Rest in peace. Tribute to a true Graffiti legend.
Graffiti legend Stay High 149 born Wayne Roberts, died on Monday, June 11th, at Calvary Hosptial in the Bronx. The influential graffiti artist made his mark in the 70's and 80's and disappeared from the scene before realizing his popularity in the 2000's.
In his subway travels he noticed other tags by TAKI 183, JOE 182 and PRAY and followed suit with his own creation. He said he could hit as many as 100 trains a day and twice that at night, when he sometimes did larger pieces.
“In 1972 Wayne was 22, and he was taking the train to deliver all over the city,” said Chris Pape, a younger graffiti artist and co-author, with Sky Farrell, of Mr. Roberts's biography, titled “Stay High 149,” published by Gingko Press. “He rode empty trains all day with markers in his pocket, and he wrote everywhere.” Mr. Pape said the Smoker figure was a departure from the tags of the early 1970s, which relied on simple, straight letters, often done by young teenagers who were active only briefly. Soon stylistic flourishes like arrows and loops were added, but none were as successful as the Smoker.
“Another true legend has passed, Stay High 149! The original!! Damn brother, really sad moment thanks for everything you’ve done for our graffiti art culture. I would never be who I’am today in the graffiti art world if it wasnt for true legends like you!! You’ll be deeply missed brother, you will live for ever in all our hearts world wide. Thanks Stay High we love you!! Rest in paradise, god bless your soul!”