New Book Presents P.H.A.S.E. 2's Final Writings

Two years ago, on December 12, 2019, the world mourned the loss of P.H.A.S.E. 2, the venerable father of aerosol art and one of the most towering figures in the development of hip-hop culture.

In the final months of his life, while battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) from a hospital bed in The Bronx, New York, P.H.A.S.E. 2 penned several hundred black and white sketches and poems—with his less dominant left hand—articulating his insights, experiences, and artistic visions. These final works encapsulated his lifelong deconstruction of letter forms into enticing imagery, as well as his indomitable championing of truth, integrity, and resilience.

In addition to autobiographical accounts, sociopolitical reflections, and witty passages, P.H.A.S.E. 2 wrote down words of wisdom, dedications, and music and movies listings. These were combined with what he referred to interchangeably as “spiraglyphs,” “zymbols,” and “phaseoterics”: unique designs, reminiscent of esoteric script, aligned vertically alongside his poems and texts. There are also numerous drawings of silhouettes, logograms, fish, piercing eyes, and alienesque creatures, all of which held deep symbolic meaning for him.

Perhaps more importantly than the content, however, is the example he set through this final endeavor. Even in the most severe of circumstances, he continued to create and share inspiration with the world.

An edited collection of these culminating writings—the majority of which were transcribed and arranged in consultation with P.H.A.S.E. 2 before his passing—is now available in the form of a hardcover book at The sixty pages of imagery and text featured in the book remain as close to the original handcrafted drawings and writings as possible

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