An article by Jonathan Drexler
There are less than a handful of cities around the world today where painting pieces on trains is still possible. Nowadays, artists have to get past security guards and layers of fences and possess inside information about train layups or schedules just to make it to a train’s paint-resistant exterior. This is why most artists are targeting trucks to get their work seen and moving throughout a city. This difficult reality leaves writers fantasizing what it would be like to get their work on a train. Like graffiti writer CARD from Philadelphia who took his larger-than-life dream of painting trains and shrunk it down to size on miniature models.
As part of the crew that identifies themselves as “Weathermen Society,” CARD uses a process of rusting down high-quality toy train models, giving them an aged effect. When the train has been worked down and can hold paint; he adds various pieces and tags that give the train a retro line feel. True to form, he often sneaks in his old name, SPUN, as part of his commitment to the retro era. In addition to his own tag, CARD occasionally paints the names of his fellow crew members.
His work on trains got the attention of NIC707 (OTB), who also champions the Instafame-Phantom-Art movement, which focuses on getting quality artwork on the inside of New York City trains. CARD has contributed to the Instafame movement since its infancy stages. His work with Weathermen Society and the Instafame movement is a unique correlation of artwork: tying together the desire to paint trains and be recognized by the masses. CARD also caught the eye of PART1, who put him down with TDS.
It is one thing to paint trains and fantasize about the art form; but CARD has shown the versatility and skill in the construct of his letters that earns the respect of those who take the time to observe his work. His letter forms are clean and symmetrical with unique color schemes. From time to time, he displays versatility by dropping a dope graffiti character alongside his lettering. While CARD is not an artist that is drunk off of his ego; his humility and ability to get down is worth getting familiar with.
CARD is slowly but surely building his own city with the trains he paints. His city will be complete with various levels, tunnels and buildings that the motorized trains will pull through. Follow him on instagram (@badnewzcard) to see his work for yourself.
His work on trains was also noticed when he entered a competition for the best model train at the Mass Transit and Modellers Convention of 2016. Such an accomplishment points to his dedication to master his craft. His work on trains paints graffiti in a positive light; stating a case for graffiti to be respected as an artform.
Quotes about CARD from other artists:
PROXOne, GWB, FBA: My brother CARD is skillful and talented when it comes to blazing up his trains. The level of skill he has achieved in such a short time working on these trains is really incredible. His love and passion is something I identify with as it continues to grow in appreciation of the art form. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to do what we do on these trains. We may make it look easy–but it is not by any means. UAe is a small crew and we work together to achieve higher levels in this graff game. Peace from PROXOne.
NIC707, OTB: I’ve known CARD since ‘07–he’s always been cool and down to earth. THIS DUDE CAN PAINT–and paint with style. CARD really does his thing with those trains. He has a true artist’ spirit about him in whatever he does.
PART, TDS: I met CARD a few years back when he visited New York. We got the chance to hang out when he visited the City As Canvas exhibition as well. He is definitely a talented artist and it especially shows through with those model trains. Dude is a skilled writer with a certain flow and has a good deal of can control.
Renard Kelley, TNS, TFP: CARD, as an artist, is a perfectionist and his toughest critic. He is always pushing his artistic talent–making everything he creates much better than the last. Be it burners with cans or weathering and piecing on O-scale trains. CARD is in a class of his own. While every aspect of Hip Hop has always been competitive; CARD is an inspiration to others who don’t buy into the need to compete. He is in the game for the love of it. He paints for the sake of painting and competes only with himself.