January 17 2009 . 04:08pm

Cool "Disco" Dan

With DC gearing up for it’s biggest inauguration event in history Known
Gallery thought it would be fitting to drop a bit of true DC graffiti
history from it’s crazier years.


Cool “Disco” Dan is a Washington, D.C., legend, a symbol of survival of the
city’s most difficult years. It was a graffiti nickname, That started
popping up in 1984, written in marker and spray paint throughout Washington,
D.C., clear and legible, never fancy. Any resident of Washington, whether
young or old, stick-up kid or congressman, couldn’t help but be intrigued by
its omnipresence. Who was this Cool “Disco” Dan?

Cool “Disco” Dan is an anomaly: He lived in the crack-ridden Washington,
D.C., ghetto—yet he never took or sold drugs. Though his father was abusive
and died young, Dan was raised by a stable family, and only as a young adult
did he become homeless. He witnessed at short range the spiraling street
violence of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s that earned D.C. the dubious title
of America’s “Murder Capital."

By the early ‘90s, Cool “Disco” Dan was D.C.’s biggest underground celebrity
after painting his moniker all over the city until it seemed as though no
wall, rooftop or street sign had been forgotten. He wrote on every Metro
bus, and took his name to every neighborhood, crossing socio-economic
boundaries in a way that no other graffiti writer in the city had ever done.
He was obsessed with making a name for himself with graffiti street fame.

To learn more about "Cool "Disco" Dan and his upcoming documentary telling
the true story of Washington DC check out: www.cooldiscodan.com

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