Uncapped: Back to the Train Yards with the Legendary DUSTER UA

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 at 9:19 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

BB: OMG Jack! See. I forgot Jack!  I completely agree with you, though. Thank you Henry, Martha and Jack. His book, Graffiti Kings is an incredible read.  Were it not for them so much of NYC’s transit history would have been lost.

From the Museum of the City of New York: 

When graffiti first began to appear on subway cars in New York City in the late 1960s, Jack Stewart (1926-2005) became one of the first, along with Jon Naar, to photograph and document it. From late 1972 through early 1973, he photographed subway cars every weekend, documenting the rapidly evolving style of the graffiti writers.Stewart photographed graffiti throughout the 1970s, but he felt the style peaked around 1973. His work predated Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, both of whom began documenting the scene a few years later, and he covered graffiti in more depth than Naar. Over the years Stewart taught at almost every major art school on the east coast, including Pratt Institute, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the New School, the Rhode Island School of Design, and others. In the last decades of his life, he held positions in many professional organizations, such as New York Artists Equity Association, the National Society of Mural Painters, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, and the National Academy of Design.

BB: Rest in Peace, Jack. Duster, how do you describe your style?

D: My style? Let’s say it’s ahead of its time and that was one of my downfalls. I had to wait for everyone to catch up like my style was way too advanced to get it. I am actually kool with that now. I get it and now I continue,  but on linens (more on that below). Maybe one day I’ll get a showing in one of those galleries downtown, but for now I got eBay,and its been going pretty good so far; love taking those baby steps.

BB: Oh, I think your day in a gallery is coming sooner than you think. Check this out. Duster v. Duster via Martha Cooper

This image has been archived or removed.

BB: If you take a look at the future of graffiti writing, what will the whole thing look like in 2050?

D: In 2050, hopefully I’ll be here to actually see, because, as of now it looks like here in New York, they went back to the old throw up styles which I called war paint since all they do is go over each other. No respect. I remember when you could just kick the shit out of one of these toys and get away with it…now the punk and its mother are calling the cops…sad, but true, and I’m fine with it. I got lots of linens, I’m more about keeping my art work around forever.

BB: War paint about sums it. Linen?

D: Linens are just another word for canvases, but not the cheap cottons that most graffiti artists paint on, and now wonder why the value has not gone up. You should print this because since I’ve been kind of away from this scene of the galleries I notice a lot of worthless paintings by some big names in the graffiti world, but since most never really had any education in the fine arts, they did not know the difference between cotton and linen. So I’ll explain. Did you ever see a painting on a curb sitting by the garbage because its got a hole in it? That’s because it was probably on cotton. Linen is hard to punch a hole in. Plus, mummies are wrapped in linen and see how long they been around? Not cotton. So, for years I had to deal with galleries and collectors that did not know the difference and the few that did  were not telling…it’s sad when I go to galleries and I see the owners selling paintings that are on cotton and don’t even know the difference. Big deal right? Except one will go down in value…it’s the same thing with what happens on Wall Street. People don’t have a clue what they are buying.  All junk, bonds or art. It’s all the same. Buyer beware. I hope now some of your readers get a better understanding and this here is what I call some free education. If you really love your art, put it on something that will last longer than 3000 years. Or am I just being greedy?  Last piece standing wins.

This image has been archived or removed.

BB: Buying linens has a whole new meaning for me, thanks to you. In 3,000 years, don’t think we’ll be around, but here’s hoping people just learned their linen canvases will. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for joining us, Duster. 

D: Thank you for having me.

Uncapped is indeed back, but this piece has come to an end. Duster has train maps galore for sale on eBay. Check his Facebook for more info. If you want some ink, hit him up on FB as well.

Enjoy Duster’s gallery below and after that- see ya’ll soon.

This gallery has been removed.

This story has multiple pages:

Recent Stories

Two Lower East Side Businesses Join ‘American Dream’ Food Court in the Meadowlands

A host of New York City businesses are headed to the gargantuan American Dream complex in north Jersey. Two of which hail from the Lower East Side, we’ve just learned. Empanada Mama, with locations on Allen Street and Hell’s Kitchen, recently signed a lease to join the party. Apparently the deal was forged during the […]

Displaced Tenants of 70 Mulberry Street Issue Statement on Demolition and Redevelopment

In the wake of a divisive Community Board 3 meeting, in which preservationists were pitted against a desire for return, the displaced tenants of 70 Mulberry Street came together yesterday and issued a joint statement about shared priorities moving forward. Many in the Chinatown community feel that the city, owner of the fire-scorched former school […]

The Pandemic Through the Eyes of a Teenager on a CitiBike [VIDEO]

Earlier this month, a local teenager took to the empty streets of New York City with only a bicycle and iPhone to document. His name is Arjun Govind, a student of LaGuardia High School (the Fame school) on the Upper West Side. The well-produced short film is a glimpse at the initial stages of the […]

The City is Demolishing 70 Mulberry Street without Chinatown Input

Four months after a devastating five-alarm fire, it seems the city is content to let 70 Mulberry Street meet the wrecking ball. The Department of Buikdings and Department of Citywide Administrative Services together Plan full demolition, without community input. Roughly a dozen concerned Chinatown residents “attended” the Community Board 3 Land Use committee meeting last […]

Thieves Continue to Target ‘Ginger & Lemongrass’ on Rivington Street

With coronavirus lockdown the new normal, crime is seemingly on the rise around the Lower East Side. And Ginger & Lemongrass, the two-year-old Vietnamese restaurant at 153 Rivington Street, is apparently a ripe target. The business last week fell victim to theft for the second time in as many months. “The Lower East Side is […]