Questions with MIKE 171
1:JOERAEL: Since you and SJK 171 are both are from the beginning. I'm sure countless people would like to know what is graffiti or writing to you? What is it in your view?
MIKE 171: Tagging or Writing our Names was a sense of telling the World “Hey look at me, I’m Mike-171 and I’m here.!! The Media called it Graffiti when they started printing the photos and stories in their newspapers.
2: Can you explain your monikers for those that don't know about the numbers at the end of your names?
MIKE 171 :171 is the street we lived on in Washington Heights. We saw Julio 204, Taki 183 so I put my name Mike-171. Steve put his initials SJK 171. Jose -JEC*
3. You and SJK 171 have both have been life long friends and partake in the part of this culture with a strong alliance. How did the two of you meet?
MIKE 171:We lived in the same building so we were playing together since we were kids.
4. How did you get into writing? When did you start?
MIKE 171: Steve, Jose and I were Delivery Boys at the A+P Supermarket, we noticed writings on the hallway walls like “Bob loves Mary 65” and other simple name tags. So we took white shoe polish and wrote Our tags.
5.What was it like writing in the BRONX in the 70's?
6. Can you tell us a little about what it was like painting Subway trains in the early days?
7. In knowing you both I attribute the psychedelia in the writing culture to you guys. Where you started to embellish your letters with designs and colors. Were you some of the first to do this?
8.You both made a huge impact on the culture in more subtle ways. For instance early photo documentation and sketchbooks "black booking". Can you share some of this early instinct response to document and keep your sketches?
9. How does it feel to be a pioneer in this vast global form of visual expression?
10. Being pioneers what is your hope for the future of this movement? What is something you would wish to seeing this movement as part of your legacy?