Made in New York

15 / 17

Jenny Holzer, Lady Pink. Trust visions that don't feature buckets of blood. 1983-84 283

Spray paint on canvas, 107 7/8 x 119 3/4" (274 x 304 cm). Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds, and gift of The Modern Women's Fund

Artist, Lady Pink: I go by the name of Lady Pink. I'm down with TC 5, which is a crew from the boogie-down Bronx, which is the coolest place on Earth.

When I started writing graffiti at the age of 15, I fell in love with the adventure, with the excitement, the thrills//Seeing your name roll by on a subway train.

When I met Jenny Holzer, I was about 18 years old. There were no other women in the scene at all. It was myself and Jenny Holzer. And she did postering.

She wanted to do much bigger work which is why she approached us graffiti artists to collaborate with her. She said she wanted me to basically paint whatever I wanted to paint. She would then ponder on the images for a while and apply one of her truisms to them later.

So this piece has a soldier in silhouette standing over a burning man covered in a flag. And it is about the war in Central America during the early 80s. We were quite concerned here that Reagan was giving guns to the wrong people.

In this painting I have some of the cracks in the wall and on the sidewalk which are particularly skinny and small so I would use my fingernails to scratch some details into some bits. And those are my actual hands on the door.

You have to have really, really good strong fingers to control that spray paint and the further away the spray mist is lighter and you can blend two colors together and the closer you get you get super skinny lines, but you have to move like lightning, you have to know exactly where your hand is.

I had a master that showed me how to how to shoplift like a pro. We couldn't afford the supplies. We had to lift the supplies. I probably didn't pay for any of the paint I used in the paintings I did with Jenny Holzer. Sorry.