President's Showcase

William Pekins

Poster Presentation, Ballroom D
Style Writing: The Current State of New York Graffiti
Supervising Professor: Prof. Kevin Curry
Will Pekins is a multidisciplinary artist and senior Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate. Through print making, painting, and sculpture, Will’s work explores the chaotic and fractured nature of his coming-of-age experience as a young graffiti writer. After graduating in the spring, he plans on moving back to New York City to continue his career as a Scenic Artist. This location will provide the ideal community for him to pursue his professional career while also continuing to develop his personal artwork as well.


Graffiti can be seen everywhere throughout modern society. While most of us have encountered it in our day to day lives, few people find themselves interacting with the actual graffiti artists themselves. Through first-hand interactions and interviews with New York graffiti artists, this project explores the behind-the-scenes aspects of the art form to create a dialogue that analyzes the hidden social structure within. Through examination of their livelihoods and the motivational factors that drive these artists, my work provides a commentary on the contemporary condition of this often vilified art scene. The location of New York City bears much significance for this project as it is both the birthplace of graffiti and the epicenter of the art form to this day. By synthesizing my research into the form of an artist book, I aim to shed light on an under-studied artistic culture so as to further the dialogue with those on the “outside”.

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