(American, born April 7, 1961–died October 2, 1998) was a Graffiti artist best known for his dynamic lettering and stick figures. Born in New York, he began his career in the early 1970s, as part of the group of Graffiti artists known as The Odd Partners, who worked primarily on the M, J, and LL subway lines during the 1970s. In 1977, White formed his own group, known as CIA, and established his reputation as one of the most stylistically innovative and influential Graffiti artists of his generation. The photographer Martha Cooper
(American, b.1943) documented how White painted a subway car in her series Children of the Grace
(1979), which also appeared in the book Subway Art
, published in 1984. In 1980, White took part in the Esses Studio
project, which was funded by the art patron Sam Esses, and sought to preserve subway art that was being systematically removed by the MTA. At this time, White began to work on canvas, and became associated with a group of artists working in the East Village, including Futura 2000 (Lenny McGurr)
(American, b.1955), Keith Haring
(American, 1958–1990), and Jean-Michel Basquiat
(American, 1960–1988). White’s work on canvas reiterates the lettering, symbolic icons, and stick figures that were his signature marks on the streets. His later work in the 1990s included colleges that juxtaposed his pencil drawings with blueprints of the subway system. His work has been exhibited at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, the Fun Gallery in New York, and the Musée des Monuments Français in Paris.