this just in from FAUST:

“At the end of each year I like to create a greeting card to send to all my friends and family. However, this month has been particularly challenging with the passing of my best friend and partner-in-crime Sure. In addition to being one of the most prolific graffiti writers in New York, Sure was an Intelligence Officer in the United States Marine Corps. This year he was based in Afghanistan and on December 5th was killed at the age of 24.

One of Sure’s closest friends came up with the idea to create custom Christmas ornaments to give to his closest friends and family so that they can celebrate the holidays with him every year. So in place of my usual card, I hope you enjoy this tribute.” – Faust



saddened and intrigued – I looked for some more images of the work, or news on the web.
I found Faust had sent out a poignant release to Brooklyn Street Art on Dec 6, 2010 regarding the sad passing of his Brooklyn-born buddy.

. . . . “Last night he [Sure] was killed in Afghanistan where he was stationed as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Sure was born and bred in Brooklyn and recognized for his exceptional handstyle which brought together elements of classic New York graffiti with ornamental calligraphy. His script signatures could be found throughout the city and were a major influence on myself and countless others.”

SURE portrait courtesy of FAUST/from BROOKLYN STREET ART

“Sure also received great recognition as one of the most prominent sticker bombers of all time. Of the thousands of stickers he put up, nearly every one of them was individually hand done in an incredible array of styles. This was recently exemplified in ‘Stickers: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art’ (Rizzoli) by DB Burkeman, and in Martha Cooper’s latest book: ‘Name Tagging’ (Mark Batty Publishing) which features an interview with Sure.”

SURE artwork courtesy of Faust/from BROOKLYN STREET ART

Faust continues: “Sure was like a brother to me. He was my partner-in-crime and my best friend. I am grateful for the time we had and that everywhere I go in New York city I see his name and know that his presence will be felt by many long after his passing.”

MARTHA COOPER, the long-time well-known graffiti photo-documentarian posted a brief tribute, along with several of her photos of SURE’S work on 12oz Prophet:
“I heard the extremely sad and shocking news (this morning) that SURE had been killed in Afghanistan while in the line of duty. SURE’S beautiful,
hand drawn stickers have been a constant presence on NYC’s streets for many years, usually alongside those of his writing partner, FAUST. I admired SURE’S elegantly executed handstyles long before I had the pleasure of meeting him. Slender and quiet, he didn’t fit the stereotype of either a writer or a Marine but he seemingly combined the 2 worlds with ease. He had already served two tours of duty in Iraq when he shipped off to Afghanistan a few months ago. He was just 24 years old.”
here are a few of her photos:




I found the MARTHA COOPER INTERVIEW with SURE and FAUST posted on the MARY BATTY PUBLISHER website.
yes, you should go there & read it. here is a small sampling:


intro from MARK BATTY, the publisher of ‘Name Tagging’:

“Martha Cooper has just passed along the tragic news that SURE – one of New York’s most prolific and talented contemporary graffiti writers has been killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. I’d met him but can’t say I knew him. He and his running partner FAUST were at the launch party for ‘Name Tagging’, which features an interview with these two masterful letterers (see below). He even mentioned the idea of putting together some sort of graffiti book based on his time over there.

Writing this now reminds me how distant too many of us in the media and creative arts remain from the fact that this country continues to fight two wars. There are so many brave men and women who volunteer to go to these dangerous places and put their lives on the line for us and we take them for granted. Born and bred in Brooklyn, SURE loved New York City. Part of him will forever be part of the city as the remnants of his calligraphic mastery attest.”


this how the fascinating interview begins . . . .

SURE & FAUST Interview from ‘Name Tagging’:
You two have blanketed New York City with stickers. Wherever you see FAUST, you see SURE. How did you team up ?

FAUST: In 2001 when I was in high school I started noticing SURE tags in Soho, Lower East Side, Upper East Side and places where most writers weren’t going. They were original and consistent but not a NY style. I thought he was from out of town but friends said he was a high school kid from Queens. We met up around Astor Place and 8th and Broadway and started writing together.

After I graduated from high school in 2002, I didn’t catch tags in college. I kept my hands clean because the cops were chasing me. We didn’t start catching tags together again until SURE joined the Marines. Our partnership solidified then.

Your handstyles are so distinctive that some writers actually think you’re the same person. Did you develop them together ?

SURE: We’re both big fans of TWIST. I first saw a TWIST tag around 2000. I don’t think anybody uses a chisel tip better than he does. The ideas that he uses have influenced us. We feel that he has great technique in his letters and the way he combines them. His letters are all individually very strong and he uses the letters that precede and follow to fill each one’s negative space. His middle letters are regimented, real solid and go up and down so well. He kicks out the “R” which complements the loop of the “T” and has a lot of form. He has ridiculously good flow” . . .

(note: art readers – TWIST is better known to you as BARRY McGEE.)

as seems befitting, we leave the last words to SURE . . . here, but you can continue to follow the interview on that MARK BATTY LINK . . .

or better yet, order yourself a copy of MARTHA COOPER’S – ‘Name Tagging’ – where his quiet yet intense and very elegant work & words – live on.
check out: MARTHA COOPER – ‘NAME TAGGING’ – MARK BATTY PUBLISHER/96 pages/6.25 x 6.25 in./Casebound/Publication date: MAY 2010
PRICE: $12.95 + shipping