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Cornbread world's first graffiti writer

Cornbread @ STRAAT Gallery

STRAAT Gallery, in partnership with Paradigm Gallery of Philadelphia, is honored to host a solo exhibition by graffiti legend and pioneer Cornbread under the name ´Start This´. The exhibition will contain original artworks created in his home city of Philadelphia, and originals created in STRAAT. ‘Start This’ marks the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in Europe.

The exhibition opens on Saturday October 9th, 2021 with a reception at STRAAT from 17.00 - 20.00. The artist will be in attendance for the opening reception, which is open to the public as part of a regular museum admission ticket. For those not able to attend the opening evening, the exhibition is also open to the public as part of a regular admission ticket during regular STRAAT opening hours. The exhibition will continue through Sunday December 12th, 2021.

A special press preview presentation will be held on Saturday, October 9th by RSVP between 15.00 and 17.00. Artist interview opportunities or further press inquiries can be directed to STRAAT Gallery curator Hyland Mather via

Cornbread Philly STRAAT

About Cornbread

Darryl McCray (USA, 1953), better known as Cornbread, is a graffiti writer from Philadelphia. He is widely considered the world’s first modern graffiti artist, starting with a distinct, non-gang related, tagging style in 1965. 

‘Most people make the assumption that New York City birthed graffiti. While the Big Apple certainly made it famous, the credit actually goes to a Philadelphia legend, CORNBREAD, whose unique tag resonated through the City of Brotherly Love beginning in the late '60s.’ - Alec Banks for Rock The Bells. 

After a stint in a juvenile corrections center, where he garnered the name Cornbread from the chef who, despite Daryl’s repeated requests, refused to make the stuff, the legend was born. His first big ‘campaign’ was ‘Cornbread Loves Cynthia’. This was a bold declaration of love for a girl in his class at Strawberry Mansion Junior High School. He wrote it everywhere along their walking route home. Other notorious acts by Cornbread include tagging the Jackson 5 touring jet and tagging an elephant at the Philadelphia Zoo.

In 2007, documentary filmmaker, Sean McKnight, made a film called Cry of the City Part 1: The Legend of Cornbread. In August 2013, Cornbread was honored at the Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem for his contribution to hip-hop culture. His work is included in the seminal exhibition ‘Beyond The Streets’ curated by Roger Gastman. 

More than half a century after the legend was born, Cornbread uses his platform and fame to advocate for young, local Philadelphia artists who share his passion for art. He works closely with Philadelphia’s highly influential and successful city program, Mural Arts.

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