If you are a graffiti artist or you passionately follow the art form, then you should know about TRACY168.
Michael Christopher Tracy (TRACY168) was one of the great and original graffiti writers who started in the 1970s in New York City. He died on September 3, 2023.
He led a life of creativity, energy and living in the moment. He called this way of life “Wild Style.” (And coined the graffiti hand/letter style of the same name) This graffiti and hip-hop cultural scene was documented by the seminal film “Wild Style” by Charlie Ahern in 1982. (Deitch Galleries in New York just opened the show “Wild Style 40”)
What started as the artistic and musical expression by Tracy and other NYC neighborhood kids eventually evolved into a world wide art form and transforming cultural phenomenon.
Although he had many difficult challenges during his life, the artistic legacy of TRACY168 is everlasting.
I don’t know enough to write more words about him on this post. There are several tributes and a few obituaries to TRACY168 which will give you a better idea of his art and influence. (BronxTimes, RocktheBells, NY Times)
What I am interested in are graffiti and mural memorial and tributes to TRACY168 in the street.
On Saturday November 4, I had the magical luck of running into Jenny (PHOX) as she sat with her tribute to TRACY168 at his mural at 231st Street and Broadway in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx (which is still running since 2011). Her dad was part of Tracy’s crew and Jenny often spent time with Tracy. He encouraged and inspired her creativity which continues to inform her life.
TKid170 (who was also close with Tracy) recently created a memorial on Allen Street in Manhattan.
Let me know if you come across any other memorials or tributes to TRACY168. You can contact me here.