Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Riding the Howard/Dan Ryan CTA Line (now the Red Line) in the 80's, I remember seeing patterns of white lines painted on the black tar rooftops. They'd pop up here and there like mysterious crop circles taking over the entire roofs of buildings. I always wondered who was doing them and what they meant. They definitely stood out amongst all the other graffiti on view at the time.
Several months ago graff writer and photographer FLASH ABC became in contact with KLTA and conducted an interview with him which is posted here, along with a Chicago Tribune article about KLTA written in 1984. In both the interview and the article KTLA, aka Keith Lawrence Turner Alexander, talks about how he grew up and began to paint in the midst of the drug and gang problems prevalent in Logan Square in the 80's.
He first painted a white patterned mural on a wall he coated with a black background. Realizing that this was causing him to use a lot of paint, he conceived of using just white paint on the many black tar roofs visible from Chicago's train lines. He ended up painting nearly 70 murals along all the CTA lines before leaving for California in 1989.
This Friday there will be an art show at the Congress Theater building featuring KLTA, as well as work by FLASH, ROME, DEF-ROCK, UNEEK, T-SEL, FINE 39, B-BOY B, MENIZ, FESS, and SOME1. KLTA will have prints of his work available.
Back 2 Da Basics Art Showcase
Friday, February 26, 2010
6 to 11 pm
Corner of the Congress Theater Building
2131 N Rockwell (at Milwaukee Ave)