Chris Stain grew up writing graffiti in his hometown of Baltimore, and kept at it in spite of a handful of arrests and close encounters with law enforcement—the first was at the tender age of 11, when a classmate ratted him out to the police for tagging a playground, and the most recent was last year when he was caught writing on a box car with an erasable marker. His work overwhelmingly focuses on representing the experiences of ‘common people,’ as he calls them—members of the working class who struggle on a daily basis to simply survive and pay their bills. It’s an interest that stems from an adolescent exposure to 80s punk, Woody Guthrie, and his own emerging class consciousness. Currently based out of East Brooklyn, Stain is now an art teacher, showing kids how to do lettering and stenciling themselves. He joined us to talk about the politics of representation and the joys of writing on walls.
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