Staf27 / God127 TC5 Interview

Photos © 2009 TC5 crew. Interview conducted by Aevon.TC5 and Louis Coupal in August 2009 for the Official TC5 30th anniversary show.

In terms of style, attitude and philosophy, what defines or makes The 5?
To me, the style, attitude and philosophy are not of one thought or one experience. The Five embodies an uncounted/incalculable number of concepts, formats and platforms in terms of creative release, theories and ideas. The Five absolutely represents the best of the current time and the best of the past times from whatever snapshot of history is explored.

What is the crew’s hierarchy structure? How has that played an important part in the crew’s longevity over other crews?

Structure, I guess there’s five key components and then there’s cardinals of the church, then bishops and ministers after that. Most of the guys that I know in The Five have their own religious following. So, let’s just realistically say that there are roles and then there’s the psyches of roles not spoken of.

Did all graffiti crews back in the day have a President, Vice-President, and so on?

Yes as far as I know they did. I don’t remember any communal crews whether writers, b-boys or dancers.

How did you get down with TC5? Were there any initiation rites or official formalities?

It’s been so long ago, I can’t remember... I just knew a lot of dudes and did what I was doing.

What was the influence of Art & Design High School on The 5 and the world of graffiti?

I think that’s too complicated, there were a lot of guys that wrote, some only explored black books as an outlet. Some were using the “new art” to merge their style with something that was cultlike and exciting. My personal interaction with A&D is simply I knew people that went there, I saw black books that came out of there at the time. Those were probably more creative than other high schools because A&D was an art school. So writers that went to other schools had formats that may have expressed those schools' teachings as a principle to some of their design work. Brooklyn Tech had writers, Manhattan Voc & Tech as well as many others. I think most guys interacted with friends either around their way or at art schools. But circling around to the question. Some of the more artistic books I saw came out of A&D. But, then with graf... that’s purely subjective.

Who were The Crazy Five?

That basically says the past tense, as far as I know even Blade is still creating. So, it’s not really answerable.

How did TC5 come to be?

Ask Doc as a reference, he tells the tale better than anyone, he’s a walking encyclopedia of history. That’s his thing.

How have TC5 influenced graffiti?

The Five has created and forced the creation and evolution of a society, in fact all graf has. The Five did art/fashion/interior design/paintings, etc. from back in the '70’s till today. From painting on clothes, pants jackets, etc. to dudes making designs out of cardboard and shooting it to video screens for compositing. I’ve seen a lot of early incarnations of stuff that people look at today and say yo, that’s the shit.

How did you get your name?

It was the name that I chose after I arrived at what was a state of readiness. I think most writers had a name or a few names through the evolutionary process. The number designates the location.

How would you describe your style?

Architectural from inception then using typeforms as structures then changing that all up and doing something completely different. See the answer to question one, I haven’t met anyone in The 5 with one style.

What are your favorite types of paint and colors?

Krylon (Icy Grape, Aqua Turquoise, Hot Raspberry), Red Devil (Frosted Mint, Antique White).

What are you doing these days for work?

I am in traditional network broadcast as management & lead creative in broadcast design, digital media & Internet media. Producing everything from videos to Web assets and programs to environmental display which I guess is a perfect name for commercial graffiti.

How would you describe the evolution and or destruction of graffiti in New York City over the past 30 years?

New York looks a lot nicer but it’s not as exciting or flavored as it used to be. There was a lot more to look forward to when you caught the subway. Also, the number of visual street artists are not as exposed to society as before.

What is your view of the news coverage of graffiti over the years? How has the Internet affected graffiti?

The proliferation of graf has been good to watch, to see it evolve and embraced on so many levels where people don’t really consciously realize they're even looking at graf. It has become mainstream on certain levels because of it’s adoption into the common psyche.

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