Fashion week a few winters ago, Vinny and Nikki Haas came over to borrow some stencils. Gallo’d seen all of the simple cuts I’d been testing for FORE, knew that there were a few of his heros in there and wanted to quickly spray some on the back of a Helmut Lang parka he would wear to the shows.
“Vinny, put a little spraymount on the back of the mylar or the spraypaint’s gonna vignette all over.” “Habib… Habib… Just… You got any change? Some quarters–nickels? Nikki? Change?” “Gallo, you don’t have any change…” “Habib, you seen the size of the roll I’m packin’? You think I got change in my pocket? Habibi…” It’s true. I hadn’t expected change to be jangling in his pockets, but drawing out the experience of Vinny squatting down in a filthy stairwell spare-changing us was a momentary guilty pleasure.
We got him a few stacks of change. He dropped ’em around the stencils and sprayed. Reagan’s spritz went everywhere–in ways Nancy hadn’t seen since the late 60’s. Dubya’s was a little less stochastic. Maybe I’d misunderestimated the master’s technique.
“Habib, I need a Sharpie. Nikki, look at this studio. It looks like a 12-year old’s bedroom. Habib, your studio looks like a 12-year old’s bedroom.” He assigned Reagan “LEGEND” and Dubs “HERO”. I cried a solitary tear for progress. “GREAT! This is great. You wanna come with us?” “Nah. I got work to do.” “Habib, lemme see that Sharpie again. [scribbles signature on a quarter] Here. The jacket’s worth every penny.” “Gallo… this is my quarter…” “It is. But it’s got my name on it.”
And there you have it. SHELFLIFE #25B, 25¢.