Pioneering street artist Lady Pink is still smashing barriers
3 min read · 13 Apr 2023
Lady Pink photographed in Times Square, July 1983, wearing a t-shirt by Jenny Holzer displaying one of Holzer’s Truisms (1977-79) Photo copyright 1983 Lisa Kahane, NYC, All Rights Reserved
Lady Pink, a pioneering New York street artist and teenage star, is a top trending artist on HENI News.
Her HENI Score, which measures an artist's media coverage and their market, has increased by 143% in the last three months. Her auction market sales over the past two years totalled $99,700. To follow Lady Pink, see her HENI Dashboard.
Born Sandra Fabara in Ecuador, Lady Pink moved to New York at the age of seven. She began tagging subway trains as a teenager in 1979, one of the few female pioneers in the male-dominated graffiti movement. While creating mural-size works on trains and walls with her spray cans, she was exhibiting her paintings in art galleries from the tender age of 16.
Recently, Lady Pink’s work was included in the K11 Musea in Hong Kong’s street art show during the Art Basel fair, shown alongside work by her contemporaries, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Futura.
In 2021, the MFA Boston's show: “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation,” included Lady Pink’s work, along with pieces by her friend and contemporary, the artist Jenny Holzer. In an interview with ARTnews, Holzer and Lady Pink recalled their early days making art on the streets of New York.
“Jenny was the only other female that went out and did things at night, on other people’s properties. I painted, she did postering," Lady Pink said, adding: "she got away with it more because she was taller, so wearing a big, heavy coat, and a hoodie, and stuff like that, you could pass off as a big guy. But I was always very petite and small and had to run with a pack of rug rats to watch my back!”
Lady Pink wearing a Holzer truism "Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise" t-shirt in 1983 in Times Square is an iconic image in its own right. Lisa Kahane's portrait is the poster image for Holzer's survey show in Dusseldorf's Kunstsammlung NW this year.
Lady Pink’s work 1969 Super Sport Camaro (1984), which belonged to Keith Haring, another artist whose art went from the street to gallery walls, sold for $163,800 at Sotheby’s, more than ten times its upper estimate in 2020. Her painting Second Ave (1985) was sold at Christie's auction in New York for $37,800, above its high estimate in March 2019.
Lady Pink's influence on the fashion world was underlined in Milan when Louis Vuitton collaborated with her and fellow New York graffiti legend Lee Quiñones for an exhibition of their work alongside the release of a limited-edition sneaker collection.
Today, she runs a mural company with her husband, the artist Smith, still creating big, eye-catching works across New York.