We were proud and excited when we heard that our good friend and CISA crew homie Ish is in the final pool of submitting artists for the new Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis. We met Ish and the rest of CISA crew in 2002. They arrived a day early for the first SubSurface event to get a jump on everyone else. We didn’t know it at the time, but they had been a crew since 1982 and had been on their art game in northern Indiana and Chicago for years. We respected them highly and still do. We all became good friends and when they approached us in 2009 to represent CISA crew, we were honored to join and take part in their nearly 30-year legacy. They are well-known in Chicago as old school writers and long-established artists. Thanks to Ish, Flex, Traz and the rest of CISA, we have painted with or shown artwork with some of Chicago’s finest including East, Chucho, Denz, Slang, Trixter, Revise and Like. Although most members of CISA are active and successful artists, Ish is the one who has heavily pursued a career as a gallery artist, historian and curator. He is also the only one that has never been formally trained.

Ish has been doing his thing for a while. He took part in and helped to draw awareness to Cheech Marin’s Chicano Art Collection travelling show, which showed at the Indiana State Museum in 2004. After several exhibits throughout Chicago and Indiana, Ish returned to Indy for a solo show at the Indianapolis Museum Of Contemporary Art in 2009. He has a pretty iconic graffiti style evident in his character designs.

We knew Ish was certified, but we didn’t know to what extent. Yesterday while checking out an overview of  The History Of American Graffiti, I was humbled, proud and grateful when I saw the photo at the 3:50 mark. In addition to an increasingly solid resume, ISH has solidified his place in american graffiti history with his mention in the FIRST and ONLY book published on the subject. CISA love or no love.

We hope that Ish’s mural concept is chosen for the Wishard Hospital. It’s a main hub of care for our city, and Ish is an artist who understands how much people benefit from art. He is serious, he is passionate and he is the Ish…

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