a decades old dondi tag was discovered on a building undergoing construction in lower manhattan in 2017 by freshpaintnyc
Photo: Fresh Paint NYC

Extremely Rare “DONDI” Tag Uncovered in Downtown Manhattan

Those that know graffiti know how important the work of the late Donald “DONDI” White is. The legendary New York writer, who graced whole cars with his incredible, wild style, pieces has easily influenced anyone who has ever picked up a spray can. Hell, you can open any book on the history of graffiti and one is bound to find a timeless DONDI piece inside.

DONDI’s “Children of the Grave Part III” by Martha Cooper

Today, New York City graffiti photographer Fresh Paint NYC, discovered a decades-old “DONDI” tag uncovered on a building undergoing construction on Lafayette and Bond Street near SoHo and just around the corner from Basquiat’s old home studio on Great Jones St. Right above Dondi’s signature is an extremely faded “SAMO©” tag.


The discovery of this tag is truly an incredible find and one can only pray that the landlord or building developers won’t scrub it off anytime soon. By the time of his death at the age of 37 in 1998, DONDI had cemented his legacy as one of the greatest graffiti writers to ever come out of New York City. His memory is best preserved in a series of photos in Martha Cooper and Henry Chafalt’s book Subway Art, where Cooper captured him creating one of his most famous pieces, Children of The Grave Part III.

By Martha Cooper

Today, DONDI’s legacy continues to live on. His artwork has been printed on Supreme t-shirts and his original paintings and sketches are heavily sought after today at major auctions. However, to see DONDI’s work in its purest and most original form, like this tag on a wall, is something that is absolutely priceless. If all these one percenter real estate developers are down to make a mockery of 5Pointz and preserve shitty Banksy stencils, hopefully they’ll consider preserving this important piece of graffiti history. Rest in Paint DONDI.


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