Lady Pink

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Lady Pink
Lady Pink leaning on her art work, 2010
Sandra Fabara

1964 (age 59–60)
Known forpainter, muralist, graffiti writer
SpouseSMITH (Roger Smith)

Lady Pink, born Sandra Fabara (1964), is an Ecuadorian-American graffiti and mural artist.

Early life[edit]

Fabara was born in Ambato, Ecuador in 1964 and moved to the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York when she was seven years old.[1] She grew up wanting to be an architect like her father.[1] She started her graffiti writing career in 1979 following the loss of a boyfriend. She exorcised her grief by tagging her boyfriend's name across New York City.[2] Lady Pink studied at the Manhattan High School of Art and Design, where she was introduced to graffiti. During her senior year of school, she began to start exhibiting her work while balancing her personal life.[3]


She has focused her career on using graffiti and murals as acts of rebellion and self-expression, and empowering women. As Lady Pink says, "It's not just a boys club. We have a sisterhood thing going."[4] She was nicknamed the "first lady of graffiti," because she was one of the first women active in the early 1980s New York City subway graffiti subculture.[5]

In 1980, she created the all-female graffiti crew Ladies of the Arts.[6] Within a few years, Lady Pink began running with the graffiti crews TC5 (The Cool 5) and TPA (The Public Animals). From 1979 to 1985, Lady Pink painted New York City Subway trains.[7] She took a short hiatus in 1987 from painting outdoors.[8] Then from 1993 to 1997 she worked on freight trains with her husband, SMITH (Roger Smith, formerly of the graffiti duo Sane Smith).[2]

In 1980, she was included in the landmark New York show "GAS: Graffiti Art Success" at Fashion Moda, which traveled in a modified form downtown to The New Museum of Contemporary Art.[9]

Name origin[edit]

Lady Pink was first given her name “Pink” by Seen TC5.[2] The name was chosen for aesthetics because the name Pink is feminine and because she wanted other writers to know that she was a girl. Lady Pink also said that the letters appealed to her; the way the "L" kicked out and how the "I" was cute and could be dotted with a heart.[10] She started calling herself Lady Pink because of her love of historical romances, England, the Victorian period, and the aristocracy. She titled herself like royalty. She never wanted to tag her full name because she did not want to be associated with the Pink Lady, a woman in the club scene who sold pink cocaine.[10]

Early career[edit]

Her career as an artist started to take off after the 1980s, following the Graffiti Art Success for America show which invited graffiti artists to paint on the walls of the gallery.[9] In 1983, she played the leading role in the film Wild Style,[11] and was involved with a book entitled Subway Art by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant.[2] During this time, she collaborated with Jenny Holzer several times for an exhibition at Fashion MODA.[12] Her first solo show, "Femmes-Fatales," was in 1984, when she was 21, at the Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.[citation needed]

Later career[edit]

Lady Pink's studio paintings often use themes of New York City Subway trains and POP-surrealist cityscapes.[13] Some of her pieces are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, as well as the Groningen Museum in the Netherlands.[citation needed]

Lady Pink now visits schools to teach students about the power of art and how it can serve as a medium for self-expression and community engagement.[14] Each year she does a mural project with the students of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens.[15]

Her mural, Pink (2007) work was one of the many murals destroyed at 5Pointz in Queens, however in February 2018 the Brooklyn Supreme Court awarded each of the 45 artists for their destroyed work.[16] She was connected to her art and although the former owner of the building painted over the walls, she said she could still see the ghost of her mural.[17]

Selected works[edit]


  • The Black Dude (1983) - spray enamel on canvas, in private collection.[18]
  • China, One Child Only (1992) - spray enamel on canvas, in a private collection.[19]
  • Brick Lady in Spray (1993) - spray enamel on canvas, in a private collection.[20]
  • Queen Matilda (2007) - acrylic on canvas, in private collection.[21]
  • Urban Decay (2008) - acrylic on canvas, in private collection.[21]


  • Brick Woman - located in Braddock, Pennsylvania.[22]
  • 9/11 Tribute (2001) - Painted one month after September 11 as a tribute to the heroes involved, located in Queens, New York.[23]
  • Pink (2007) - was located at 5Pointz, no longer exists.[16]
  • Lady Liberty (2016) - located in Queens, New York.[24][25]


