There are plenty of labels you could tack on to Ryan Nevins to better understand him – artist, grassroots political activist, bipolar patient – even a former draft pick for the Anaheim Angels – but a criminal? Not a chance, he says.
The 30-year-old Flushing resident has recently turned himself in to the 111th precinct for graffiti vandalism. When he appears in court on April 30, Nevins faces up to four years in prison for tagging extensive areas of the City with both his personal insignia – “RH” – and broader chromatic messages such as “Have the Courage,” “Shine: Follow Your Dreams,” and his notorious trademark “World Peace Not Pieces.” For years, his graffiti appeared on every major road from the Long Island Expressway to the West Side Highway. He’s splashed words across park walls and delivery trucks – even on a gate in front of St. Kevin School in Flushing.
But Nevins insists his work is meaningful art – not vandalism.
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