TAKI 183 (right) at a 2010 gallery event with his tag visible on the wall behind
TAKI 183 is the "tag" of a Greek graffiti writer who was active during the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City. The writer, whose given name is Dimitrios, has never revealed his full name.
TAKI 183 was active during the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City. His tag was short for "Dimitraki", an alternative for his Greek birth-name Dimitrios, and the number 183 came from his address on 183rd Street in Washington Heights. He worked as a foot messenger in New York City and would write his nickname around the streets that he frequented.
On July 21, 1971, The New York Times ran an article about him on the front page of its inside section, titled "Taki 183" Spawns Pen Pals. TAKI 183 spurred competitive tagging in New York City as his tag was mimicked by hundreds of youths across the five boroughs. Those who got their names up the most and who developed signature tags became known in their communities. Graffiti became a way for many young people to try to get attention and the attention TAKI 183 received spurred this on.
TAKI was last known to be the owner of a foreign car repair shop. In an interview with the New York Daily News of April 9, 1989, he talked about his retirement as a graffiti writer: "As soon as I got into something more productive in my life, I stopped. Eventually I got into business, got married, bought a house, had a kid. Didn't buy a station wagon, but I grew up, you could say that."
It is rumoured he was an inspiration for the 1985 film Turk 182.
His graffiti appeared in the 1985 movie Just One of the Guys. It appears on a bathroom stall wall after Joyce's character Terry uses the restroom for the first time as a man.
Publication with contribution by Dimitrios
- The History of American Graffiti. New York City: Harper Design, 2011. By Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon. ISBN 978-0061698781. Dimitrios contributed a foreword.
Film with contribution by Dimitrios
- Schwartz, Carly (24 October 2013). "Graffiti Artist Taki 183 Captivated New York Decades Before Banksy". Huffpost. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- Boland Jr., Ed. "F.Y.I. 'Taking TAKI's Tag'", The New York Times, June 15, 2003.
- "'Taki 183' Spawns Pen Pals" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 July 1971. p. 37.
- Rothe, E. Nina (18 July 2011). "Inside The History of American Graffiti With Roger Gastman & Caleb Neelon". Huffpost. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- Siegal, Joel (April 9, 1989). "When TAKI Ruled Magik Kingdom". Daily News. ZephyrGraffiti.com. Archived from the original on May 4, 2007.
- The Faith of Graffiti. Mervyn Kurlansky, Jon Naar, Norman Mailer. Praeger Publishers, New York, 1974. ISBN 0-275-43660-8.
- Style: Writing from the Underground. (R)evolutions of Aerosol Linguistics., Stampa Alternativa in Association with IGTimes. ISBN 88-7226-318-2.
- Subway Art. Chalfant, Henry and Cooper, Martha. New York, New York: Henry Holt & Co, publisher. ISBN 0-8050-0678-8, 198 4, 1995.
- Freight Train Graffiti. Roger Gastman, Ian Sattler, Darin Rowland. Harry N Abrams Inc, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8109-9249-8.
- The Birth of Graffiti. Jon Naar. Prestel, 2007. ISBN 978-3-7913-3796-8.
- TAKI 183 in Hip Hop Culture. Emmett G. Price, III. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2006, p. 187. ISBN 1-85109-867-4. Also see pp. 30–31, 48, 106.