Where are you originally from?
I was born in 1967 in Argentina, Buenos Aires.
When did you move to New York City and where did you settle down?
At the age of 2 with my grandmother I went to visit my aunt who lived in midtown Manhattan and since my moms and pops where going thru a divorce during my visit my aunt thought it was best for me too stay. I'm 43 years old now!
Where and what year did you start on writing?
Man, that's hard to say, like at the age of 8 or 9 I already was tagging my school books and furniture at home, but on a serious level I think in 1981 or 1982.
What inspired you to become involved in writing?
Seeing tags around the way mostly. But I had the luck at the age of 12 to work one day with a carpet laying and cleaning company that had their customers in The Bronx and Harlem. The owner lived in the building next door to me, and one day his helper failed and I was playing stickball on my block and he asked me if I wanted to help him and I said "Ask my aunt." He asked my aunt if I could help him since I was a big kid in size at 12 and she said okay, so we went up to Bronx River to do a job. So imagine the trip up in the company van to the Bronx! Wow! Rooftops, handball courts, highways etc. All the pieces and bombed sh*t made me crazy and that's what I wanted to do.…graffiti!
Did you have a mentor?
Since I started working on a regular with the carpet cleaning company I was in Harlem a lot. One day we had a job in Spanish Harlem and on my lunch break I went to a local bodega and got some food and went to the schoolyard across the street to eat. It happened to be the famous Graffiti Hall of Fame and I met DEZZY DEZ. That day he was painting, so I would say DEZ, SKEME had a big influence in my graff scene, because that's what I mostly saw on walls and trains!
Who influenced your style?
When I got down with FC (FAME CITY crew) in 1984, they all had the same style and flow it was unique and we all practiced together so FC crew I would say!
How did you get the name ZEAR and was it the first name you wrote?
My first name was DR. RAPSKI and it was too long. I would get chased, because I would take so long tagging it. So one day I said I need a shorter name and started tagging all kinds of' letters on paper and kept the ones I really liked which where the letters E, R, A and Z, so I started changing them around till I ended up with ZEAR. 1978 or 1979 was the birth of ZEAR!
List all the other names under which you have painted?
As I said, DR. RAPSKI was my first name before I started writing ZEAR, but I use to at one point write SELZER but dropped it quick.
How did you get started writing on the subway, and what were your early experiences?
Well, I started hitting subways with my partner ZAME I think in 1982 or 1983 we use to just ride the trains doing motions tags. Then we started hitting Morris Park lay-up and lay-ups in Brooklyn and in Manhattan for the RRs, but just bombing, then when we got down with FC in 1984 we started doing pieces and hitting a lot of different lines more.
What were your most active years on the subway?
I would say 1984, 1985 and 1986. 1 line FC Kings!
What lines did you hit?
Mostly the 1s, but we would travel all around a lot of bombing here and there.
What were your favorite lay-ups and yards?
My favorite lay-up was Morris Park and the 145th the One Tunnel. Yards, I wouldn't say I had a favorite one. I liked going to any yard just to chill, even if I didn't even have paint.
Did you ever have conflicts with other writers the yards?
Once in a while, like we all had, but nothing serious.
Do you have any good raid stories?
Man lots! One day we got raided in the 145th lay-up while we where doing some pieces and all heads just started running all ways! We ran out the subway station onto the streets and spread out all over. Me and ZAME and some more heads dipped into a building and hit the roof. We started jumping from roof to roof which were spread apart really wide and in the middle was just the empty space that went all the way down to the first floor, but we ain't wanna' get caught. At some point the opening we had to jump was too wide, but fu*k it, we wanted to be Audi 5000! We looked down from the roof front and saw some cats getting handcuffed and put into cop cars. We were not gonna' give in. When everything chilled, we went back to the 145th tunnel to get our paint (laughs). That was a wild ass day lucky and we alive to tell it!
Who were your most successful partners?
WEST, ZAME and RISK, we where more then partners we were brothers--real family. All for one and one for all!
What crews were and are you down with?
FC, FBA, IBM, TC-5, XMEN!
Who were the top writers of your era?
LEE, DOC TC-5, DOZE TC-5, KAZE, WEST, DEZ and SKEME to me!
When did you stop painting subways?
When the new trains came out and the law got hard on the graffiti I would say 1987. I got into hustling, making money and kinda' left graff for the money.
When did you move back home?
I moved back to Argentina in 1992!
Did you remain active in graffiti?
ANSWERYeah, I always kept active doing shit on paper, doing jean jackets for friends, but graff was not that popular in Argentina. I really got back into graff hard in 2002 thanks to my boy DRES. He's from Argentina, and I put him down in FC he's my right hand man!
Was there an active graffiti movement when you got back home?
Not that I would know of, I saw really hardly nothing some here and there on train rides thru different areas. but I'm sure there was. I didn't really know where to find it, but small groups of writers. I'm sure there was!
What is the writing scene like there today?
Man, today everybody's into graffiti! No space left anywhere. Before you could pick a spot and do it whenever you wanted to, but now sh*t, there ain't no place left and if you find one, hit that sh*t as quick as you can man, because if you go back the next day its gone! Now the graffiti scene is strong and growing!
How are you involved in graffiti today?
I have my own graffiti, Hip Hop shop called Lifestyle Shop, so I'm good--not making big figure money--but I'm happy doing what I love and living off of what I love and that's graffiti and Hip Hop. I get to travel a lot to events all over Argentina and get to go paint a lot like now I'm in Brazil for a graffiti job and get to paint around town with my IBM soldier MARK ONE from Brazil, so I can't complain bro God has blessed me and thanks to my wife Silvia that has my back and takes care of the shop and takes care of my kids Christopher, 16 and Alan who is 15 and is a graffiti writer. He writes BANER 5 and he can get down! No joke!
Do you have any final words and shout outs?
Thanks to DEAL for showing love in his new book Graffiti New York and all the staff at at149st.com for giving a fella love. Special thanks to my family, Silvia, Christopher and Alan for holding down the fort and letting me be able to grow and do what I Love and that's graffiti. Shout out to all my FC, FBA, TC5, IBM, X MEN family worldwide. We were, we are, and we is the future of graffiti! You know how we do and rep right! To my man BRISK at Tribal Gear for being a real brother to a fella so far away and always showing love that's a true and real cat.
But, again thank you @149st.com for the chance to let the world know ZEAR ONE FC is alive and doing his thing. Much love to at149st.com website for being the real Bible of the graffiti world!
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