Keepin’ it real in NYC.
Photos by Andrew Peters
“Growing up in Brooklyn and hanging out with the older kids in my hood, graff was the only thing to do back then,” says FRIDGE, a multidisciplinary artist based in New York. “Everyone was doing it, all of NYC was bombed.” This was way back in the day before ‘street art’ was even considered a thing, before Banksy was selling million-dollar pieces. “Back then, there weren’t many commissioned walls, mostly just straight graff. You were either getting up, writing, or bombing. I don’t consider myself as a street artist—I am a writer and an artist.”
FRIDGE got his name from scribbling purple refrigerators around Brooklyn and quickly climbed the ranks in the tight-knit NYC graff scene. Always on the hustle and living by the mantra of “Stop Doing Nothing,” FRIDGE has worked with a number of top brands and rappers including G-SHOCK, Champion, and Cam’ron. We caught up with the artist in his hometown to see what he packs in his bag for every mission in the streets.
“I always have a G-SHOCK on me, so I’m always on point with time and so I can represent the team wherever I go.” FRIDGE has repped the watch brand since way back—like, way, way back. As FRIDGE says, “I have been team G-SHOCK since I was 5, when my mom bought me my first watch. I fell in love with the legacy of the brand and how they contributed to the culture by doing all these dope collabs with other brands and artists. I owe a lot to G-SHOCK for helping me in my art career.” But the respect is mutual: “They gave me the opportunity to do my first ever solo show in their G-SHOCK Gallery in Soho in 2018 and in 2019 I had the honor to be a part of their legacy when we released my very own signature collaborative watch last year.”
APPLE MACBOOK PRO
It ain’t all analog fun these days. You gotta be prepared to answer emails, bullshit with clients, and sketch up drafts wherever you might be. “Being an artist and designer, I’m always on the road and it’s important for me to have the essential things I need to get work done and set up shop anywhere I am. My MacBook pro is the most powerful tool in my arsenal, whether it be cooking up some graphic designs for brands or creating proposals, sending out emails, and editing video.”
SPRAYPAINT & TIPS
A lot of “street art” is commissioned by big-money clients with permits and connections. FRIDGE sticks to his roots whenever possible. “When I started writing, I was fortunate enough to catch the end of the golden age of graffiti when big writers were still bombing and graffiti was still very much prominent in the city. Coming up from an authentic time of NYC graffiti I am happy to be able to push the culture forward and keep the history alive, while paying homage to the OGs that paved the way.”
STICKERS AND PENS
“Art has taken me to the wildest places so I always carry a marker and some stickers on me to leave something behind. Doing it everyday and learning from the older heads, you kind of adapt to the streets and you get this street intuition. You know when the time is right and you know when it isn’t. You just have to be aware of your surroundings and be on point at all times. You gotta look out for the cops, under-covers, cameras, and anyone that looks like they would snitch.”