A Chicago street artist who became known for tagging subway cars and buildings across the East Coast was arraigned in Queens court today. Chicago resident Zebadiah Arrington, 19, was charged with causing thousands of dollars of damage to seven A, F and 7 trains over the last three years, tagging the cars with his signature "ZEB" moniker.
Arrington, a Chicago Art Institute student, would make several trips a year to NYC to graffiti lines such as "Bomb the System," "Year 2010 Yo," "Nyke" and "Slugs," onto the Queens trains. He was allegedly caught when he emailed photos of his work to friends back home. Arrington, a member of the Chicago-based national graffiti crew known as "Chicago's Most Wanted," is also a suspect in tagging incidents in Boston, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. "Zebadiah Arrington is a very unusual young man. He's having a hard time channeling his creative output in a productive way," said his lawyer, Florian Miedel.
Looking back on how I got into photography, I feel that my art has expanded outside of the realm of graffiti and into the realm of documentation, and photo journalism. The first time I picked up a camera was to create an image of a graffiti piece I did on a cardboard box, and to make it look like as if it were a real wall in the photograph. Then I started taking photos of the actual walls I began to paint, and now I have ventured outside of the wall and am more interested in the surrounding environments.
The arrest comes in the wake of the unveiling of the massive underground street art Underbelly Project last weekend, which went undetected by NYPD and MTA workers for over a year.