BLADE has already told his life story through graffiti. Now, over forty years into his career and armed with an incredible memory, BLADE sits down with Chris Pape to reflect on growing up in the Bronx in the turbulent 1970s, and recounts the highs and lows of his storied career, holding nothing back. BLADE is considered "The King of Graffiti" because, by 1980, after painting 5,000 wildly creative trains, he stopped counting. This book parallels the New York graffiti movement almost from its inception, moving through its glory years in the mid-1970s, when BLADE earned his title, and ending in the global art scene, where he remains a major presence. BLADE helped New York graffiti become internationally famous by making it look fun, and, for reasons of quantity, quality, and, perhaps above all, for sheer spirit, BLADE may very well be the most popular graffiti artist with his peers.
Blades infectious and detailed story telling, captured by Chris Pape (Freedom) is really engaging and gives the book an added bit of depth that most graff books fail to deliver. It's what sets this book apart from most others out there and makes the story telling easily jump from one topic to the next. You want to know where some of the ideas for his concepts come from? Its in here. You want to know his fighting style when he was a young dude in high school? Its in here. The book, as you would expect, is crammed full of old train flicks. The well known classics are in here but there is a whole load more of rare flicks from Blade and members of the legendary The Crazy 5. Throughout the book Blade drops some history, giving the reader a lesson in the development of graff and those who were key in developing the scene. The accompanying photos add some context showing the development of graffiti from the early 70s beginning of single hits through to whole car burners. 101 stories later and the book comes to an end with a story of the TC5 get together in a bar and what they are all up to now. A book worth getting your hands on? Definitely. - scottishgraffiti.blogspot.co.uk Oct 2014
Chris Pape was born in 1960. He grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan where he watched the birth of the graffiti movement. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Elsa, and their kids, Cora and Dash.