IZ the Wiz

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Graffiti by Iz the Wiz

Michael "Iz the Wiz" Martin (November 30, 1958 – June 17, 2009)[1] was one of the most prominent graffiti writers of the New York graffiti movement of the late 70s and early 80s.

Biography[edit]

Martin was from the New York borough of Queens, a Rockaway Beach native. Beginning in 1972, he became a long reigning All-City king of New York, known primarily for his quick, simple two letter tag, 'IZ'. IZ represented a new breed of fame-obsessed writers concerned with finding the perfect balance between quantity and quality. He also wrote "CI" (for Crazy IZ), and "Ike", (short for Mike). He rolled with few crews, the most notable being TMB (The Master Blasters), RTW (Rolling Thunder Writers), and TPA (The Public Animals). He wrote graffiti on every train line in New York City.

He was also featured in the 1983 documentary Style Wars.

On September 29, 1990, Martin married Katherine M. Lucev, also from the Rockaways, in St. Rose of Lima Church in Rockaway Beach, N.Y. They continued to reside in Rockaway Beach.

From years of using toxic aerosol products without any type of protective mask, Iz was diagnosed with kidney failure in 1996. In early 2000, in an interview for Style Wars revisited, he commented that he would give up all his past fame for full health. In August 2003 he self-curated a solo gallery exhibition in New York City showcasing his legal artwork.

IZ also had his art appear in the game Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure.

After struggling with kidney failure for many years, Martin died of a heart attack on June 17, 2009.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Iz the Wiz - Daily Telegraph obituary

External links[edit]