Gordon Wayne Roberts created the tag Stay High 149, combined it with a smoking, halo-adorned stick man he borrowed from The Saint television show and changed the face of graffiti. It's hard to imagine a trip through the subway system in early 70's without seeing his name a dozen times. Changing to his secondary alias, voice of the ghetto, around 1974 , ,he introduced the world to two and three toned markers that spewed rainbows of psychedelic cool. After a 25 year disappearance , a time during which many assumed him dead, he reappeared at a graff show in 2000 and soon launched a comeback that gave a new generation a chance to know and love his work. His tags had the rarest combination of style and meaning I've ever witnessed . High Maintenance is about paying back one of the most inspirational , yet humble cats to ever wield a marker. His spirit and legacy has touched every era of a culture that's blown up world wide. The artists who so generously donated their work for this benefit are giving their collective thanks to a man who transcended graffiti culture and in time be remembered as an American Folk Hero. All net proceeds from this sale will go to Stayhigh's Family.
Sever's diverse set of graffiti styles may result in the varied locales he's called home during his thirty four year existence. Born in Nashville Tennesee in 1976 and raised by his mom , Sever 's earliest local influences came from seeing subway-art derived images, which he attempted to copy in vain at age 11. He chose his Sever tag in 1992 executing some very forgettable pieces and tags over the next two years. By 1994 he began painting with Revok , Beno and Gque and moved to Atlanta two years later with Revok and Beno.
Sever refined his skills in Atlanta , showing his work in galleries and painting legally and illegally with the local writers. In 1999 Sever moved to San Francisco and hooked up with the LA based MSK crew. More illegal and legal painting ensued , but Sever returned to Atlanta in 2001 where he painted illegally and began working as a free-lance commercial artist.
In 2003 Sever moved to NYC , painted illegally, then jumped to LA in 2004. There he became an integral part of the Seventh Letter Crew. Sever's versatility makes him a natural for big production walls. Despite leaving a significant visual trail in public spaces ,Sever keeps a low profile-- a rare and commendable trait for a major player in the most ego driven sport on the planet.