Known to fans by the tag Queen Andrea, the New York-based graffiti artist, typographer and graphic artist credits the city around her as one of the largest influences on her work.
“I grew up in SoHo, and there was street art and graffiti everywhere,” says Queen Andrea (whose given name is Andrea von Bujdoss). “I thought it was risky, intriguing. A lot of street art really is art for the people. It's on the street. It was on the subway trains. It’s people just doing creative things in places that you would never imagine it could be,” she says.
Andrea was first drawn to the medium on subway rides to and from her high school, in the Bronx, where she saw train cars transformed by the designs of graffiti writers. “I realized that I wanted to be able to paint my name in all these colors and make this happen somehow,” she recalls.
And she did. After studying art in college, Andrea explored graphic design before eventually pursuing commissions as a muralist — which dovetailed with the movement of street art shifting from the fringes to a more widely accepted art form.
Andrea has been tapped to paint dozens of large-scale murals around the world. Life and Money by Citi recently caught up with her in New York, where she was working on a wall prized among graffiti artists.
Watch the video above and read below for more about a day spent tagging along with Queen Andrea in lower Manhattan.