Graffiti Legend Cool ‘Disco’ Dan Gone, Not Forgotten

D.C. Native's Street Art Secured Folk Hero Status

Danny Hogg, a native Washingtonian whose tag, Cool “Disco” Dan made its way onto hundreds of D.C. buildings and which for some residents became a symbol for the city during the turbulent late 80s and early 90s, recently died after a lengthy battle with diabetes.

Cool “Disco” Dan, 47, also faced other challenges throughout his life including mental illness, poverty and homelessness, but still managed to become an icon of the D.C. street art world.

He spent his formative years in Capitol Heights, Maryland, and by the time he reached his teen years, was known to routinely take to the streets armed with spray cans of paint and markers eager to tag some of the District’s most well-known and frequented buildings with his familiar name. His nickname came from his lifelong fascination with and love of D.C.’s homegrown musical genre, go-go.

His life and his graffiti works would become even better known after a documentary filmmaker, Roger Gastman produced the movie “The Legend of Cool ‘Disco’ Dan which showcased Hogg and others from the District’s street art scene. Some of his work would even find their way to the Corcoran Gallery of Art as part of a tribute to the city’s go-go and graffiti cultures, “Pump Me Up.”

And while the majority of his tags have since been either painted over or destroyed after buildings that once bore his name has been destroyed to make way for condominiums, his status as one of D.C.’s most celebrated street artists has not waned.

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