Steven D. Ogburn, better known as Blade or Steve, a famed New York-based street artist and a proud owner of the title King of Graffiti since he painted over five thousand trains with his striking characters. Famous for his whole cars, he became an icon of the New York City and a hero-figure for the younger generation of street artists. Today he exhibits his work internationally.
Born on January 23rd, 1957, Blade began writing on the trains in NYC in 1972, when Hondo 1 took him to Baychester layup in the Bronx to paint his first train. At that time, he was only 15 years old. Subsequently, he befriended with such creatives as Fresco, Dr. Sex, Chino1, and Camaro 170 and became one of the most prolific street artists of his generation creating over five thousand pieces throughout the Big Apple in a decade between 1972 and 1982 one of the original members of The Crazy Five can be given the title of longest reigning whole car king of the 2s and 5s.In that time, there were no other graffiti influences, so he developed his own personal style composed of characters, letters, colors and abstract imagery. His images were not political but more personality focused. The trains were his diary and painted over 5,000 trains but is best remembered for his iconic whole-cars.
Blade embodies everything that is classically associated with graffiti: illegally painting trains, whilst avoiding cops, guard dogs, oncoming trains and the third rail.
Outside of the graffiti movement were two photographers who were suitably impressed with BLADE’s new works, their names were Marty Cooper and Henry Chalfant. Both photographers documented the BLADE paintings and in 1984, with the publication of their seminal work Subway Art, the works were seen around the world helping to launch a global graffiti movement continued their careers until 1984, before succumbing to the lure of the fine art world.