HERT ONE is a retired graffiti writer from Buffalo New York. He began writing graffiti at 14 years old and developed a keen interest in New York City graffiti. By the time he was 18, HERT and ATAK had done enough graffiti to attract attention from the Buffalo Police Department which prompted both writers to leave town. HERT moved to Pittsburgh, PA. In 2008 the Anti-Graffiti Task Force raided his Pittsburgh residence and collected circumstantial evidence which would later be used to charge HERT with 4 felonies and 69 misdemeanor graffiti related charges. In 2010, he was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison. HERT spent 1 year in prison and 4 months in a half-way house before being transferred back to his home state. Upon his release, he was not allowed to leave Buffalo, nor was he permitted to own any art making material (including but not limited to spray paint, chalk, crayons, canvases, etc.), was not allowed to operate a vehicle, live anywhere without a blood-relative, be anywhere not contactable by land-line phone and still has a curfew of 9pm-8am. He has been arrested and held several times over the years for alleged violations, none of which were justified or ultimately lead to convictions. Life on state supervision has been extremely challenging for him. HERT is currently still on parole until he pays $60,000 restitution.
HERT’S Time in Prison
HERT offers a unique insight into the experience of doing time in a state prison facility. Unlike most inmates, HERT had a strong educational foundation upon which he decided to build during this period of incarceration, reading literary classics and exploring new subject matter through books his friends would send in. In this podcast he details some of his exchanges with other inmates, observations he’s made about the social inner-workings of prison, and reflects on the impression this system has left on his life thus far and the likely effects it has on individuals and society as a whole. He goes on to share some of what life on parole has been like; how it dictates his approach to planning a future and affects the choices he makes daily.
HERT stresses that a broad understanding is key to peace with other humans: “It’s that lack of understanding, that lack of familiarity that allows ignorance to breed which then begets hatred and begets racism and begets all of these things that are the ills in our society”
HERT is a well-read felon whose situation invokes us to open our minds and consider other perspectives. He speaks on this and more on Episode 38 of the Angel and Z Podcast.