In the late 1960s and early 1970s writing began to distinguish itself from other forms of graffiti. New york City Youth began writing their names in public areas methodically. In 1971 The New York Times published an article on one of these writers. TAKI 183 was the alias of a kid from Washington Heights. TAKI was the nick name for his given name Demetrius and 183 was the number of the street where he lived. He was employed as a foot messenger, so he was on the subway frequently and took advantage of it. He tagged streets subway stations and subway cars. In addition to the subway his name appeared in business districts of Manhattan. The appearance of this unusual name and numeral in these areas sparked a great deal of public curiosity prompting the Times article.
TAKI was by no means the first writer or even the first king. He was however, the first to be recognized by the news media. Being the first writer recognized outside the sub-culture ensured TAKI a prominent place in graffiti history. Most widely credited as being one of the first writers of significance is JULIO 204. FRANK 207 and JOE 136 were also early writers.
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