It’s still all about collaboration for Samuel E Vazquez (no period after the E, though it stands for Enrique; he just thinks it reads better that way). A 20-plus-year Indy resident and Herron grad working his way into the gallery scene, Vazquez started out life in San Juan, Puerto Rico (born in 1970), before moving to the Bronx in 1979. He became involved with the NYC graffiti and break dancing scene by 1983, and managed to tag a serious number of subway lines, not to mention the walls of the Graffiti Hall of Fame.
NYC in the ’80s was, says Vazquez, defined by friendly competition, by writers (read: graffiti artists) pushing each other creatively, learning the trade from mentors and banding together in gang/guild/clan fashion. Vazquez still identifies himself as the member of several graffiti crews, including the IBS (International Bombing Squad) and UW (Urban Warriors or Urban Writers). And while much of Vazquez’s work has moved in the direction of abstract expressionism (his descriptor), he says he still approaches the creative process in the same way, learning from peers, taking inspiration from both the fine art and graffiti world.