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.
ZEPHYR began his writing career in the mid-70's with a series of names including Frodo, Sky and KANE. In 1977, at a time when writers were shortening their names as much as possible, ZEPHYR took on his new six-letter name and began hitting the One line with it. 1977 was the same year that BILROCK showed his friends that the One tunnel could be a safe haven for his new crew RTW, and from 1978 to 1980 the One tunnel became their private studio.
ZEPHYR's work had appeal to it because it looked new, it wasn't following the style script of the day that relied heavily on TDS and TMT components. The RTW writers took inspiration from underground comics and the poster artist's of the Fillmore West, ZEPHYR particularly admired Rick Griffin's work and you could find it all over his piece books from that era. In 1980 his work fully matured as he started mixing in design components from other artists he had written with – a list that included FUTURA, SEEN, DONDI,
KEL, NOC 167 and a host of others. Perhaps no one had more of an impact on ZEPHYR then DONDI, but it's important to note that ZEPHYR was no acolyte and retained his uniqueness until his retirement in 1984.
ZEPHYR's impact on the culture is not just relegated to his subway works. He was the driving force behind a number of graffiti projects that helped solidify the movement, among them the Esses Studio and The Soul Artists workshop where writers learned to paint on canvas and network with each other. He floated in and out of the art world, only showing when he felt he had something to say. He began writing about the movement in the 90's and his book on DONDI is considered a must have in any writers collection. He currently resides in Atlanta and is known to paint the occasional freight train.