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Ramos, who is better known by his street handle Chaka, became a household name within the guerilla art community when he was nabbed by police in 1991 and subsequently villainized by conservative media as a miscreant. At the time Ramos was at the center of a high-profile graffiti crackdown, and was just 18 years old when arrested and charged with four dozen counts of vandalism and trespassing, and linked to half a million dollars in property damage. By the time Ramos was arrested, his Chaka tags had appeared in more than 10,000 locations throughout California, and he quickly became both notorious and legendary for his prolificacy.
As the press release from Mid City Arts points out, "at the height of his notoriety Chaka was demonized by mainstream media and culture as being little more than a prolific vandal. At the same time he was celebrated by street artists who admired the ability of a teenager from the projects to literally make his mark on the vast, glitzy LA cityscape in such a ubiquitous manner."
Ramos, who will be on hand for the show's launch, represents a benchmark in the history of American graffiti and urban art, which is the focus of Los Angeles' 33third art store, which in turn opened the Mid-City Arts space. Chaka's legendary craft fits nicely into the folds of the gallery's repertoire, which in general caters to modern art with an urban, graffiti-style flavor. The opening reception for "Resurrection" will take place this Saturday, from 7-9pm, and will feature several pieces of new art as well as a limited number of signed posters and works available for sale.
BONUS: Video teaser. SEE ALSO: www.chakaone.com
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.
See other articles by Eric J Herboth.
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