Legendary graffiti artist SEN One will design Time Out New York’s upcoming cover

The soon-to-be-released design features original work by the NYC street art icon

Rayon Richards

This week, we give you permission to judge your magazine by its cover. The upcoming issue of Time Out New York focuses on the tide of cool that’s moving north in the city, so we invited renowned graffiti artist and lifelong Upper West Sider George “SEN One” Morillo to design an original cover.

The product of a unique collaboration with Morillo, the issue features a canvas the artist painted especially for Time Out. Morillo says he jumped at the opportunity to showcase his artistic style and his uptown pride. “Being born and raised uptown, and seeing the gentrification process all my life and seeing everybody coming up, it fits who I am. That story connects to my story,” he said.

According to Morillo, the street art style now associated with New York City during the 70’s and 80’s came from the confluence of different cultures on the Upper West Side at that time. He said he hopes the cover will help preserve the memory of that era of street art. “If you erase this style of hip hop, you’re erasing a part of history,” he said. “Not only the Upper West Side’s history, but New York’s history.”

Morillo says even the materials now sold at stores came from the makeshift graffiti tools his generation created. “We made markers by popping the balls out of roll-on deodorant, putting in the soft stuff from school erasers, and filling the containers with ink.Those techniques, as primitive as they might seem, led to the markers they sell now,” he says. “Vandals created an industry, and it all comes out of the Upper West Side,”

Morillo now teaches graffiti-art classes for kids and sells original t-shirts and furniture. He has also created window displays for Macy’s, and designs for Rachel Roy. Some of his early work is in the Museum of the City of New York’s current “City as Canvas” exhibit. You follow him on Instagram (originalsen1), and see his amazing Time Out New York cover on stands this Wednesday.