Hard to Find. And I speak from personal experience since I have had the pleasure to work with all three of them. At the time of his death in 1998, Dondi had seen the majority of his work destroyed -- scraped off, painted over, or chemically removed from the steel upon which it thrived. Part One was sprayed over the surface of three train cars and photographed by Francisco Reyes II. His goal was to focus on quality and not to pile up the small works in large quantities. Donald Joseph White was born in Manhattan on April 7, 1961, the youngest of five brothers to Alan Albert White, Jr., an African-American nurse and political campaign worker, and Lucy Mary Espanet, an Italian-American nurse. The name Dondi White has over 6 birth records, 0 death records, 3 criminal/court records, 20 address records, 3 phone records and more. © 2013-2020 Widewalls | He fought hard for his independence and identity. His urge to create coupled with his incredible talent made him one of the most influential graffiti artists in the 20th century. The photo “captured the intensity of having to paint quickly and illegally,” said its photographer, Martha Cooper. And the name was everything. All of those people deeply influenced his work and helped him to truly believe in himself and to rise and evolve. My whole idea, my thing for style, was keeping the letters consistent, keeping them flowing.”. Dondi White was born as Donald Joseph White in Manhattan, New York. His transition to galleries was very important. He also befriended a photographer Martha Cooper who often captured his work and followed him during his career. Description "In the beginning, there was the Word. His followers, admirers, and the audience worldwide, keep his legacy alive. Long after his contemporaries traded train yards for galleries by the mid-1980s, he would still hit a whole car. In the 1970s, decades before entire New York City subway cars were wrapped with ads for Target or Amazon, teenagers with lots of talent — but little money — turned trains into rolling canvases, with graffiti tags that proclaimed their identities through kinetic lettering and comic book-style characters. Hardcover. And when downtown galleries discovered the medium in the early 1980s, Dondi was among the first aerosol artists to achieve aboveground success. (The gallery has also exhibited Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.). The bikes were given out as gifts to the senior members of the Supreme team in 1998, in a variety of colors - white, black, yellow, blue and, of course, Supreme red. The odd fact is that Martha Cooper did not know about the Part One of the Children of the Grave series, and only saw the recreation of the piece at the gallery exhibition years later. In an interview with Zephyr, Dondi stated that he had joined several gangs in the 1970s to avoid being attacked. Dondi White. In a city reeling from near bankruptcy, their spray-painted expressions gave the cars a touch of color, humor or social commentary as they pulled into dirty stations or rumbled along streets lined with blocks of buildings that had been abandoned, incinerated or reduced to rubble. Over the last year Dondi fought a valiant fight to live and end his life on his terms. They were visible and memorable. Dondi’s Children of the Grave series, featuring his name emblazoned across an entire subway car, flanked by cartoon figures or an outstretched hand, was among his most memorable work. I am going to take this opportunity to share some very personal memories and history about him and our friendship and of course I will share many photos of DONDI and his extraordinary work. Dondi became his new persona, a representation of his true self. And across Atlantic Avenue there were the crazy Irish kids called the Headers.”. Part one: The Death Squad, Style Master General: Dondi White and Terrible T-Kid170. Whole-car advertisements on subway cars are just as common, as the city has sought new ways to generate revenue. His magnetic personality and optimistic nature helped him to meet and have many friends. ZEPHYR New York City October 8, 1998 Donald Joseph White, "DONDI" (April 7, 1961 — October 2, 1998 aged 37) is considered one of the most influential graffiti artists in the history of the movement. Born in the East New York neighbourhood of Brooklyn, Dondi was the youngest of five children. Dondi Hamm learned that her mother's case file was believed to have been destroyed in a flood in 1993. He started tagging by writing Dondi and Naco, but after sometime Dondi became not just a name. Saved by Graffiti Street Art Inspired Collection. The photo, she said in a recent interview, “captured the intensity of having to paint quickly and illegally.”