It was sad to hear today that IZ THE WIZ, notorious NYC train
bomber and graffiti godfather, finally lost his fight against kidney failure and passed away on June 17th. Following years of painting without masks, he was diagnosed with kidney problems in 2006. IZ was best known for his constant high profile bombing of the NY transit system during the 70's and 80's, and his appearances in the films Style Wars and Wild Style (where he portayed a transit police detective). Throw-ups and whole cars with the names IZ, CRAZY IZ, IZZY, IKE and IZ THE WIZ (all aliases of the same dude) were seen all over the city over a long period particularly on the IND and BMT subway divisions. IZ was the longest reigning all-city king in NYC history, taking the title many times throughout the same period.
In the late 1970s he broadened his focus by working on top-to-bottoms, burners and whole cars on the prestigious 2 and 5 lines of the IRT subway division. During this period he simultaneously maintained all-city throw-up king status.
He painted for a variety of top level crews - served as president of The Master Blasters (TMB) and as a member of RTW. He has also painted for The Odd Partners, The Crew, The Three Yard Boys and other crews too numerous to mention. He will be sadly missed but not forgotten.
IZ THE WIZ (RIP)
On a lighter note, here's some vintage footage of other graffiti legends ZEPHYR, MIN ONE and REVOLT painting throw-ups in the West Side Tunnels in 1983. Made even better by the fact that the soundtrack to the footage is the b-boy classic "Films" by Gary Numan.