Seen (artist)

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Seen in Paris
Born (1961-10-18) October 18, 1961 (age 61)
StyleGraffiti, mural

Richard "Richie" Mirando, known as Seen UA (born 1961) is an American graffiti artist.[1][2] He is one of the best known graffiti artists in the world and has been referred to as the Godfather of Graffiti.[1]

Seen first started to paint on the New York City Subway system in 1973.[1] His crew, United Artists (or simply UA), which included Duster, Sin, and his brother Mad, painted whole cars.

He was born in the Bronx, New York City.


For the next 16 years he painted pieces across the city and on all subway routes, but they were especially prominent on the 2, 5, and 6 trains. He was responsible for dozens of whole-car top-to-bottoms, many of which have become iconic images of the time.[citation needed]

During the very early 1980s Seen started producing work on canvas, shown by galleries and bought by museums and private collectors worldwide. These included not only solo exhibitions but also group shows with artists Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dondi, Quik, Blade, and Lee Quiñones.[citation needed] Despite such success and constant world travel, Seen continued to paint New York City subway trains until 1989, long after increased pressure from the MTA had stopped many from doing so. He was included in the 1983 PBS documentary Style Wars.

In the late 1980s Seen also undertook tattoo art, opening Tattoo Seen, a tattoo parlor[1] which became one of the most successful studios in New York City.[citation needed] Seen's more recent work includes three-dimensional sculpture, mixed media work with reclaimed or discarded materials (often found in the street), and a series of hand-painted MTA New York subway maps. He continues to exhibit worldwide and produce work with and alongside artists such as Banksy.[citation needed]

In 2009, the Seen Gallery opened in Paris before becoming the Seen Studios,[3] France. He also has been exhibited at the Fondation Cartier.

In 2010, Seen had a solo exhibition at Magda Danysz Gallery.[citation needed] In 2011, he signed on with Opera Gallery (12 locations worldwide), and its Paris gallery exhibited his work.[citation needed]

Seen's Throw ups/pieces can be seen in digital video-games The Warriors, Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure and Grand Theft Auto V.

He has focused on painting comic book heroes.[1] He has his own clothing line that prints t-shirts with his lettering and comic hero renderings.[1]


Solo shows[edit]


  • Mirando, Richard (2014). They call me the godfather of graffiti Chapter 1973-1981. NYC: SEEN Studios / SDLB Publishing. ISBN 979-10-90020-01-6.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wyatt, Daisy (19 June 2014). "Graffiti artist SEEN: 'Street art has lost its edge – it's not the same anymore': The 'Godfather of Graffiti' explains why he turned his back on street art". The Independent. London. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  2. ^ Bachor, Kenneth (20 April 2017). "Preserving New York's History of Graffiti Art". Time. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Seen Studios".
  4. ^ "Seen, un artiste en état de graf'". Libé (in French). Retrieved 22 September 2007.
  5. ^ Seen, l'emblème du graffiti, Marie Claire, 2007

External links[edit]