Rammellzee. Alphabet. n.d.

Rammellzee Alphabet n.d.

  • Not on view

RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, who called himself a “gothic futurist,” was an artist, rapper, and philosopher who theorized an idiosyncratic cosmology. Growing up in Queens in the 1970s, he spray-painted subway cars to create art that would move around the city. Just as these works challenged police officers, he battled the rules of English by inventing the alphabet shown in these drawings. Each letter is rendered in pencil and bundled within elaborate swoops of marker. With frenzied curves that recall armored vehicles, illuminated manuscripts, or coded symbols, these letters form a politically potent language unrestrained by what RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ called “phony formations” and “tricknowledgies.”

Gallery label from "Collection: 1940s—1970s", 2019
Medium
Marker and pencil on paper
Dimensions
11 × 8 1/2" (27.9 × 21.6 cm)
Credit
Gift of the Gilbert B. and Lila Silverman Instruction Drawing Collection, Detroit
Object number
1561.2018.11
Copyright
© 2021 The Rammellzee Estate
Series
Alphabet
Department
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].