CLAW, Graffiti Writer featured in Infamy, of PMS crew

Born in 1968 in Flushing, Queens, Infamy featured artist Claw became infatuated with graffiti as a child, while looking out the car window at the blur of graffiti-covered highway walls. She began to write graffiti herself in the late 1980s while moving to Manhattan and enrolling in the Fashion Institute of Technology. While they were always in awe of her fashion savvy, graffiti was a bit much for her Jewish family of doctors and lawyers. As Claw relates in the film, “there was something in my life that I was missing, and I did not feel like I was here, and I really wanted to prove to myself: ‘oh, I am here, here’s my name.’ It was like proof of my existence, like self- actualization.” Claw’s graffiti certainly existed in New York City as she saturated the entirety of New York City, using her two-toned, three-nailed “claw” icon as a visual symbol for her name. Claw is a rare breed - the female graffiti writer – and rarer still in that she embarrassingly defeats the boys at their own game. “Some women writers think the rules are different for them but they really aren’t,” Claw told urban lifestyle magazine While You Were Sleeping, “Women get a little more slack, but as a woman, you should do twice as much as a man and be twice as dope. I don’t think writing graffiti is a feminist statement. Being a woman and writing graffiti is more an equality issue—trying to fit into a man’s world. It’s great that women feel they can be a part of this culture. That’s the way it should be.”

Claw is a vintage couture aficionado well known for obscure and sought-after garments, ranging from 1960s British couture to 1980s hip-hop gear. On the run from New York City’s anti-graffiti task force, Claw moved to Los Angeles during the mid-1990’s, where she quickly found success styling music videos for artists including Hole, Korn and D'Angelo. Fed up with Los Angeles, Claw returned to New York two years later to apply her talents to television and print ad styling. Her clients have included Nike, Sector Watches, Guinness, and Footlocker, among others. In addition to her styling career, Claw has developed an exclusive clothing line, Claw Money, collaborates with West FC and Sunglasses on a line of eyewear and jewelry, as well as projects with Calvin Klein, Ecko Red International, and a new artist series line of home accessories called Home Street Home. She is also Fashion Director for Swindle, the new art and lifestyle magazine from famed publisher Roger Gastman and legendary art director and founder of Obey Giant, Shepard Fairey. As she told Quik for German hip-hop magazine Backspin, “Fashion is just another way of expressing myself. Describing myself without words, communicating on a visual level. That is why I am so excited about making clothes; I can incorporate my fashion sensibilities and my graff sizzle together to make the ultimate ‘Claw’ statement.”