DONDI (1961-1998)
DONDI (1961-1998)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more LOISAIDA: 1980’S GRAFFITI AND STREET ART FROM THE JOHN P. AXELROD COLLECTION
DONDI (1961-1998)

SM General Notes

DONDI (1961-1998)
SM General Notes
signed and dated 'Dondi White 1989' (on the reverse)
ink, marker, graphite and printed paper collage on paper
18 1/4 x 14 in. (46.4 x 35.6 cm.)
Executed in 1989.
Private collection, United States, acquired directly from the artist
Anon. sale; Artnet Auctions, online, 10 May 2011, lot 28685
Arturo Vega, New York
Web Gallery NYC, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Special notice
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Lot Essay

Brooklyn born artist DONDI emerged as a leader among graffiti artists in the 1970s and continues to inspire his peers and a younger generation of artists even after his death. Using many tags in the early days of his career including “NACO” and “DONDI,” the artist ultimately settled on the latter, derived from a childhood nickname. Choosing an alias so closely related to his own name, Donald Joseph White, was quite risky at the time as the New York Police Department and Metropolitan Transportation Authority were working to stop graffiti art. Like other street artists in the 1970s, DONDI’s first works were painted on trains and subway walls. Though most of his work was created solo, he was a part of various artist’s collectives, initially joining TOP, The Odd Partners, in 1977. In 1978 he formed CIA, Crazy Inside Artists, with contemporaries CRASH, Doc, Rasta, and Duro. They also worked alongside Soul Artist which was founded by ALI in 1980. The support of this community and the collaborations born out of it challenged the artist and ultimately pushed his work to even greater heights. This evolution eventually lead to the artist’s explorations on canvas. Transforming a large bedroom in his childhood home into a graffiti studio, DONDI became a gallery artist as well. His paintings were bold, bright, legible and recognizable so that his message might be shared with all. The work was often political, addressing state and global policies, in the hopes that he may make some impact. The title DONDI became synonymous with his influential style of writing.

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