Those who are in the know of the secret society-like, third world of graffiti, understand that one of the main tenets of graff is, as King SKUF YKK puts it, “is a full contact sport”. Whether it be breaking a limb from falling a couple of stories off of a six inch ledge while doing a piece or having to get a few dozen stitches after a brawl with another writer, graff writers must be truely committed to their art in order to endure all of this.
Many would doubt that women in this field of expertise go through these rough and violent rites of passage, but they do. Some make it through their days of paying dues with more grace than their male counterparts. TheSource.com has compiled a list of some of the graff game’s illest women with handstyles that even most of you dudes would have a hard time keeping up with. There is no order, but, if they made the list, you know she’s ben killing the strets and then some!
The famous femme fatale of the almighty MUL(Made You Look) Crew, UTAH and her boyfriend ETHER have dominated the international graff scene with their no permission throws on walls and trains around globe.
One of NYC’s most consistent female writers, MISS 17 has painted her signature “17” numerals around the Rotten Apple for years, making herself a staple in NYC graffiti as well as repping for the women writers in the face of mysogyny in graff.
This graff queen has put it down in the past decade like she’s been doing since the beginning, hence her name. EVE, along with her counterpart YORK, has made her rounds with her colorful fill-ins “All City” as well as up and down the East Coast.
The NYC based writer/artist/clothing designer Claudia “CLAW” Gold has been one of the most successful, AUTHENTIC graffiti artists that has been able to turn her spray can creativity into cash in the form of her Claw & Company Clothing Line and store located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
One of the few “sisters” that’s active in the “City of Brotherly Love”, KWEEN KARMA has built a name for herself with her complex handstyle that can be attributed to her hometown, where hard to read tags are the norm. Mostly seen with Philly vet DRAMA, KARMA is definitley respected as one of the best out of the 215, male or female.
This Queen from Queens who got her start tagging at the age of 15 in high school has made her way into corporate boardrooms, landing an account with hair giant Clairol for a graffiti-inspired hair dye line. Her feminine characters have distinguished this Ecuadorian-American writer from the rest of the pack; not only for females, but for Latinas.
You can’t mention women and graffiti in the same sentence without mentioning Lady Pink. This BX-based, internationally known artist commonly called the “First Lady of graffiti” has been ahead of her time since her days of helping to pioneer the graffiti scene in NYC in the 1970s. Pink is also the very first woman put on film because of her graff skills(Wild Style,1982).
This Los Angeles legend loves the fact that people dig her style then find out later that she’s a woman. “Men like to discuss everything about women. How they’re not equivalent or can’t do it just as good. What better way than to choose a name like JERK? By the time it comes around that people know my gender, it’s irrelevant.”
Another L.A. wall queen who’s colors and styles stood out enough to be the last female writer featured in TheSource.com “Off The Wall” feature. This new millineum maven rocks gold fronts, tattoos and will rock your snotbox if you go over her piece.
Sacramento-based artist MEME from the CBS crew is the founder of the Few & Far Women graffiti collective, who’s objective is to replace the competitiveness between women in the graffiti scene and establish a degree of unity, given their underrepresentation in the male dominated graff scene.