Stephen ESPO Powers is a Philadelphia native who has been writing on walls since
he was three. After attending the University of the Arts, he moved to New York
and launched On the Go Magazine, a graffiti lifestyle periodical that with Ari
Forman and several conspirators help, grew from a grubby 3 page xerox to a 96
page magazine with 40,000 copies internationally distributed. On The Go was
smart and unique enough to attract the attention of several mainstream magazine
publishers, who proceeded to rip it off and launch their own weak copies. No
longer unique and still smarting from the experience, he put On The Go to sleep.
Returning to the medium of graffiti, he continued a dialogue with the public
he started over a decade before. Graffiti in his hands goes beyond a name to using
Madison Avenue marketing strategies to sell concepts instead of consumption.
He also renders moot some anti-graffiti arguments with the Exterior Surface Painting
Outreach, a style of graffiti that cleans up roll down gates while promoting the name
Regardless of the tactic taken, ESPO is a brand name that stands for quality
communication without permission.
The Art of Getting Over (St. Martinís Press 1999) is the culmination of Stephen Powers 13 years of graffiti experience. More than pretty pictures, the book tells the stories of several writers, creating a compelling depiction of the illicit expression. Having done enough on the outside, He comes in from the
cold and returns to the gallery scene in the Spring of 2000. The show at the prestigious ICA in Philadelphia is with co-conspirators REAS and TWIST. The installation is underwritten by the PEW Charitable Trusts, and promises to be both luxurious and dangerous. Shop around, but I guarantee you wonít find better quality at a lower price.
Introduction to The Art Of Getting Over
If you ever walked down the street
and wondered what a marking meant, Iíll tell you; It means somebody is telling
you a story about who they are, and what they are prepared to do to make you
aware of it. Everytime a name is written, a story gets told. Its a short
story; ďI was hereĒ. Depending on who is telling it and where they are telling
it will determine how the story ends. Some stories will be adventures, some
tragedies, and some courtroom depositions. But every single one has a star, a
stage and an audience. Thatís all a growing youth needs to have fun.
For more info, check it out on Amazon.com