Seen - The Godfather Of Graffiti - Biography

Richard Mirando was born in New York in 1961. At the age of 11 he started to participate in a form of art known as graffiti. In doing so he adopted and began writing the nickname Seen. He was born and bred in the Bronx and he first started to paint on the subway in the early seventies. What rapidly developed was a pitched battle between his crew and the "Vandal Squad".

Over time Seen aka the Bronx Bomber became a pioneer of graffiti, and many people even consider him the Godfather of graffiti. As he became more and more well known in the city, he was also becoming more and more skilled. Historically artists have suffered for their art, but never before had it included car chases and police crackdowns. Each challenge simply heightened Seen's ambitions, which extended well beyond New York, including tagging the Hollywood sign in LA.

It is reported that at one point in eighties in New York there were more pieces by Seen than billboards. Where others tagged on the subway and ran, Seen and his crew – United Artists – painted whole cars. After featuring in the documentary 'Style Wars' it also circumnavigated the globe, inspiring countless others. His influence on graffiti is without precedent.

The significance of Seen's work also goes beyond the subways of New York. In 1981 it took a seat alongside the work of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Basquiat in the exhibition "New York / New Wave" at P.S.1. A genre that began as a form of subversive public communication was on the way to becoming legitimate — moving away from the street and into private collections and galleries, and Seen was at the forefront.

Seen is featured heavily in both Subway Art and Stylewars – the 2 most referenced texts of graffiti history and what is more amazing is that he was so prolific he was also responsible for writing Richie and Psycho as well! These two books are probably the largest reason why people who are not familiar with high art are down with Seen.

Seen has retired from his job as a tattoo artist and devoted his life to graffiti and other forms of art. In 2005, Seen also revealed his work in successful shows in Tokyo and London, and had plans to host other shows in San Francisco and New York. A few years later his pieces adorn art gallery walls in Europe and the US and corporations commission his work. He has even appeared in a video game: 'Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure'. In short, Seen has changed the entire graffiti game and revered by anyone who knows what is real.

Seen at work back in the day

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