. Yet no matter how much buzz his pieces generated, they were — like all graffiti — ephemeral. He knew exactly where he was going to go and how he had to play the game to get there, and he was not going to compromise. All images used for illustrative purpose only © Dondi. Eighteen years after his death, he still influences and inspires many artists. Dondi died in March 1976 at 19 years old. Critics and commuters called it vandalism. After his energy levels were stable again, he made some of his most famous and memorable blueprints, collages, ink and pencil drawings. Within these pages, however, it … His mission was to create something important and inspiring. Since 1851, many remarkable black men and women did not receive obituaries in The New York Times. He believed that ideas and art can change the world and make it a better place for everyone. Very often, apart from his sketches, photographs are the only remaining testament. He dressed and acted like a leader, too, said Patti Astor, the platinum-haired artist who gained fame during New York’s 1980s downtown scene. DONDI (graffiti artist) Donald Joseph White, "DONDI" (April 7, 1961 — October 2, 1998 aged 37) is considered one of the most influential graffiti artists in the history of the movement. Read 5 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. And then he was gone. His creative breaks that he took during his career, were parts of his personal philosophy. On the streets and in the yards, the word was the Name. Dondi liked to put everything on pause and to enjoy in small good things around him. Dondi accomplished this, passing away at home with his family and friends. Dondi felt, deep in his heart, that he had so much more to offer. They teamed up with Soul Artist crew that was founded by Marc André Edmonds aka ALI, in 1980. Eric Felisbret, a former graffiti artist and friend, said Dondi was generous with his time and advice with younger artists, giving them outlines to follow or touching up details himself. All that he wanted is his work to speak in his name, for people to understand what it is that he’s doing, for them to surpass the doubt they felt towards him in the beginning. This toy was created after Dondi White's death. Pleasant Baptist Church, Bridges Road, Buena Vista, Georgia. Anxious to leave high school behind, he earned his GED in 1984, took a j… He did not want to make small works anymore. Burial will follow in the Shady Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, New Providence Church Road, Buena Vista, Georgia. His reputation has only grown, said the artist Sandra Fabara, who starred in the hip-hop cult classic “Wild Style” and is known as Lady Pink. This book may be unable to order. We found 6 entries for Dondi White in the United States. Dondi formed CIA creative fellowship, Crazy Inside Artists in 1978 with his colleagues Crash, Doc, Rasta and Duro. From Gastman, LADY PINK, Lady Tagger (2020), Acrylic on canvas, 48 × 30 in Enjoy Some of Dondi White's Best Works “It captured an urban adventure.”. His name was part of the artwork and the writing style was important to him as much as the graffiti itself. These three book will get you to where need to go. He had four brothers and he grew up with them in a big family house. NEW YORK CITY GRAFFITI ICON REST IN PEACE #DONDI #GRAFFITI #STREET ART #STYLEWARS #CLASSICNYC. Dondi always used clear and defined writing, because he wanted his work to be recognized and shared. He collaborated with others for years, but in that period in his career, he wanted his art to be more personal. “His jean jackets were pressed, he had beautiful shirts. Dondi White: Style Master General: The (Hardcover) By Andrew Witten, Michael White. He was surrounded by friends and family. He wanted to see his 37th birthday, take a long ride on his bicycle and see the year 2000 and the rise of a new millennium. Dondi White, real name: Donald Joseph White, was an American graffiti artist born in 1961. The work they have done in that time span later became the iconic graffiti legacy. “But no one ever will.”, Overlooked No More: The Underground Graffiti Adventures of Dondi. On the streets he worked with his CIA and Soul Artist crew, but did most of his work solo. But along the way, his interest in drawing led him to try his hand at graffiti. He was surrounded by friends and family. And the name was everything. Chris Rusanowsky, who is white, is a 30-year-old father and freelance photographer. Two decades after Dondi’s death, street art is commonplace, if not tame, attracting muralists who never did traditional graffiti, much less paint in a train yard. Dondi White left us Friday October 2nd. Unfortunately, Dondi White passed away from AIDS in New York, 1998, aged just 37. I want people to see it — I want to influence others.”