Recently, I walked into Baby Blues B-B-Q in Venice and while enjoying my juicy rack of ribs, I couldn’t stop staring at the art on the walls. It was JoeX2.

His colorful interpretations of city streets and b-boys captivated me. I couldn’t stop looking at one with the words, “Yo Son.”

“I’ve been doing graff for over 20 years,” JoeX2 e-mails me days later when I inquire about his craft. “I got that itch at eight, and I was hooked. I don’t really feel like I got into art. I honestly feel like art got into me. My father was a real creative soul. He was the first to teach me about the masters. I really looked up to my pops.”

Growing up in Philadelphia, Joe first saw graffiti on the Septa (South Eastern PA Transit Authority) trains.

“I loved the colorful, cartoon-y look of everything and felt like that was where I belonged,” he relays.

He never attended art school, instead he looked to graff legends like Dondi, Seen and Futura for inspiration.

Nowadays, JoeX2 stays busy 24-7: He’s been working with a clothing line called Door 261, has a line of backpacks coming out from JanSport, a vinyl toy from Super Rad Toys and he’s the resident artist for The Counter restaurants.

“I’m looking to really make a name for myself,” he says. “I want people to know that JoeX2 is graffiti.”

And how does he like having his work at the Venice B-B-Q spot?

“I’ve met so many cool people,” he says, “and it gives me an excuse to eat there even more than I already did.”

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