Graffiti photo flashback: The reign of the TKO crew's KOZE

Categories: Photos

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More photos below.
There have been a lot of changes in Denver's street-art scene over the past five years, as evidenced by the photos collected in our slide show "Tagging Up Denver."

Originally published in tandem with Jared Jacang Maher's 2009 feature "The Writing's on the Wall," about the arrest and conviction of Timothy Barajas, aka KOZE, the leader of Denver's TKO crew, the photos are a vivid reminder of the way things used to be. Check out the images below, complete with original 2009 cutlines. To read Maher's feature, click here.

See also: Photos: Denver's best street art as chosen by a graffiti-scene veteran, part one

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Unknown
"KOZE heads Denver's TKO crew. Originated in the mid-'90s by graffiti artist TOOMER in South Central Los Angeles, TKO now has roughly a thousand members in cities across the U.S., Europe and Mexico."

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"Sometimes the buffing of regular graffiti targets can create some interesting patterns. The property owner of Zuni Plaza in the Highlands has taken the multi-color approach."

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Unknown
"BUKET traveled from out of state just to paint Denver with fellow TKO members."

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Unknown
"'Someday that's me.' On the opposite wall, ERA spots a piece by EMIT. A member of RTD and DF crews, EMIT is known for his clean, east coast-influenced style."
Continue for more vintage photos and information about the reign of the TKO crew's KOZE.

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40 comments
Dominick Black
Dominick Black

When it's good, it's good. When it's mindless tagging it's worth a Felony and some prison time.

Leo Vargas
Leo Vargas

Its art but its not on their property. I'm sure they would be mad if I tagged their house.

Ricky Morse
Ricky Morse

Crime should be in jail getting asshole used as canvass

Channing Henson
Channing Henson

Someone tagged my car once, I didn't really appreciate their artistic vision when I paid out the ass to get it removed.

Danielle Cisneros
Danielle Cisneros

Westword y'all forget about Toast1? Iraq? TIK crew ? CaveLaw ? Wth? It was all about the real hip hop heads that were inventive and dealed with all four elements. these crews in the article were toys, who crossed every dope crew and scribbled their name. In my opinion this is a one sided article ... Toyz

tony514
tony514

where i grew up this was concidered art ! And i gotta love it.alot of brain dead yups know nothing about it so they gotta nerd rage lol.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Is it's such great art, how come just about everyone with 1/2 a brain or more doesn't want it?

Jame Koopman
Jame Koopman

If they don't own it then they shouldn't write on it

Alex Palacio
Alex Palacio

I am an artist and I paint on canvasses and people's property so unless someone hires you to create a master piece on their property then it isn't art right?

A-stitch Saves Minds
A-stitch Saves Minds

I am an artist, paid for 2 degrees from University. Painting on someone elses property is Not art. Buy a canvas & then maybe I'll consider it art.

Dawn Lopez
Dawn Lopez

Gamma Gallery creates wonderful art in Denver.

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

Mark Gallegos you probably own nothing so you wouldn't understand pride of ownership therefore you will not understand destruction of property

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

Jeremy Evans let me graffiti some of your hardwood and then you tell me it's art

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

Its real simple when you deface someone else's property its called vandalism graffiti your own damn garage and house retards

John Wayne Claybaugh
John Wayne Claybaugh

It is illegal because it is vandalism. Nothing else really matters. Wanna call it art? Put it someplace where the owner of the property actually wants it.

Mark Gallegos
Mark Gallegos

That dude killed It I love how grafitti pissies people off so bad best part of it

Djflav Flavio Salazar
Djflav Flavio Salazar

It can be art and also be a crime. Just because it's illegal doesn't mean it's not someone's vision and talent. The expression is just wrong. Art does not have to be "commissioned or authorized" to be art. The piece is art, the act is a crime.

Bret Egan
Bret Egan

If it is art, should oil painters on canvas go to an art supply store and steal their canvases? Painting someone else's property is the same thing.

Ric Cabot Podmore
Ric Cabot Podmore

It's "Art" if it has been commissioned or authorized, otherwise it's "vandalism" and pure crap. My father was a successful entrepreneur who was forced to invest thousands of dollars removing spray paint from the walls of his businesses continually. Defacing public or private property is no different than stealing PERIOD.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

It's territorial marking using paint instead of urine and feces.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territory_(animal)


"The ultimate function of animals inhabiting and defending a territory is to increase the individual fitness or inclusive fitness of the animals expressing the behaviour. Fitness in this biological sense relates to the ability of an animal to survive and raise young. The proximate functions of territory defense vary. For some animals, the reason for such protective behaviour is to acquire and protect food sources, nesting sites, mating areas, or to attract a mate."

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

You mean like where it's wanted?

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Yeah, I bet you love armed robbery because it pisses people off. 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

It is not art when it's vandalism.  They are mutually exclusive. 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

You mean like something that is asked for as opposed to a little shit trespassing?

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@muhutdafuga So Christo and Jeanne-Claude's outdoor exhibits are not art since they involve vandalism...or in other words "deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property"?  Interesting....

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@GuestWho @muhutdafuga While there are differences between those you describe as marking territory, I am not prepared to support Christo & Jeanne-Claude's work.

Your post remind me of another poster.....

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@muhutdafuga   "the massive and lengthy construction needed to build "Over the River" will choke the area's only two-lane canyon highway, blocking police and fire vehicles and deliveries to businesses. The 3,000 anchor points drilled into the canyon walls will mar the natural landscape, Ainsworth says. And the noise, they believe, will disrupt herds of bighorn sheep."


http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/christos-artistic-hurdle-colorado/story?id=16275286


Sounds like it meets the definition of vandalism to me and you can find reports from other exhibits that show permanent damage has been done as a result of their art exhibts.  Christo's art also meets the criteria for territorial marking since his art is a means "to acquire and protect food sources, nesting sites, mating areas, or to attract a mate."


a public exhibit by or for poor people = vandalism


a public exhibit by or for rich people = art


Keep fishing...

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@GuestWho I have no disagreement with you about the Over the River project.

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