Hugh Leeman is a self-taught, San Francisco-based artist. His gallery work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco and at The Museum of Mexico City. Hugh is recognized for his gallery portraiture, which captures in raw emotion the lives of his subjects whom he meets on the inner city streets. He is best known
for his street art, which has adorned walls from Varanasi, India to Indiana and from New York, London, and the divided Palestinian Territories to Bogota, Colombia.
My work is heavily influenced by the flow of cities. The beats, patterns, stories each street tells, and generations of each building speak to me. I often combine the grittiness and electricity of these streets with characters I see. I
absorb all the characteristics and translate them into my work. I tend to be drawn towards the irregular: people whose bodies have withered into odd shapes or those with interesting facial features. I intend to convey the
complexity before me.
My true artistic desire is interpersonal relationship. Art is my vehicle for traveling to meet others, collaborating, painting and sharing amazing experiences. I experience art as an international language and a window to the world
In this piece I’ll focus on figures in the company of each other. Some interacting, others staring into space. My goal
will be to take the viewer into their world for just a few seconds.
Erik Otto has been working professionally in the arts for almost 10 years. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. In addition to painting, he has designed and constructed large-scale installations, theater sets, retail storefronts, and independent film sets. Otto recently completed the acclaimed Artist-in-Residence program at Recology San Francisco and is committed to working with reclaimed paint and materials to produce work that is both expressive and conceptual. Otto currently lives and works in San Francisco.
Joey Potts studied illustration and painting at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Potts works with a wide variety of media to create illustrations, animations, graphic prints and collage for apparel, posters, album covers, music videos, and limited edition prints. His influences include classic cartoons and animation, skateboarding,
Renaissance Art, toys, religious iconography, Abstract Art, science fiction, movies, Psychedelic Art, music, and nature. Potts also creates fine artworks for gallery shows and exhibitions worldwide. He currently lives and works in Chicago.
Stephanie M. Ng was born in Hawaii and currently resides in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in New York, most recently through Streetwater Art and Openhouse Gallery. Specializing in portraits, Ng uses contours in a unique manner to capture the essence of each subject, whether its sensuality, stature, or even its simplicity. Her meandering lines seem to drift arbitrarily, yet they ultimately form a shape true to the subject. In her latest body of work, she adds a dimension of technical ambiguity in response to the new methods ushered in by the age of digital media. Blurring the distinctions between mediums, she invites the viewer to ponder the manner in which each piece was created and how the process of creation in itself influences both the intrinsic and aesthetic values of the work.
Street artist Kosbe’s creates works that can be found in doorways and paper boxes with his characters revealing his imaginative characters to create his signature style. While on the streets, he incorporates and uses found materials as his canvasses.
Kosbe is a self-educated student of graffiti, fine art, and street art. His newer works on the street and in this studio reveal influences of abstract expressionism. His years of comic book reading portray a narrative quality to reveal what his imaginative characters are pondering.
With some hard lessons learned, Kosbe has been a graffiti artist for two decades and his images have flooded the streets in New York for a half decade. He comes from a long graffiti history, including his formative adolescent years in his native Chicago.
Jake Castro is a 2012 graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in the print media department. Originally Dallas, Texas native, Jake lives and works in Chicago, IL where he works primarily in the field of screenprinting and painted murals. His work predominantly investigates manipulating architectural structures with painted/printed imagery through line, shape, perspective, and form.
A child of the 80s, Chris’ world was often completely flooded with the imagery and ideas presented by his television, his comic books, and the music and movies of the time. Immersed in these various mediums, Chris began to store the images brought forward though these everyday experiences in what he refers to as a “mental journal”.
Chris’ paintings frequently cite past conceptions of popular culture embedded in his psyche’s cache. This use of intertextuality also serves to offer a comfort or familiarity of sorts to the viewer. Chris’ works frequently reveal everyday musings. These images also aid Chris in the creation of a visual language comprised of his own iconographic imagery. Through the repetition of this imagery, Chris strives to familiarize his viewers with the language he has constructed.
In 2001 Chris set in motion RobotsWillKill.com. Robots Will Kill is an arts site dedicated to community and exposure for artists/media often disregarded by the mainstream art world.
Originally from Baton Rouge, multimedia artist Tess Kisner came to Chicago in 2002 to pursue a career in the Arts. An obsession with paper led to a series of collages that would later be considered a reflection of her childhood. When paired with her distinctive “single line” drawing technique, a very primitive but modern aesthetic is created, incorporating the use of everyday materials collected throughout the years. In 2005, she commenced a quest for world travel and began collecting foreign currency – the monetary pieces never fail to emerge in her work. The single line continues to develop, making appearances on album art, flyers and wheat-pastes around the city.
