Born in 1949 - United States
TAKI was the first graffiti writer (late 1960s) or even the first king. He was however, the first to be recognized by the news media. Being the first writer recognized outside the sub-culture ensured TAKI a prominent place in graffiti history.
Taki 183 is one of the most influential graffiti writers. His "tag" was short for Dimitaki, a Greek alternative for his 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 New York streets that he frequented during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He loved to play Soccer and took AD's
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's newspaper fame spurred competitive tagging in NYC as his tag was being mimicked by hundreds of youth across the five boroughs. The people who got their names up the most and developed signature tags became heroes in their communities. Graffiti became a way for many young kids to communicate and express themselves. Their graffiti is a vital part of their culture and without Taki 183 and its media recognition, it might not exist today.
Although Taki 183 was the first to be showcased in a major publication it is said that Julio 204 began writing his tag in NYC first. But Julio did not write outside his own neighborhood and this is arguably the reason why he never received the credits and media-attention Taki 183 did.
Taki 183 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."
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