War Paint— Hate 156

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NYC's Master of Graffiti

By Jonathan Drexler

HATE 156 is a writer by way of Brooklyn, New York. I originally met him at a show called The Come Up, curated by Skeme. Amongst the set of colorfully stretched canvases—HATE’s work in particular pulled at my attention.

The pieces primarily had solo-color backdrops with a contrasting, dual toned and enlarged H-A that ultimately fell off the stretched canvas. This would lead my imagination to have thoughts bounce around as to what the other formation of letters potentially look like. The rough lines and angles on the letters screamed graffiti at it’s core to me. However, I had to squint to find where the arrows were hidden throughout the canvas. Instead of arming his letters with arrows, it appeared to me that HATE built his font to be a puzzle of sorts. His alphabet was pulled in close to each other. Yet, the letter form was far away from the norm of what I have to come to generally expect.

​To a certain extent; it is easy to take the beauty of graffiti for-granted. Over exposure to the art form can leave us numb to how new experiences of it make us feel. I know this description has become true of me over the years—and I imagine for many others as well.

HATE’s work evoked new thoughts for me of what graffiti could be. This is due in large part because his work is unique. I had the chance to sit down with him over coffee and black books to learn more about his work.

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