HELM, the notorious Youngstown graffiti artist and tagger is dead at the age of 23 as a result of a fall from a bridge while painting. He is being mourned across the city by skaters, artists and lovers of Youngstown street culture. Facebook is abuzz with sad sentiments from fans as I write this.
HELM's work can be seen throughout the region known as New Youngstown (the corridor between Gypsy and Belle Vista), in prime locations on bridges, vacant buildings and in alleys. It is rumored that HELM's hideout was in an abandoned building in the upper Wick neighborhood.
During the summer and fall of 2013 an infamous battle raged
between HELM and OG that grew ugly, even by Youngstown standards. As the months passed, the drama increased tremendously and there was community outrage. The police intervened, forcing OG to flee the scene and leaving HELM as the undisputed master of the streets and the Night.
Youngstown has thriving modeling and video production industries. Because of HELM's image quality and his choice of aesthetic locations, these industries have included his work in thousands of photos and dozens of video productions. Some of the most beautiful women from northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania have been photographed in conjunction with HELM's graffiti.
So to HELM, Youngstown bids you fond fair-well. May your next life be filled with artistic endeavors and may you find it as enriching as your life in our city. Even as the elements fade your paintings, they will still live on in our hearts and internet modeling portfolios for many years to come.