Growing up in Queens, New York, Craig Costello (b. 1971, New York, New York, U.S.), aka KR, saw his hometown’s trains gradually become clean in the 1980s as the city cracked down on subway graffiti. At the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 1990s, he studied photography, carrying a Nikon F2 along on his nighttime writing expeditions with local artists Barry McGee, DUG, and others. His graffiti aesthetic was shaped by his New York background and his emphasis on the simple and quick aspects of graffiti—tags and throw-ups—soon caught on in San Francisco. Especially influential was the gleaming silver ink he created, called Krink, which he put in foam-topped shoe-polish applicators and used instead of a marker. After leaving San Francisco in 1998, he began to package Krink for sale at boutique stores, developing a variety of markers and a range of colors.
Craig Costello. Courtesy of Craig Costello.