Graffiti Artist Stan 153 Has Died


Influential master of graffiti Stan 153 died at the age of 60, according to several people who were close to the street artist.

After “Living Color” front man Vernon Reid posted the news on Instagram, word of Stan Pratt’s passing spread quickly.

Reid wrote, “Shocked. Stan was one of the Cool Rulers of the 70’s Bx Graff scene.”

He told the Daily News that Pratt was a friend and an influence for him when Reid was growing up in Brooklyn.

Reid heard the news the week of Aug. 16, 2019, from a mutual friend named Richard Admiral.

Admiral grew up creating art with Pratt, whom he met around 1970. First, they were into music and comic books and then it was street art.

Referring to the subway line that ends in Harlem, Admiral said when they were young, they would paint in “the 3 yard.”

According to Admiral, when they got into trouble they would hide in Pratt’s home in Harlem.

“He was a special cat. I loved him to death. Very interesting guy and very, very talented.”

Pratt began practicing street graffiti on 153rd Street and Eighth Avenue with a group called the Yard Boys. Later, his work went on to be featured in multiple galleries including the Museum of the City of New York.

According to Admiral, Pratt’s body is being flown back to New York so that he can be buried next to his daughter. She died last month. He was not made aware of the details of her passing.

Admiral learned of Pratt’s passing through a mutual friend and artist Aaron Garrett. He paints under the name TBI and lives is Astoria, Queens. Garrett learned of his passing from Pratt’s widow in California.

“Stan was an octopus who was into a lot of good things and a lot of other things,” Garrett laughed as he mentioned Pratt’s love for bicycles, cars, playing bass, and women. He did not want to give specifics but stated Pratt had a near-death experience in the ‘80s that gave him a new perspective.

“He said he met people on the other side and they told him he had to go back.”

Garrett talked to Pratt a few weeks back and knew his friend of over 40 years was ailing. He also mentioned that Pratt had beaten cancer.

When they spoke, Pratt said things like, “when he died he wanted to be buried in New York.” Something Garrett noted people do not say unless something is wrong.

Pratt’s ex-wife, Claudia Pratt, married Pratt in 1994. The two remained in contact after their 2004 divorce. He moved to California and she stayed in New York. She spoke to Pratt on Aug. 15. He was in the hospital.

She said that she was still in shock. “You always think you have more time.”

Claudia said there was buzz around Sept. 28 being a “celebration of life” for Stan 153, but that is not set in stone.

Pratt’s widow Marcea did not wish to comment on the specifics of Pratt’s death. She did say the graf master’s family have been bombarded with phone calls and would release a statement when they were ready.

By Jeanette Smith


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