Recap: Blade at the Museum of the City of New York


Friday I headed to the Museum of the City of New York  to hear Bronx graffiti artist Blade discuss his work and his newly released book, Blade: King of Graffiti. It was super cool to hear about how he scaled the Allerton station to tag his name and even cooler to see some veteran graffiti artists in the crowd. Blade discussed the importance of recognizing graffiti as a legitimate art form and increase its presence in museums such as the Guggenheim – a view I totally agree with. A couple of months ago, I attended a professional development workshop at the museum an got to see the City as Canvas exhibit (which is AMAZING and has a book to go along with it, that Blade signed for me). In addition to sparking my dormant interest in becoming a graffiti artist myself (lack of artistic talent be damned!!!), I was also exposed to the idea that some people are morally offended by graffiti, which I never knew before. A woman in our group literally walked out of the exhibit. Now, I understand how it could annoy people if someone tagged their property or even the fact that money had to spent to repaint the trains that were bombed. Sure. Fine. But I never knew people had such a strong reaction to it as to leave a room in its presence.

It’s important to understand that graffiti takes talent and skill. It sends a message and is, particularly in the 70s, an outlet for people to express themselves. Why not give people a real space to do that and showcase/recognize it?  *steps down from soap box*

Anyway, I had a great time and strongly encourage you to check out Blade’s book AND the City as Canvas exhibit while its still open featuring work from Keith Haring, Lady Pink, and one of my favorites, Lee Quinones.


Tomorrow: Bronx Graffiti Artist Blade at MCNY


I’m back and well-rested from a much needed vacation! But now, it’s back to work. Check out information below on a cool event that’s happening tomorrow evening at one my favorite museums – the Museum of the City of New York . I saw the City as Canvas exhibit a couple of months ago and LOVED it, so I expect this to be just as awesome!


Friday, August 8 at 6:30 p.m.


WHAT:  In 1980, after painting 5,000 subway trains, Steve Ogburn, aka BLADE, earned the title “King of Graffiti” and continues to exhibit his work internationally today. Join the artist and graffiti historian Chris Pape at BLADE: King of Graffiti, a presentation, conversation, and book signing about the New York graffiti scene of the 1970s on Friday, August 8 at the Museum of the City of New York. Copies of BLADE and Pape’s new book, Blade: King of Graffiti (Schiffer Publishing, June 2014), will be available for purchase.


Presented in conjunction with City As Canvas, the first exhibition of New York graffiti art from the Martin Wong Collection. RSVP required. Free for Museum members; $10 general public; $40 for general admission + book.


City As Canvas is on view at the City Museum through Sunday, September 21, 2014.

WHO:              BLADE, artist and author

Chris Pape, graffiti historian and author


WHEN:            Friday, August 8 at 6:30 p.m.


WHERE:           Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street

About the Exhibition


City As Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection is the first exhibition of New York graffiti art from the Martin Wong Collection. In the 1970s and 80s, Martin Wong—an East Village artist and collector of graffiti art—amassed an unparalleled treasure trove of works on paper and canvas in aerosol, ink, and other mediums. City As Canvas features more than 150 works from the collection, including canvas and other media by such artists as Keith Haring, FUTURA 2000, and Lee Quiñones, along with photographs of graffiti writing long erased from subways and buildings.


About the Museum of the City of New York


Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections. Visit to learn more.