The power of 2 cannot be has a deep and profound impact in life.

2Many2Name™ is the first part of a series of Apps being developed by Kel1st that explores the New York City Graffiti history of the number 2.
"It was evident on the NYC trains. They were covered with masterpieces created by teams. This was a natural progression for us, we painted, and got up in teams of 2 or more...some may appear to be by just one...but there was always a crew behind them. No man was an island." —Kel1st
Digging deep into his archives, Kel presents the best of the best that existed on the MTA during the period from 1976 to 1980. 2Many2Name is a small history lesson in Wild Style and the brilliant creators behind its works. Along the way, Kel shares personal stories, interviews, impressions and his admiration for the creators of what he calls the Graffiti Renaissance.
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Socio-economic conditions of New York City’s five boroughs during the second half of the 20th century became a unique incubator for urban trends that cannot be ignored. The Train-Legacy-Project’s mission revisits collaborations that launched the historically epic period of graffiti in New York City that has created a category we now know and identify as Urban Art. Classic period graffiti writers join forces with decades of writers since to look back while looking forward, to mentor and focus the energies of new generations toward rewarding, self-actualizing applications.



Kel's work with DONDI is legendary. He was an iconic writer from 1976-79 during what Kel refers to as the ‘Graffiti Renaissance’ period. Their many collaborations elevated each of their individual contributions to Graffiti as a whole, while inspiring generations of writers to come. It was painted in the J yard of East New York in Brooklyn, one of the busiest, 2nd largest yards of NYC transit. What makes this yard special is that it’s a 2 level yard. Extremely high, handling many different train lines, also hosting a repair shop. Frequented by Kel, he called it his ‘playground.’ It’s so big, it’s almost impossible to be spotted. Most of the significant trains painted by Kel1st were painted here. These trains were bigger than the ‘numbered’ trains.


“I used ‘139’ because it's the street I grew up on, but I switched to ‘1st’ to further set me apart from my peers in the competitive environment of Graffiti. We are writers first and artists second, although the work can be called art. Yet, because what we do is write (tag) we identify ourselves as writers, not artists. An artist’s work is seen as a gallery or museum hanging piece. A writer’s tag is used to 'get up' —essentially to promote, advertise, market our brand.” This was done in the Broadway 1 tunnel between 137-145th streets. This is where Part often did many truly amazing masterpieces, it was a legendary place.This was the Broadway Local.


This the second time Kel painted with Futura. The Vaughn Bode inspired characters are by Kel. It was the 2 train, painted in the Gunhill Road layup. Kel 1st often painted characters originated by the underground comic artist, Vaughn Bodē, an artist and comic book creator whose style was rooted in sixties psychedelia, had a tremendous impact on graffiti artists. “The characters represented certain rebellious traits we had.”



The One Line series began in Spain, in 2018 as a result of meeting and collaborating with Suso33. Kel1st was inspired to explore the possibilities of using only one, continuously drawn line to create letterforms in such a way that they share energies, strokes and spaces, forming a movement with one motion, rather than broken, thought-out lines.
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Kel1st looks to an age when boasting of valor, lineage, success and rivalry was captured visually by crests and coats of arms. The age of chivalry offered a code of its own, not unlike the code of the streets, whereby ‘getting up’ could be a question of life or death. The actual symbolisms and the iconography used then and now are based upon archetypical definitions. At the end of the day, there is similar gratification, whether carrying a crest into battle and staking it into the ground to claim victory or with the achievement of being seen on top to bottom, whole cars or whole trains, throughout five boroughs.
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Kel1st is known for his letter forms and innovations in using arrows and dimensionality to move the viewer from the challenge and strife of the streets to the fantastical place where letters do battle, and win. Victory is achieved by the stroke, not the blade. Here we see the culmination of not only hand skills, but years of absorbing nuances and elements of the typography and architecture that inspired Kel1st to start writing.
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