Colab is the commonly used abbreviation of the New York City artists' group Collaborative Projects, which was formed after a series of open meetings between artists of various disciplines. Colab came together as a collective in 1977. In June 1980 the collective took over an empty building that housed an erotic massage parlor in Times Square for an exhibition. Critics called it "punk art"; "three cord art anyone can play." The South Bronx art space Fashion Moda participated in the Times Square Show, bringing in some of the new generation of graffiti artists who had been exhibiting in the Bronx as part of the hip-hop culture of writers, rappers, and break dancers.
At the Times Square Show Fab 5 Freddy was introduced by Mudd Club curator Diego Cortez to Charlie Ahearn, a fellow Colab member, with whom he would later produce the 'Wild Style' movie. Here Freddy also met Keith Haring while the latter is unknowingly telling him about his own painting.