  • John Lennon (1981) - The first half of the Subway train painted by Lady Pink and Iz the Wiz as a tribute for John Lennon.[10]
  • The Beatles (1981) - The second half of the Subway train painted by Lady Pink and Iz the Wiz as a tribute for The Beatles.[10]
  • Welcome to Heaven (1982) - A tribute for Caine 1, a graffiti artist who was killed by a neighbor that mistook him for a burglar.[26]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to another graffiti artist, SMITH (Roger Smith, formerly of the graffiti duo Sane Smith), with whom she often collaborates on murals and commercial work.[27] She is bisexual.[3]


  1. ^ a b Maes, Nancy (September 20, 1993). "LADY PINK WAS HERE". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Nicholas., Ganz (2006). Graffiti women : street art from five continents. New York: Abrams. ISBN 0810957477. OCLC 68624123.
  3. ^ a b "'I Was a Feminist and I Didn't Know It': How Lady Pink Made a Space for Herself in the Boys Club of New York's Graffiti Scene". Artnet News. July 18, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  4. ^ "Graffiti Queen Lady Pink Still Reigns Supreme". Creators. July 28, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  5. ^ Metz, Cara (December 19, 2013). "Noteworthy graduates: Lady Pink, graffiti & fine artist". United Federation of Teachers. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Thompson, Margo (2009). American Graffiti. Parkstone International. ISBN 9781844845613.
  7. ^ Temin, Christine (1983). "Lady Pink and the Graffiti Capers" (PDF). Boston Globe. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  8. ^ "Lady Pink - Biography". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Spampinato, Francesco (May 2013). "Fashion Moda: A South Bronx Story". Waxpoetics (55).
  10. ^ a b c d Chalfant, Henry; Jenkins, Sacha (2014). Training days : the subway artists then and now. New York, New York: Thames & Hudson Ltd. ISBN 9780500239216. OCLC 881214341.
  11. ^ Darzin, Diana (February 1984). "Wild Style" (PDF). The Rocket. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Lewisohn, Cedar. (2008). Street art : the graffiti revolution. New York: Abrams. ISBN 9780810983205. OCLC 218188132.
  13. ^ Wagley, Catherine (September 2008). "Lady Pink: Inventing a Culture of the Pink Rebellion" (PDF). Juxtapoz Magazine. No. 130. pp. 130–137. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  14. ^ Park, Michelle (2011). "Queens Person Of The Week: Art Students Look To "Lady Pink" For Inspiration". Spectrum News 1 NY. Time Warner Cable. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  15. ^ Mu'min, Nijila (July 31, 2013). "This Is Not a Game: An Interview With Lady Pink". Jon Reiss. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "A Stunning Legal Decision Just Upheld a $6.75 Million Victory for the Street Artists Whose Works Were Destroyed at the 5Pointz Graffiti Mecca". artnet News. February 20, 2020. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  17. ^ "Brooklyn Museum: Lady Pink". Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  18. ^ "Collection: The Black Dude". Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  19. ^ "China one child only by Lady Pink". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "Brick Lady in Spray Paint by Lady Pink on artnet Auctions". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Larkin, Daniel (April 10, 2008). "Brick Ladies at Ad Hoc Art, Lady Pink and Aiko: Brick Ladies of NYC". ArtCat Zine. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  22. ^ Lizarondo, Leah (November 4, 2014). "7 best places to see street art in Pittsburgh". NEXTpittsburgh. Retrieved June 6, 2019. Make sure you veer off Braddock Ave. to check out Lady Pink's Brick Woman under the bridge on Library St.
  23. ^ Cotter, Holland (February 1, 2002). "ART REVIEW; Amid the Ashes, Creativity". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  24. ^ "Who is LADY PINK?". Kiersten Utegg | copywriter. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  25. ^ "Exploring the Latino Metropolis: "Lady Liberty is Bush's whore" by Lady Pink". Exploring the Latino Metropolis: A Brief Urban Cultural History of US Latinos. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "Man, 24, Dies After He Is Shot In Robbery Attempt in Queens". The New York Times. March 15, 1982. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  27. ^ Posey, Carl (February 1996). "Married with Style: Lady Pink and Smith Are a Couple in Control, Story by 1971" (PDF). Rap Pages. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2015.

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