HomeGirls artworks by Abby online store is up!

I hope you’ll take the time to visit http://www.abbygraff.com and then buy a canvas or print for your collection, or for your favorite hip hop fanatic. Truly is money well spent.

HOMEGIRLS

artwork by Abby

A Queens, New York native, Abby is a visual artist with roots in the early ‘80s graffiti art scene at the geneses of New York’s Hip Hop movement. She attended the seminal High School of Art and Design in Manhattan from 1981 to 1984, where she was mentored by some of the most prolific and celebrated visual artists in urban and fine art such as Web One, Doze Green and Mare 139.

Abby was accepted to Parsons School of Design (New York)and attended from 1985-1987. Although she thrived academically, the financial strain was simply too much for her and her family, so she silently applied to Temple University’s Tyler School of Art (Elkins Park, PA and Philadelphia respectively). She graduated in 1991 with a BFA in graphic design with an emphasis on packaging.

In 1991, Abby returned to New York, started working for Arista Records and happily returned to painting legal walls with her crew. In 1992, as the design industry was quickly transitioning to computer-based design, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area where opportunities in Silicon Valley were abundant. There, she quickly became submerged in digital art, working for start-up ad agencies. Eventually, Abby earned coveted positions designing packaging and promotional work, most notably for Sega, Safeway Corporate Advertising, Concord Records and World Market.

Marriage and motherhood fostered a shift in Abby to work exclusively freelance, allowing her to remain present for her family and support her fine art. After 16 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, Abby relocated back to the East Coast where she could be closer to her roots.

Since 2008, Abby has been exhibited in ‘Heiroglyphics 3’ at the San Francisco African American Art and Culture Complex, ‘Queenz Arrive’ at McCaig-Welles NYC, and ‘TC5 Revolutions’ at Crewest LA.

In 2012, Abby lectured at Davidson College in North Carolina, on the topic of Stylemasters of Graffiti and her experiences as a female graffiti artist in her native culture and as a design professional.

April 2013 marks Abby’s solo exhibit ‘HomeGirls’ currently on display at bOb Bar NYC until May 19th, which depicts the places and mind-spaces the artist has called home. HomeGirls makes visual her journey as an African American woman, an original participant in a vibrant transnational arts movement, as she transitions from place to place (physically and emotionally) trying to find a balance between motherhood and career that won’t demand she sacrifice one for the other.

To Purchase Works from the show, please visit http://www.abbygraff.com !!

“Homegirls” artwork by Abby, opening next Wednesday!!

"Charlotte" by Abby TC5, on sale at bob bar NYC

“Charlotte” by Abby TC5, on sale at bob bar NYC

 

HOMEGIRLS artwork by ABBY

curated by Jessica N. Pabón

  

Opening Reception: Wednesday April 17th, 2013 6PM-9PM

 RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/299368726856841

bOb Bar is pleased to present the solo exhibition HOMEGIRLS, a collection of works that transform the cities Abby has called home into figurative representations. Abby uses traditional graffiti letter forms to illustrate metaphors and emotions—which are intimate, and sometimes universal in appeal—to push the boundaries of the genre. HOMEGIRLS features African American women whose cadence symbolizes the artist’s experiences living in cities like Philly, Oakland, and Queens. Please join us on Wednesday April 17th, 2013, from 6:00PM to 9:00PM, to meet the artist and celebrate her work.

A Queens, New York native, Abby is a visual artist with roots in the early 80’s graffiti art at the geneses of New York’s Hip Hop movement. She attended the seminal High School of Art and Design in Manhattan from 1981 to 1984, and has been a quiet, yet active, crew member of TPA, TC5, Rocstars, KAOS Inc, and TM7 for three decades. Her early work has been captured inSpraycan Art and Piecebook Reloaded. Her recent work has been exhibited in ‘Heiroglyphics 3’ at the San Francisco African American Art and Culture Complex, ‘Queens Arrive’ at McCaig-Welles NYC, and ‘TC5 Revolutions’ at Crewest LA.

 Exhibition Dates: April 17th—May 19th, 2013

For more information, please contact the curator: jnp250@nyu.edu

bOb Bar

235 Eldridge Street

New York, NY 10002

212-529-1807   www.bobbarnyc.com

 

TEDxWomen Recap!!!

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Wow. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so inspired, so supported, and so fancy! 😉 I just got home from the most incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience at TEDxWomen in DC. Basically, I got to spend 3 days making personal connections with radical feminists the likes of spoken word artist Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes, Lynne Hurdle-Price of Nomada What Productions Inc., Courtney Martin and Vanessa Valenti of Feministing, Emily May of Hollaback!, Gaby Pacheco of the Trail of DREAMs, Angela Patton of Camp Diva, and Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency. I was so invigorated by all of the wonderful work these women are doing and immensely honored and privileged to be amongst them. Be sure to check out their talks and to support their various projects!

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After my talk, the super-talented Eve Ensler congratulated me and said that she loved my presentation…it doesn’t get much better than that! Speaking of, I learned about her new project: One Billion Rising. You should check it out!

You can watch the unedited version of my talk here! After my talk, people thanked me for opening their eyes or expanding their minds in regards to graffiti, and expressed their love for the art they saw in my presentation. Ladies! you knocked their socks off! I hope you enjoy watching it, as much as I enjoyed presenting it!

The Paley Center posted their photos on a Flickr photo stream!

I just want to thank all of the women in my study one more time because without them I wouldn’t be where I am. xoxo

One more thing, I have a new Facebook page, please like it!

Live Interview with ABBY at Davidson

Sometimes I get to be a part of a shift in history…hip hop history that is.

Yesterday was one of those days. Abby and I were invited to Davidson College in North Carolina to talk about graffiti, history, and the politics of gender, race, and sexuality. Before we began, I asked the audience to think about the multitude of implications when a subcultural history has been told, written, and understood as a “man’s” world, or a boys club. What, and who, has been lost or erased when the same figures are fetishized and the same images reproduced?

Not to sound dramatic, but yesterday we altered the gendered confines of the graffiti canon, of the history thus far told and archived, through the power of oral history. And we had a blast doing it.

We spoke of her biography, her experiences then and now as an African American woman in the graphic design field, her crews and mentors, and her family. Abby schooled everyone on style and letter development. We talked about paint, caps, and different techniques for producing different effects. We talked about feminism and misogynism. We talked about graffiti’s relationship to hip hop culture broadly, and what hip hop culture was like back in the 80s when it was just beginning. We talked about the gallery scene and the differences between graffiti on the street and in the museum. We talked about graffiti as a phenomenal yet understudied arts movement. The people in the audience were so gracious and asked wonderful questions.

I was absolutely geeked out. Here I was, sitting, listening, and talking to a writer who knows the history because she was there. I always geek out when that happens, it never gets old. I usually present alone, but after yesterday I think that’s a huge mistake. It is way more fun having a dialogue and letting the women speak for themselves when possible. I hope to have many more opportunities to bring the artists out in front of an audience to shine and tell their stories.

Here are a few flix of that very fun day at Davidson with one of the founding mothers of graffiti, Abby.

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