“Made in America, by an American for all Americans” (immigrants, foreigners, and illegals too) is a body of art work resulting from the insight, experiences, thoughts, feelings, and everyday existence in the United States of America. Within this body of work are a variety of themes that unify and attempt to express empathy towards others who are in the same situation. Enjoy my comrades…
Don’t Fret was born during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in a hotel overlooking the protests. As police and protesters harassed each other, his father harassed a bell boy over the individually charged cashews that he had not consumed but has somehow still had been charged for. After many careers as a butcher, importer, exporter, college football mascot, and temporary host of a public access tv show entitled “Love in The Time Of Online Dating” Don’t Fret retired to pursue his obsession with drawing odd nosed people and gluing them to other’s property. He now resides in Chicago in a house that was once owned by Harold Baines.
Don’t Fret is a Chicago based human known for his wheat pasted characters and outdoor murals. These works have graced walls in Chicago,San Fransisco,Miami,Sao Paulo,Berlin,Munich and Prague. Don’t Fret also occasionally shows nice framed work inside on nice walls.
Rodrigo “Solo” Mireles grew up in Chicago. He honed his flashy, slick style—a dynamic blend of hip-hop culture, anime aesthetics and formidable technical execution—on the streets of Chicago as a graffiti artist and with formal training at the American Academy of Art.
Mireles’ vast repertoire runs the gamut, from graffiti murals to comic books to character art for video games. In the past, he has worked with distinguished clients such as Electronic Arts, Adidas, Studio Gigante, Robomodo and Louis Vuitton. Currently working on a new series of paintings and a few other projects, slated to debut at the end of 2012 and early 2013.
It’s always been hard for me to describe my motivation behind painting. For one I love to do it. I enjoy physically making things that are cool to look at. I am compelled to it. I try to approach painting from lots of different angles to come up with new things I also like to pay respect to artists that came before. It’s all one big cosmic world of creativity out there and I’m just trying to tap whatever that “thing” is that connects with people. I love color and I love music. Whenever I see a painting, or go to a concert that inspires me to be creative I feel a debt to that person. My goal in making art (besides making things for people to hang on walls) is to inspire someone to be creative, in whatever field that might be.
How I identify as a young African American woman is a conversation I am compelled to discuss through my work. I use mixed media prints, installations and murals to explore family identity, as my family has always lived in middle class neighborhoods that were void of ethnic diversity. Through a cultural isolation, the family unit becomes the single source of how each member of my family is able to define, analyze and emit how they each identify themselves as African-American.
The illustrated world of my murals, objects and prints seek to take us back to the world below your mothers hip, where you might have been tugging on her dress in the store or peeking out from behind her knees at the bus stop—In this world faces and characters are ever changing and a chance for the viewer to enter the narratives I create through family storytelling.
Christina Long is a recent MFA Printmedia graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2012). She has participated in various urban and street art shows in Chicago and works in murals, found objects, prints and books to family folklore within the African American experience.
Bonus Saves is an outdoor muralist with a penchant for local fauna. He resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan. During a two year stay in Chicago Mr. Saves was heavily influenced by the graffiti/ street art culture. After returning to Kalamazoo the thoughts and ideas generated by the city started to morph into re-imagined scenes for the smaller towns and vast country.
Through nature we can see ourselves: our fears, love, trust, our inability to control circumstances that directly influence our health. But through these times of environmental uncertainty all mammals have the lust to live. The wary eyes of a doe tells a story. So do those of a lonely coyote. They tell us we have more in common with each other than most of us wish to consider. Look. Listen. Wait for the wind to inform your nose of what might be around the next bend.
Amidst the steady work Jessica Hess has been putting in for her solo show at White Walls, she still found the time to answer our questions about the body of work she’ll be presenting in It Finds You, opening Saturday, September 3rd, 7-11pm. From the age of 11 Hess has been painting with oils, beginning from the start with the set intention of becoming an artist. Such clarity on one’s future at a young age is rare. Maintaining unswerving dedication to a career that demands so much from a person is even more rare; Hess not only has done both, but has excelled at each. Her artistry is evident in a look at any of her paintings, all of which feature urban landscapes rendered in a way that seems almost loving in it’s attention to detail and light.
Darkclouds imagery has been a constant staple in the urban art scene since 2003 and can be seen in many forms all over NYC, as well as adorning surfaces in various other cities and countries. The drippy, iconic repetition represents the angst that is always apart of us. A visual reminder of the things in our lives we are unable to escape.
Born in the early 80’s and raised in Chicago’s north side, Saro is inspired and in touch with the 80’s vibe. “Bright and vibrant backgrounds behind a classic, very detailed subject matter is just the way to go.”
