March 25, 2023

This Week in Graffiti: Get Fresh: Interview with Stae2

That’s The Hookup is back online & this week we are switching things up for ‘This Week in Graffiti’ and featuring one writer, STAE2.

STAE2 has been a huge contributor to the New York graffiti scene and has been an active participant with THE EXCHANGE working with writers like ASKEW,CHUCK, JURNE, and KAPUT. STAE2 was also a winner of ‘Best Piece’ for The Americas in the Ironlak Graffiti Competition in 2010 with this burner:

Regularly contributing and collaborating on projects with writers like SETER CELF JICK KNOWS SHANK & SMART crew, Stae2 will also be participating this year’s Art Basel in Miami.  I feel really lucky to have a working relationship with some one like Stae who not only inspires me but writers all over the world, with his fresh style and dedication to fine tuning his craft of letters, along with staying true to his graffiti roots in New York City. I present to you, Stae2.

Where you from and what do you write?

I write Stae Two. Stae,Staer,Stae2. From New York City

What made you agree to this interview ?

I did this interview because I’ve got a story to tell…We all do.

Growing up in New York, was graffiti introduced to you at a young age? What first got you interested in graffiti?

I was first compelled by graffiti in 5th grade when my friend COMP tcs (RIP) brought in a blackbook. Then hearing stories amongst neighborhood writers venturing around the city to bomb and cause havoc. That sense of adventure and unknown really sparked an interest.  I would occasionally bomb and hit books but never made much of a name for myself.  I was always interested in writing but  didn’t really dedicate myself to it until years later. According to my parents I was “born” a writer.  My abnormal child behavior and odd coincidences!  like them growing up in Washington Heights with Taki 183 is something they joke about.

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as “Organized Confusion” – A Clean, Funky Twist to a Classic Style.  Thats the general aesthetic I try and push.

Were  you influenced by any writers/crews when you started out?

When I first started out I was inspired by many 90’s Queens, NY writers.

What makes a writer stand out to you?

STYLE, Versatility, Unique and Dedication are characteristics of writers that stand out to me

Any writers influencing you today?

So many influence me today; directly and indirectly.  My closest painting partners Seter and Uend inspire and influence me most.  We bounce ideas and really enjoy pushing each other.  Other’s work that come to mind that I really enjoy and I am sure influenced by- Wane, Kem5, Bates, Jurne and Rime to name a few.

How has your reason or drive for writing changed over your career?

Aspects like fame that once was a stronger drive, has subsided and painting has become more about me-the process, the challenge and good times with fellow writers.  It is my escape from everyday life and a channel to let my creativity out without many rules.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for my small contributions to style writing.  For taking some chances and trying to be versatile with letters.

Weirdest thing that has happened when out painting?

A lot of weird things have happened during painting, one that sticks out is a dude bringing his girl to the freight spot to catch wreck on her booty…but making sure he gave my buddy Celf and I his 2ç on our e2e.  Apparently the chromes we were rocking didn’t do it for him.

Favorite Cities/places?

S.F., NYC, Toronto, freight yards, Abandoned Factories, Dive Bars. Favorite places for me to paint-I love freights, wherever steel can be found and train horns can be heard.

Favorite letters?


Favorite foods?

Mexican Food…anything with Rice, veggies and chicken.  When it comes to an all day paint jammy I’ve got my turkey sandwich on olive bread that never disappoints.

Any graff-related injuries?  

No serious graff related injuries…some bumps, bruises, sprains and a few torn clothing articles.

Any interviews you want to see happen?

Writer’s I’d like to see in an interview in the same room: Dondi, Case2, Skeme, Seen UA, and Phase2

Any upcoming collaborations/releases people should be watching for?

I am trying to tastefully transition some of my artwork from exterior surfaces to other mediums, maybe take a crack at gallery stuff.  I’m also excited to collaborate with KC on this joint.

Shout Outs

Seter, Uend, Oprime 39, Solace, Timeless Truth, Celf, Slom, Zone, Dceve, Kem5, Jick, Cask, GFR, WST and my niece Annabel…


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