Brothers in Art

The streets of New York City are home to some of the finest art in the world. For years now, Baltimore-born and raised Chris Stain and Billy Mode have enriched the Big Apple’s urban landscape with their wonderful collabs that always fuse poignant social commentary with skillful and beautiful artistry. Regulars at the Welling Court Mural Project, we got a chance to catch up with Chris and ask him about their latest mural.

How did you guys meet each other and what made you start working together?

Chris: “We met in 1989 at a mutual friend’s house, Doug Kar, a fellow graffiti writer who lived just outside of Baltimore. A lot of writers use to hang out at his place. We started working together because we had many of the same friends and got along well. I thought Bill and our other friend Pat Voke were truly dedicated artists and not just bombers, so I wanted to hang out with them.”

What do you bring to the collab and what does Bill bring?

Chris: “I think we vibe off each other quite a bit but I usually work on the figures and Bill the letters. We inspire each other to try new things and keep pushing forward. That’s why I like working with Bill. Plus, we’ve known each other for so long it just makes the work that much more personal. Working with him keeps my work tight. It’s like having a brother in art.”

What is this particular mural about?

Chris: “To me this mural is more of just a chance to catch up and spend some time working together again. We both had a busy past year. The image of the girl is from a photograph taken by Britt Sense ( while she was in Texas. I liked the look of confidence on the girl’s face. I always try to tie in the demographic of the neighborhood. I think its inconsiderate not to.”