SJK 171

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SJK 171
SJK171 3.png
SJK 171 (Steve Kesoglides) in the early 1970s
Steve Kesoglides

Known forPublic art
Street art

SJK 171 (aka Steve the Greek), born Steve Kesoglides is a New York City graffiti artist who was active during the late 1960s and 1970s.[1] Some claim that he is generally credited with originating the "squiggly lines," a style of outlining graffiti.[2][better source needed]


SJK 171 attended the High School of Art and Design along with a number of other early graffiti artists, and began writing in 1968 under the name SJK 171. His work was the first triple outline, large colorful letters to appear on the 1 Line of the New York City Transit System.[citation needed] It was in early 1971 that SJK 171 was the first to use the "swiggly radiant energy lines" that 10 years later were used by Keith Haring.[2] SJK 171 is also credited with pioneering the use of arrows in graffiti writing around this same time.[2]

He was featured in an essay on graffiti art by Richard Goldstein which appeared in New York Magazine.[3]


1972: The first canvas, United Graffiti Artists "No. 1", created by the United Graffiti Artists collective included: HENRY 161, MIKE 171, SJK 171, JEC *, CAT 87, SNAKE 1, STITCH 1, RICAN 619, CANO 1, PHASE 2, COCO 144, RAY B 954 a.k.a ME 163, RICK II, SODA 1.[citation needed]

1973: SJK 171 was one of several graffiti writers featured in the backdrop design for the Joffery Ballet's production of Deuce Coupe.[4]

2000: Guernsey's had a graffiti auction featuring United Graffiti Artists 8'x30' collective canvas and featuring SJK 171 in a black book from 1972, as well as other artists.[citation needed]

2011: SJK 171 was one of the artists featured in a collaborative canvas in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and Associate Curators Roger Gastman, and Aaron Rose.[citation needed]

2014: SJK 171's work is included in the permanent collection of The Museum of the City of New York.[5]

2017: SJK 171 was featured with MIKE 171 in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver Colorado.[citation needed]

Films & documentaries[edit]

2015: SJK 171 helped produce and cosponsored the release of the music video for the song, Homesick By: SANITY and KRITTY.[citation needed]

2016: Wall Writers, a documentary produced by Roger Gastman, showcases various graffiti artists from the late 60s and early 70s, including SJK 171.[6]

2018: Work by SJK 171 and MIKE 171 was featured in the "Ride/2 Da House" Medley Official Music Video[7]


  1. ^ "Street Art Originals Cornbread, Shepard Fairey and More on Graffiti's Radical Change". 22 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Gastman, Roger (2015). Wall Writers Graffiti In Its Innocence (1st ed.). Berkeley, California: Gingko Press Inc. p. 121,122, 137,141,142. ISBN 978-1-58423-601-6.
  3. ^ Goldstein, Richard (26 March 1973). "This Thing Has Gotten Completely Out Of Hand". New York Magazine. New York City: New York Magazine.
  4. ^ Siegel, Marcia B. (2007-04-01). Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance. Macmillan. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4299-0877-1.
  5. ^ Corcoran, Sean; McCormick, Carlo (2013). City as canvas : New York City graffiti from the Martin Wong collection. Wong, Martin,, Corcoran, Sean, 1974-, McCormick, Carlo,, Museum of the City of New York. New York, NY. ISBN 978-0-8478-3986-5. OCLC 857194047.
  6. ^ "Wall Writers". Wall Writers. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  7. ^ "DJ SANiTY Brings Music and Art Back to the East Coast With New Medley Visual". BLENDED. Retrieved 2019-04-26.

Further reading[edit]

Chandès, Hervé. Born in the Streets, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, 2006, ISBN 978-0-500-97695-1.

Gastman, Roger. The History of American Graffiti, HarperCollins, 2011, ISBN 978-0-06-169878-1.

Deitch, Jeffrey. Art in The Streets, Rizzoli International Publications, 2011, ISBN 978-0-8478-3648-2.

Gastman, Roger. Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence, Gingko Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1584236016.