TAKI 183 is one of the originators of New York graffiti. He worked as a foot messenger and would write his nickname around the New York streets that he daily frequented en route in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Taki was Greek born, named Demetrios and his "tag" was short for Demetraki, the alternative of Demetrios. The number 183 came from his address on 183rd Street in Washington Heights.
On July 21, 1971, The New York Times ran an article about him on the front page of its inside section, titled "Taki 183" Spawns Pen Pals. TAKI 183's newspaper fame spurred competitive tagging in NYC as his tag was being mimicked by hundreds of youth across the five boroughs.
Although TAKI 183 was the first to be showcased in a major publication it is said that Julio 204 began writing his tag in NYC first. But Julio didn't write outside his own neighbourhood and this arguably is the reason why he never received the credits and media-attention TAKI did.
Taki was last known to be the owner of a foreign car repair shop. In an interview with the New York Daily News of April 9, 1989, he talked about his retirement as a graffiti writer: "As soon as I got into something more productive in my life, I stopped. Eventually I got into business, got married, bought a house, had a kid. Didn't buy a station wagon, but I grew up, you could say that."