“You couldn’t keep up with me. It was a bit of an arms race.”
Craig Costello (aka KR) grew up in Queens, New York in the 1980s surrounded by graffiti writers. Graffiti was a part of the attitude as much as it was the landscape. By the late 1980s, the city cracked down on graffiti on the trains and the art spilled out onto the streets and highways.
KR moved to San Francisco in early 1990s where he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, to study photography. The graffiti scene he found was thriving, yet different from New York. Most writing took place in parking lots and specific locations. He arrived with a whole different attitude and his rapid style of graffiti –tags and throw ups– soon caught on. KR used the streets of San Francisco to experiment with many different tools and techniques creating bigger, drippy marker tags. Through trial and error, he began making his own ink, particularly influential was the gleaming silver ink he created called Krink. Sharing his ink with a few friends, the silver markings of Krink began to dominate the city.
In 1998, he moved back to New York, where he started selling his ink, founding Krink Inc., a line of markers and inks. KR’s key eye for design led way to several successful co-branding opportunities with both small and large companies. He has collaborated with Alife, Nike, Levi Strauss & Co., Mini (BMW), Casio, Smith Optics, Carhartt, Incase, Kidrobot, Monument Snowboards, Married to the Mob, Juxtapoz, Colette, Shut Skateboards, and Burton Snowboards. KR continued to experiment with his work using his inks in galleries and museums as well as on the streets, where he began to pour Krink over mailboxes to create a sculptural effect. Inspired by the large scale, messy graffiti tags used by other graffiti artists, KR filled fire extinguishers up with Krink to create large scale, dripping mural works for galleries, museum and private commissions merging the line between action painting and graffiti techniques.
Click for more information on the Language of the Wall: Graffiti / Street Art exhibition.