By Azim M.

Bombing Science: Why did you choose WHISPER/HESHER as your alias? Does it have some sort of meaning behind the name?

Whisper: Well, I guess a name or names choose you. Like most kids getting a nickname/tag back in the day, it’s like a rite of passage.  I always thought that when a person adopts a tag, whether conscious or subconscious at that time, they become that tag.  I went the typical route of searching for my identity though name, music, clothing, looking to the older kids for style.  One day, I saw a kid take a motion tag on the outside of a 7 Train…”BIONIC”.  WOW!  I wanted my own tag, my own style.

“WHISPER” on canvas.

I started trying lots of names out in my notebook: HELP, SET, RI (Radio Invasion), STOP, KING TRIGGER, etc.   I was hooked.  This was around 1979 in Queens, NY and all the kids on my block had a tag.  I used to write in my building, my friends’ buildings, lampposts…then I met some serious writers and got the name WHISPER (WHISP, WH. ONE).  I always liked the clandestine aspect of graffiti, so I guess the name fits.  The name HESHER is a name I used for a music project in 1999.  Everlast gave me that name.

“SET” in his old building.
Queens, NY 1980.

BS: How does or what music influences your art work? 

Whisper: The short answer to that is that all music influences me.  It’s some kind of hear/see thing.  I consider painting like writing a song.  Sometimes I listen to music when I paint.  Anything from Adam and the Ants to Zappa.  I have been lucky enough to have been exposed to music and art at a young age.  They’ve always gone hand in hand.

BS: Your style has a unique look to it. What is your secret to the colors and the manipulation of letters you use in your graffiti art work, in other words, how does HESHER/WHISPER think of this unique style?

Whisper: Thank you.  I don’t have an answer to a tough question like that.  I just try to make myself happy, stay creative, come up with a cool painting and enjoy the process.

“WHISP and KR”
5 Pointz

BS: When you put up your work in art galleries what are people’s reaction to your work?

Whisper: Some like it and some don’t.

BS: Do your characters in your art work depict a certain type of emotion? Do they have a certain role?

Whisper: Well, you’ve got some good questions.  I guess my characters span the emotional gamut.  I create roles in my mind or themes for them.  Sometimes when I paint I set up these stories in my head and give my characters a secret world.  I’m big on interpretation…I usually don’t spell it out for you.

Untitled on canvas.

BS: What is your view on the contemporary graffiti scene in NYC?

Whisper:I see some artists getting creative and pushing themselves, experimenting, exploring and blurring the lines of what graffiti is supposed to be.  I am personally a fan of the many facets of the art form from illegal to legal.   Originality is king!

BS: Have you done any painting outside NYC? Where and how did it differ from NYC?

Whisper: No, not really. On tour back in the day, a little taggin’ here and there.


Painting the side of the “Hendrix Church”
Woodstock, NY, 2008.

BS: How has graffiti helped you excel in your career in media and in the music industry?   

Whisper: It taught me the importance of originality and being an individual.

BS: Lately, Peter Valone, a councilman from Astoria, Queens has battled Graffiti in NYC, particularly in Queens, NY. What is your view on that current situation?

Whisper: Valone is a cornball.  I’m not a fan of the law.  But I LOVE ASTORIA!


Astoria, Queens, 1990.

BS: As an Old School writer, do you believe that graffiti belongs on government property, as its roots evolve from, or anywhere and everywhere as such cases in modern graffiti?

Whisper: Live and let live.  I’m not big on rules.


Brooklyn, NY.

BS: Do you think graffiti is loosing its roots/culture and morals since your time?

Whisper:Hmmmm, I think that with each generation, there are people who respect the past and carry that spirit.

BS: In recent years, many corporations around the world have exploited the graffiti culture through marketing and advertisement. What are your feelings on this issue?

Whisper: While, on one hand, sometimes, a talented, deserving artist gets a check.  On the other hand, culture vulture.


“Shadow of Our Love” on canvas.

BS: Got any shout outs?

Whisper: Thanks to BOMBING SCIENCE and AZIM!  KR.ONE, WOLF, TEAM, ME.62, DON.1, GHOST, Sam Sever, Duchess, TEAR, KEP, PN, PURE Woodstock , and the Bad Brains. AND YOU!

Check out

WHISPER at show opening.
Zarha Gallery Show.
Beacon, NY, 2007.