Speaking with Jesus Saves

I think I’ve seen your tag and stickers in every borough! When did you first start getting up on the streets?  I was about 15 years old when I started getting SPAIN – in bubble letters – up in my neighborhood.  I wasn’t serious at the time! It was just something to do.

Where were you living at the time? I was in Bushwick. I’ve been there most of my life.

When did you first become serious about street art?  In 1995 I was hospitalized. I almost lost my life. When I recovered, I decided to give my life to Christ, and soon I started to use graffiti to get my message out there.

So that’s how you got your tag! You believe that Jesus saved you?  Yes, God gave me a second chance.

How’s that? Before my accident, I did lots of things I shouldn’t have been doing. I sold drugs. I stole from folks. I got locked up for robbery. And then I left that life behind. I use the streets now to get my message across, the message that “Jesus Saves.”

Interesting! I don’t associate street art with religion. There are quite a few of us! And there’s this crew ATC (Addicted to Christ). But I’m probably the only one in NYC repping Jesus.

Do you work alone or with other crews?   Both. I’ve worked on my own and with lots of crews: MSD, RIA, AMK, STF…

What about stickers? When did you first start creating stickers? I’ve always been doing stickers.

What are your favorite spots for stickers?  I try to hit spots where they won’t easily be removed and, of course, where lots of people will see them.  My favorite spots are along the Bowery, Canal and 14th Street.  But I get my stickers up everywhere. They’re now in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Barcelona, Berlin and Frankfort.

Have you ever been arrested? I’ve been stopped for tagging and I’ve been caught with spray cans on me a few times.

What happened? Most times I had to do some kind of community service, but in 2005 I ended up spending two months in Rikers.

Be careful! How does your family react to what you do?  My mom is proud of me. She’s always been religious and she likes my message.

I met you at an exhibit that featured your artwork last year at a downtown gallery. Have you exhibited elsewhere? I’ve had my work in some spaces in Chelsea and in bars and galleries on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn.

Has your art earned you any money? Yes, I design T-shirts, paint canvases and do commissioned assignments.

Have you any kind of day job? I work for a cell phone company.

Any favorite artists?  Many… Among my favorite writers are: JA1, Skeme, Duro – who ruled the trains back in the 80’s – and COPE2. My favorite sticker artists include: BNE – the king of stickers – MQ and Obey.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?  If God permits, I’d like to travel the world – doing what I’m doing now.

Interviewed by LoisInWonderland

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