Graffiti World Mourns the Loss of Legendary Writer Phase 2 and ZEXOR WTO
Last Thursday (December 10) was a dark day, as the graffiti community lost two of its own.
Early in the day we were rocked by the news of Mathew Rodriguez (aka ZEXOR WTO), son of ASP, passing away. He had just returned from Art Basel when he died from complications due to sleep apnea. The 28-year-old is survived by his son, Jason.
Born and raised in Ridgewood and adjacent Bushwick, Rodriguez was known for brazen top-to-bottom fill-ins in broad daylight.
As the #RIPZEXOR social media tributes and a subsequent Go Fund Me flooded newsfeeds, rumors trickled in about the possible passing of Bronx native Lonny Woods, the graffiti and hip hop pioneer known on the street as PHASE 2.
By 8 pm, it was no longer a rumor. Published reports indicate that he was in the hospital since August battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.
PHASE 2 was legendary, and considered the founder of the bubble-letter graffiti style that everyone uses today. In the early 1980s, Woods had also been the go-to guy for show flyers. The first being for Grandmaster Flash.
We debated as to how to pay our respects or how to have people pay theirs then realizing so many people already have. Below is a small collection of tributes located on Instagram. Please feel free to use our comment section as a memory board. Rest in Paint, as it’s said, PHASE 2 and ZEXOR WTO.
Phase 2 tributes: