James De La Vega
James De La Vega was born in East Harlem, the son of Jaime De La Vega and Elsie Matos, and studied at York Preparatory School and later at Cornell University, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1994. He is a former teacher. For five years, he had a store on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village that he named the De La Vega Museum. It was an ambitious attempt to become a well-known artist. However, the store was a bust and it closed in 2010. He has since opened a CafePress online shop.
James De La Vega is a lesser know artist. However, those who have come across his work, know him primarily for his murals and the chalk drawings he creates on public surfaces such as sidewalks. His murals can be found all over Spanish Harlem, and his chalk drawings may show up anywhere in the city. His street drawings are usually accompanied by aphoristic messages such as "Become Your Dream." Legally, his outdoor work qualifies as graffiti, although many put them in a separate genre. The De La Vega was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant in 1999. Christie's auction house has sold his art for thousands of dollars, and many[who?] see him as an inspired cultural figure.
In 2011, De La Vega collaborated with Tory Burch to create a line of accessories that benefited the Tory Burch Foundation.
Reception of his work 
"He's a poor artist. I have quite a few people come up out of the blue and show their work. And his was less than stellar."
In July 2003, De La Vega was charged with vandalism for a mural he painted on a blank wall in the Bronx. He was offered one year’s probation in exchange for a guilty plea, but he refused to say he caused “damage” to the property and thus sentenced to 50 hours of community service.l
- Become Your Dream by De La Vega. Harper Collins, 2009. ISBN 0-06-118923-5
- "Street Muralist May Soon Be Looking at Jailhouse Walls" by Ian Urbina, The New York Times, June 12, 2004.
- "James De La Vega, an Artist From El Barrio" by Alejandro Ponce, harlemlive.org (unknown date).
- De La Vega Museum, New York Magazine.
- "Street Artist James De La Vega Closes East Village Museum After Five Years" by Patrick Hedlund, DNAinfo, August 13, 2010.
- "Writing on Walls, and Looking to Right Wrongs" by David Gonzalez, The New York Times, October 5, 2004.
- "Marked Man: Guerilla Artist James De La Vega Leverages his Street Smarts to a Fashion Career" by Colin Fleming, Smithsonian, October 2007.
-  Spotlight On: James De La Vega Spotlight On • September 7, 2011
- Slideshow of De La Vega’s murals
- The Career Cookbook De La Vega Profile
- De La Vega Interview
- Book:Discovering New York Artist De La Vega, January 2009
- Feature Length Documentary on De La Vega produced by Cortlan McManus
- Open Source Archival VIDEO of De La Vega at the 2009 Museum Mile in Manhattan