Rome Travel Guide

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Graffiti Report: Howen

Howen, on the Metro viaduct, at San Paolo
 We're rank amateurs in the complex, fast-moving field of Rome graffiti.  Still, emboldend by a recent visit to MOCA's daring new exhibition on graffiti in several of the world's major cities, we're offering this report on one of Rome's most talented and prolific writers.  He has two names: Howen and POISON.  In a 2002 comment that we found on-line, a fan wrote, "this dude has got to be one of the kings of the b-line in rome, every photo I have of it he's up in it, even  after the buff he still had stuff running so ive heard."  (We're not sure what the "buff" was, but suspect it was an effort by the city to cover up/erase graffiti).  Sure enough, it was on the b-line--actually a viaduct carrying the b-line through the suburb of San Paolo--that we first saw Howen's work (see photo at left). 

Dianne, pensive at the Pomezia cafe

Then, on a scooter trip to Pomezia, a modernist village created under Mussolini and the home of a massive cemetery housing German dead from World War II, we found another piece by Howen just over our shoulders (see the bottom of this post) at an outdoor cafe in the city center. 

As you can see, Howen appears to enjoy writing his own name (at least what we assume is his name).  Sometimes he also writes his other name, POISON. 

We also found an on-line profile for the guy.  It lists POISON's interests as: "Graffiti, muri (walls), treni (trains), e la mia metro (and my Metro).  The profile notes his mood as "implacable" and offers this bio:


                102 years old
                Roma, Roma


Howen, in Pomezia


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