DUEL: A New York City Graff Vet Still Doing His Thing
February 11, 2015 at 4:15 AM
Let’s start from the beginning. Your introduction to Graffiti. What initially got you into it? In the early 80s, I began to notice graffiti around NYC. Some of it was impressive, while others looked like trash. I really had no desire to get into it. One of my buddies in the 8th grade started messing with graffiti and needed a partner. It took quite a bit of convincing and harassment from him before I fell to the peer pressure and started writing SERK.
What were some of the hardest things about being a writer in your early years? After several months of writing, the kid I started writing with, calls it quits. I had no partner to work with and no mentor because no one wants to hang out with a toy. So essentially I was out and about by myself making toy moves. I wasn’t familiar with the “rules” of graffiti and went over local writers. I had no style, so I was biting hard and my spot selections were poor. I would write on people’s personal property, churches, and other stupid things. Needless to say, I pissed a lot of people off right from the start and they came looking for a brother. It took several years to work out those issues and I eventually changed my name to DUEL to start off fresh.
All writers start out as toys. I don’t think that can be argued. But those who stick with it eventually realize their respected, some are looked up to and others are worshipped. When was it that you felt you went from a toy to something more? Kind of hard to say. I never really thought about it much. I always tried to improve in areas and put in some honest work. I didn’t think I did anything different than the next guy. When I stopped writing in 1994, I thought it was the end. When I resurfaced in 2006, people reminded me of the damage I did and I guess I left some sort of an impact. But I always considered myself somewhere in the middle. Maybe slightly above.
read the rest of the interview here