In New York, everyone has their messiah – whether it be God, Allah, Buddah, or cold hard cash, we will see representations of idolatry and saving grace on every block. If you’re walking through the streets you may come across a distinctive symbol for one man’s savior, JESUSSAVES.
The artist of this work is known as his tag, Jesus Saves. Born in West Islip, Long Island in 1974, JS moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn in 1977 where he has spent most of his life.
“Growing up in the 80′s was the best time with what was going on in graffiti culture.” says JS.
In the later end of the decade he was influenced by graffiti writers that caught his eye such as ja one, sane, smith,pink, lase, easy, joz, show, sept soni, slick, audle, nash, li, cheo, lc and mane.
About 1990 he started to scrawl SPAIN around the streets because he was intrigued by the culture during his history class at Bushwick High.
Bushwick was the only neighborhood where JS chose to write his Spain bubbles. He avoided too much involvement with the graffiti culture, but quickly fell in with negative people and life on the streets. His new hobbies ranged from street pharmaceutical sales, purse snatching, breaking and entering among others.
In 1995 JS had a wake up call, his life was taking a downward spiral. A bad acid trip sent him to the hospital, and to a new experience.
After recovering, he realized God had given him a second chance to live. There was hope, a way out of the streets and it’s problems.
He considered himself saved ever since. His new tag represented his shifting life choice – JESUSSAVES.
He left the negative life style behind and started a new life by going to church, yet graffiti was still in his blood.
JS took to the streets with a new mission, to spray paint the five boroughs of New York. Every Sunday night he ventured to a different borough, new territory, even for a native New Yorker. His tags also popped up across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
He spent his new years in Europe where he put his graffiti tag name out there as well as with his girlfriend from Germany by the tag name of RONY78.
As for now he is maintaining a lower profile on the streets, but his old tags remain throughout Bushwick, Williamsburg, BedStuy, Fort Greene, Downtown BK, Dumbo, East New York, Crown Heights, Brownsville and Greenpoint.
He is now working on canvas and having gallery shows in Manhattan.
Watch out New York City…this church boy is still in town.