aka Steve the Greek (born c.1957) is a New York City graffiti artist who was active during the late 1960s and 1970s.[2] A native of Washington Heights, he was a founding member of United Graffiti Artists, one of the first professional graffiti collectives.[3]

SJK 171
SJK171 3.png
SJK 171 (Steve Kesoglides) in the early 1970s
Born
Steve Kesoglides

c.1957[1]
NationalityAmerican
Known forPublic art
Graffiti
Painting
Street art
Websitesjk171.net

HistoryEdit

SJK 171 attended the High School of Art and Design along with a number of other early graffiti artists, and began writing in 1968 under the name SJK 171. His work was the first triple outline, large colorful letters to appear on the 1 Line of the New York City Transit System.[citation needed] Some sources have recognized him as a graffiti pioneer[4][5] and also for originating the "squiggly lines" style of outlining graffiti.[6][better source needed] In early 1971, he began to use the "swiggly radiant energy lines" later popularized by Keith Haring.[6] SJK 171 is also credited with pioneering the use of arrows in graffiti writing around this same time.[6] In 1973, SJK 171 was featured in a New York Magazine essay on graffiti art by Richard Goldstein.[7]

Gallery and show appearancesEdit

1973: A collaborative mural bearing SJK 171's tag, along with those of PHASE 2 and a dozen other early graffiti artists, was the main attraction at a gallery show of graffiti art at Razor Gallery in SoHo.[8] SJK 171 was also one of several graffiti writers featured in the backdrop design for the Joffery Ballet's production of Deuce Coupe.[9]

2014: SJK 171's work is included in the permanent collection of The Museum of the City of New York.[10]

2018-2019: SJK 171 was included in "Beyond the Streets", a street art exhibition displayed in Los Angeles and New York.[4][11][5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Graffiti". Democrat and Chronicle. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  2. ^ "Street Art Originals Cornbread, Shepard Fairey and More on Graffiti's Radical Change". Observer. 2018-05-22. Retrieved 2020-01-02.
  3. ^ Riefe, Jordan (June 21, 2018). ""Beyond The Streets" Harkens To Graffiti's Roots In Diversity". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  4. ^ a b Thomas, Sean P. "Celebrating Street Art in a Chinatown Warehouse". Los Angeles Downtown News - The Voice of Downtown Los Angeles. Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  5. ^ a b Barry Samaha & Chloe Kantor (June 21, 2019). "From Vandals To Vanguards, This Exhibition Shows The Evolution Of Graffiti Artists". Surface. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Gastman, Roger (2015). Wall Writers Graffiti In Its Innocence (1st ed.). Berkeley, California: Gingko Press Inc. p. 121,122, 137,141,142. ISBN 978-1-58423-601-6.
  7. ^ Goldstein, Richard (26 March 1973). "This Thing Has Gotten Completely Out Of Hand". New York Magazine. New York City: New York Magazine.
  8. ^ Schjeldahl, Peter (September 16, 1973). "Graffiti Goes Legit—But the 'Show‐Off Ebullience' Remains". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  9. ^ Siegel, Marcia B. (2007-04-01). Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance. Macmillan. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4299-0877-1.
  10. ^ Corcoran, Sean; McCormick, Carlo (2013). City as canvas : New York City graffiti from the Martin Wong collection. Wong, Martin,, Corcoran, Sean, 1974-, McCormick, Carlo,, Museum of the City of New York. New York, NY. ISBN 978-0-8478-3986-5. OCLC 857194047.
  11. ^ Raquel Laneri (June 21, 2019). "How spray paint, ego and activism turned graffiti into an art form". New York Post. Retrieved December 29, 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Chandès, Hervé. Born in the Streets, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, 2006, ISBN 978-0-500-97695-1.
  • Gastman, Roger. The History of American Graffiti, HarperCollins, 2011, ISBN 978-0-06-169878-1.
  • Deitch, Jeffrey. Art in The Streets, Rizzoli International Publications, 2011, ISBN 978-0-8478-3648-2.
  • Gastman, Roger. Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence, Gingko Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1584236016.