Seen, (whose real name is Richard Mirando), was born in 1961 in the Bronx where he grew up and still lives today. He was a precocious artist. He gets his first spray paint can at the age of 11. Two years later, he was making decorative painting for his uncle, the owner of a car garage. This is when he customises his first cars.
The graffiti movement was at the time in full force. Richard was fascinated by the painted metro trains in the Lexington Avenue depot and on line 6, just behind his uncle's garage. He goes to the depot on a Saturday afternoon in 1973 and makes his first "piece". He chooses the nickname "Seen". He likes the 2 "Es" and the meaning fits his art. Making graffiti becomes for him the means to realise his desire to be seen by the most people possible.
His first painting is a revelation. From a mere spectator, he became a player in the movement. The metro becomes his support. He works a lot and starts paintingWhole cars which will mark the spirit ofNew Yorkforever. His name and his art are carried throughout the city by the trains taken each day by hundreds of thousands of people. His uniquestyle, his creativity and his tenacity make him a leader of the underground graffiti movement in New York during the 1980s.
In 1982, the Style Warsdocumentaryby Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant transforms him into an icon of the movement for the rest of the world. Recognised by his peers as the "Godfather of Graffiti", Seen is today's most famous graffiti artist and his influence is unprecedented.