Early beginners and late arrivals are found in every arts community across the globe. The Detroit graffiti legend FEL3000FT, however, is that intriguing rarity – a gifted individual whose past works and ongoing projects put him comfortably in both categories.The early beginner part is obvious. A Detroit native who fell in with several talented taggers from NYC before entering his teens, he quickly became an apprentice without a master – a youngwunderkind enthralled by the colorful and powerful possibilities of urban murals. His education followed the usual pattern: a great deal of trial and error, learning the techniques of those who came before, immersing himself in comic books and graphic novels, and (of course) surviving the inevitable and intrusive concern of adult authority figures who didn’t always share in his youthful enthusiasm.
As for being a late arrival … permit us a moment to clarify that observation. FEL is, in truth, an honored and acknowledged member of Detroit’s tight-knit tribe of urban street artists. Indeed, he’s already been accorded mentor status by an appreciative number of young peers following his example. He has also channeled his abilities into quite a few successful and notable commercial avenues. Sirius Satellite has benefited from his gifts and he contributed a noteworthy piece to the city during Detroit’s Tricentennial Celebration back in 2001.
In the early 90′s, several graffiti writers found refuge in what is now a bike path and green space – a location that we in Detroit have come to know as the Dequindre Cut. Back when this was a desolate and abandoned rail yard,Dibs and others started an open gallery where those chased away by society could be safe and would have a chance to hone their skills. FEL (along with AJ Fosik and others) spent weeks working on production murals charged with new characters and new forms of calligraphy; a very positive step forward for all concerned – and one that was happily copied in other cities.