. Within a few years, he was covering entire cars of trains that traversed miles of tracks, his work commanding notice from southeast Brooklyn to the northernmost reaches of the Bronx. Sadly, only his first wish came true. By 1975, East New York became an unstable region with racial tensions and social conflicts such as the prominence of gangs. The inspiration for this three-part artwork came from the Black Sabbath song. “He would stare at it, pull back, do a line and look at it. He wanted to make some of his work suggestive, so one would have to dig deeper to find out what it is all about. His parents were of African American and Italian American origin. After years of tagging, he successfully made a transition from street art to gallery art. I come from the streets, I painted on subways, and I feel my work is important. His brother Michael White said Dondi first took to the trains in the mid-1970s with a graffiti crew known as TOP, an acronym for The Odd Partners. Catch up with our street art legends series by reading Street Art Legends: The Best of Basquiat Art and Street Art Legends: King Robbo Graffiti, about the work of King Robbo. A memento mori of Dean’s death from AIDS, it is a tribute to a remarkable man and a metaphor for all of those we lost. On the streets and in the yards, the word was the Name. The popular theme was gang-related graffiti and their street and whole blocks around them were covered in writings that referred to actions on the other side of the law. He was a family man, and his friends and collegues were the most important people in the world for him. “You wish you could do style like Dondi, just like you wish you could play guitar like Hendrix,” she said. In the prime of his life, with endless creativity and excessive experience, he passed away, leaving a wonderful legacy behind him. His personal style was bold and bright. Get full address, contact info, background report and more! He attended a Catholic school during his sophomore years. New York Graffiti Street Art Graffiti Graffiti History Graffiti Artists Street Artists Nyc Subway Subway Art Hip Hop Martha Cooper. The artist never wanted to compete, to be better than others, for him it was about friendship, streets and expressing himself. “When I looked at something, I would see a line out of place,” he said in 1995. “Whereas other guys, they couldn’t see it, they couldn’t see that their ‘E’ got skinny in that section, that they didn’t think of it in that manner. He was a master of technique, working for days in his Brooklyn home on designs that he would later spray paint during nighttime forays in train yards and tunnels. Add to Wish List. His first solo exhibition happened in Netherlands in 1983, and after that one more followed all around Europe. He did much commercial work, traveled for his exhibitions all over USA and Europe, painted in his breaks. ″Dondi″ was extraordinarily popular at first. Dondi's most famous work is the Children of the Grave series. He put his heart and soul in everything he did, and the whole process turned out to be quite exhausting sometimes. He felt that it was important to exhibit solo, to show his own story, to let his inner voice out. Style Master General: The. Donald Joseph White, considered a legend before “street art” became popular, turned New York City’s subways into rolling canvases of color, humor and social commentary. He was a style leader.”. His earliest interest in graffiti was practical: he kept an eye out for tags by gangs whenever he ventured beyond his block to make sure he wasn’t entering dangerous turf, like Intermediate School 302. “You couldn’t go out to Miller Park anymore because of the Tomahawks, which was a black gang,” he said in a 1995 interview that was published in “Dondi White: Style Master General.” “And then there was the Crazy Homicides, a Puerto Rican gang that was over on Pitkin Avenue near 302. Shop now. Dondi White (American, born April 7, 1961–died October 2, 1998) was a Graffiti artist best known for his dynamic lettering and stick figures. He started with subway graffiti and for years, he painted trains and subway walls. Find Dondi White in the United States. Dondi White: Style Master General presents the life and work of a seminal -- yet heretofore overlooked -- American artist whose work has resonated on every level of our popular culture. Not only he was one of the most original style masters on the streets, he managed to translate that overwhelming talent onto a canvas in a way few others have done. What he knew for sure is that he wanted everyone to know his name. Dondi worked with Futura 2000, Keith Haring, Eric Haze, Lee Quiñones, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Zephyr, who became his best friend for life. He had to have several connections with local gangs, just to ensure his safety and freedom. All of them, except for Dondi, moved out from the family house in New York, and the largest bedroom of the house was soon transformed into a graffiti studio. A new report has surfaced about the spinal injury death of Freddie Gray.. 10 years prior to Gray dying after his spine was somehow snapped while in police custody, another man named Dondi Johnson suffered a similar fate. Donald Joseph White died on the October 2nd, 1998, from the illness and complications caused by AIDS. His brother, Michael White, who co-authored (with Zephyr) the book about the artist, Dondi White Style Master General: The Life of Graffiti Artist Dondi White, said that his brother’s wishes were simple in life. It was persona and place, form and content, truth and fiction. “I