Nation of Graffiti Artists
NOGA, or Nation of Graffiti Artists was the utopian vision of Jack Pelsinger, who begged the city for a studio where kids of all talent levels could further their interests in the arts. The 1970s were a time in New York’s history where a request like this could be accommodated, the city leased the group a run-down storefront for $1 dollar a month in 1974. Like moths drawn to a light, the kids showed up, hundreds of them.
A ragtag bunch of teenagers helped him clear garbage from the space and build it out (while covering it in tags and pieces, of course). For some of them, it was the first time holding a brush or spray can. Some had painted a few trains before, and soon some of the biggest names of the era became regulars (SCORPIO, BLOOD TEA, ALI, STAN 153, SAL 161and CLIFF 159).
By Chris Pape
Photography by Michael Lawrence, with additional photos by Gianfranco Gorgoni & Moses Ros
Designed by Leon Gonzales
Published by Beyond the Streets and Gingko Press
Second edition, 2023
Hardcover, 152 pages, full color, 8 × 11 inches