Zephyr Freights

So here’s the story behind how I ended up doing freight trains for twenty-five years. Back in the early 90’s Lady Pink asked me if I wanted to “paint some freights”. I didn’t even know what that meant. This was just as I was attempting to segue back into a life of graffiti-making and I was unaware of “the freight movement”. So one night in early ‘93 Pink and Smith took me to a freight yard in Queens. If you’re of a certain age you might remember the place. It’s not there anymore but it used to be extremely popular with graffiti painters (I even ran into IZ and SACH in there one night). On a very cold night in Long Island City I got my first lesson in freight painting. Pink did a rendering of Ren and Stimpy and made me do a “JOI” throw-up next to it. Then, as if that wasn’t weird enough, Smith told me to use brushes and white latex paint in a can to do my fill-in on the crappy straight “Zephyr” piece I was trying to put up. What??!! Latex? Brushes?? Just plain crazy. I had a really hard time with painting freight trains at first because they rarely offer a smooth surface. I had done my share of subways and walls, so I guess I had painting experience, but dealing with all the ridges and hinges and handles really threw me off. I didn’t like painting them at first but over time I definitely caught the bug. And, as they say, the rest is history…

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