never had to compromise myself,” he said in the book “Dondi White: Style Master General” (2001) written by his brother, Michael White, and Andrew Witten. He used various nicknames for tagging his art, but Dondi was his favorite since it was derived from a childhood nickname. Andrew Witten, author of Dondi White Style Master General: The Life of Graffiti Artist Dondi White, on LibraryThing LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site … Dondi's goal was not to sell his art or to gain popularity. The amount of time since Edna's death and the loss of … They had that area. “It was always me, doing what was comfortable, and relaying the message that I didn’t have to be taught to be creative and do good things. When they were growing up, he and his brothers went separate ways. Dondi evolved over the years, and the beauty of his growing was his ability to mix different styles and to make something different. When he felt his energy was drained, he would take a break. His paintings looked simple, but they were not.”. In it, she captured Dondi, spray can in hand, straddling two subway cars at daybreak inside a Brooklyn train yard. Description "In the beginning, there was the Word. He was always close to people he loved, and in his last moments, they were there for him. Modern & Contemporary Art Resource. 2006), Ink on paper, 31 × 21 cm Fact Check. Working at his own pace helped him to focus more on a storyline of his work. Dondi was 37 when he died, on Oct. 2, 1998, of complications of AIDS. Growing up in New York at the time was challenging and living in his neighborhood was everything but safe. A special Thank You to Dr. Lopez and Village Health Care. To make a name for yourself in graffiti is a literal statement, after all.”, Astor gave Dondi his first solo show at Fun Gallery, a venue in the East Village that she ran with Bill Stelling. He wasn't much fond of group exhibitions, he preferred to show his art solo, even in small galleries and in front of a modest audience. It now appears on the commemorative reissue of “Subway Art,” the seminal book Cooper compiled with Henry Chalfant in 1984. “That photo alone did a lot for the culture,” Cooper said. His letters were enigmatic, yet clear. He did not want to be described as just a street artist or a gallery one from the streets. Cooper’s photograph of the piece is as legendary as the piece itself and it is one of the most exemplary and widely recognized representations of the graffiti movement, not just Dondi’s work. He earned his GED in 1984 and after graduation took a job in a government office. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m here and I want to be heard. Of that number, 26 men are scheduled to die by 2023. Dondi believed that an artist must achieve a perfect balance in showing the obvious message and hiding the more provocative reference. He was driven by strong will and vision that he can achieve something bigger and more important than the petty gang and criminal exposition. Undisputed talent in combination with the eagerness to create helped Dondi to become one of the first graffiti masters who exhibited his work in an international gallery. This was a healthy type of ambition, and this talented artist truly mastered the skill of the street art. is no cure and silence still equals death. He was an inspiring figure and a huge influence for many graffiti artists. His magnetic personality and optimistic nature helped him to meet and have many friends. Part Two was painted on one train cart and there Dondi ensured to write his name in bold and clean letters. Classification Toys and Games Type toys (recreational artifacts) Topic Art Hip hop (Music) Credit Line Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Dondi White Estate Object number 2011.148.26 He refused to be labeled and classified as just a graffiti artist. Dondi White book. He was on assignment for ZUMA Press, a California company that archives and sells images. But his reputation as the “style master” endures, with his sketches now going for $100,000 or more, and his canvases for triple that. He died at home in the company of family and friends, after a long illness. The three pieces were produced between 1978 and 1980, featuring his name emblazoned across the car, flanked by cartoon figures or an outstretched hand and dotted with stylistic flourishes. Part Three was probably one of the most important pieces of graffiti artwork in the history of the style. Responding to the furor over Dondi’s immigration, the U.S. Justice Department issued an actual letter in 1955, declaring Dondi a hardship case and granting him his citizenship. But his reputation as the “style master” endures, with his sketches now going for $100,000 or … Part Two and Three were photographed by Martha Cooper. Later, he produced sketches and collages that were as precise and innovative as his subway graffiti. The state of Ohio currently has 136 inmates on death row awaiting a date for their execution. 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