NEW YORK POST, Page Six, December 2, 1999

By Richard Johnson with Jeane MacIntosh

Graffiti gab gets boaster busted

IF you're going to break the law, don't write a book about it. Artist/prankster Steve Powers, author of a book on graffiti, and media hoaxer Joey Skaggs announced plans to place a 140 sq. ft. portrait of Rudy Giuliani dressed as the Virgin Mary in Washington Square Park Saturday and invite passers-by to throw elephant dung at it. Just hours after he publicized the event on WLIB radio, Powers' Sullivan Street apartment was raided by police apparently looking for paint, spray cans and other items that could be used in creating graffiti. They took away five 30-gallon hefty bags of stuff including a set of antique brass knuckles. Powers was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Earlier this year St. Martin's Press published his book, "The Art of Getting Over," about New York graffiti, and he has scrawled graffiti under the tag ESPO. "This is the most unbelievable warrant I have ever seen," said Powers' lawyer, Ron Kuby. "It says they can rummage for and confiscate paint, ink, markers, sketchpads, anything. Clearly the book upset a lot of people and this Washington Square Park thing has pushed Giuliani over the edge." Joey Skaggs said the real target of the raid may have been the portrait. City Hall referred our call to police. Sgt. Mark McMullen said the raid was part on an ongoing investigation, and police were unaware of the upcoming dungfest.


© 1999 Joey Skaggs