Saro has provided the streets with stickers, stencils, wooden installations, and graffiti since 2000. Through social media, he has traded his iconic stickers and his artwork has been displayed all over the U.S., Europe and South Africa.
Definitely not the typical “artist” type, Saro never went to an art school for fear that it would change his attitude toward the approach he takes to the artwork and even the art itself, “ I NEVER want this to feel like work…its fun this way, less serious and more free. I’m doing this for ME and hoping some people enjoy it along the way.”
Adam Dare is a passionate painter and graffiti writer in new york city. The nyc native grew up “bombing” trains & walls around the five boroughs since the 1980’s. born in Flatbush Brooklyn – DARE was influenced by the halcyon days of the late 70’s and 80’s, a time of seismic movement in music, art and style. Blending the aesthetics of graffiti, hip-hop, infused with punk rock and heavy metal – undercut by all the subcultures that now define pop culture. Through an emotive technique of mixed media and the use
of negative stencils and dark subject matters, adam dare reveals his talent on the canvas and the city streets. A true talent who honors his craft and continues to grow with his community.
Vogue says he was the first Bay Area graffiti writer to turn a fire extinguisher into a spray can. (He practiced by spraying his name on the sidewalk with water, then switching over to paint.) His biggest claim to fame was an epic stunt in the mid-‘80s: Vogue drove from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, stopping at every single water tower along the I-5 and tagging it up. He says he managed to hit five out of six — one had a giant fence that wasn’t worth the trouble.
Apex is a young San Francisco based artist that has already made a big name for himself. His name doesn’t come from a ton of careless throw ups or quickly sprayed tags, instead, Apex has coined the term Super Burner. Huge productions that have several layers, patterns and a gamut of colors that put Crayola to shame. Apex’s work really has two scale. The macro scale where you can read the layering, composition and patterns and a micro scale where you get a feel for textures, color overlaps and other idiosyncratic moments.
Ryan Humphrey chooses his materials very carefully and is very interested in what each material means culturally in terms of where it falls in social strata. He uses this approach to explore how values of different social strata can effect visual taste. Humphrey received his Masters from Hunter College, and is an Alumni of The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. He has exhibited at The Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris, The Queens Museum of Art and The Kemper Museum as well as internationally.
Always an abecedarian, apprentice to the streets, pupil of the pavement, Jurne got his start in the slanguage arts watching the freight train wheels go round and round throughout the Northeast United States.
Born in Chesapeake, Virginia in 1975, Brett Amory is descended from a long line of visual artists and musicians. He studied at the Academy of Art from which he received a BFA in Fine Art in 2005 and was recipient of two major awards given by the school: The Student Choice Award for 2004 and Second Prize in landscape painting for 2003. He is the recipient of a gold medal from Online Artists Interviews, an international juried art competition (2009). He graduated from the Academy of Arts in 2005. Brett began working on the painting series entitled “Waiting” in 2001. The series depicts the urban individual’s yearning for presence and the seeming impossibility of attaining it. The paintings portray commuters in transit immersed in either a quiet, even hopeful state or, alternately, an anguish of unfulfilled anticipation.
Cake is a female street artist and painter working and living in Brooklyn, New York. Cake uses anatomy to describe the intricate relationship structures humans have with themselves and others. “I frequently take from the pool of human suffering for subject matter and inspiration. People have an innate ability to disconnect from self, nature and purpose. This disconnection will somehow show up in their faces, bodies and gestures. I prefer to make work describing those results. Through my work I hope to create channels with which to communicate and emphasize with other people as a way to connect in an authentic way.” Cake received her MFA at Parsons School of Design in 2007 and received her BFA in painting at the Pratt Institute in 2003.
With work ranging in scale from aerosol murals to intricate paper collages, Ruben Aguirre’s work continues to evolve with a strong design aesthetic. Both his public art and studio work lean heavy on elements of typography, blended with influences of nature, evolution, existentialism and life as a Chicagoan. Ruben’s work is set to organically rhythmic compositions that build up in layers and exhibit a distinct, joyous use of color. With his roots in graffiti, an art form that inherently revolves around “taking” space for the self, Aguirre now creates public works based on the concept of contributing to the space it occupies. The text incorporated into his work, whether in his large-scale public art or in his more compact studio pieces, is intended to open up a dialogue with the public/viewer.
Royce Bannon is a born and bred Harlem artist whose infamous Monsters can be seen pasted on doors and walls throughout the five boroughs. His iconic monsters are recognizable with their emotive eyes and, often, razor sharp teeth. As a member of the street art collective, Endless Love Crew, Royce has participated in various collaborative live paintings, group art shows, and solo art shows throughout New York and the world. On any given day you can find Royce painting monsters, silk-screening t-shirts, spraying stencils, or slapping stickers up on various spots in New York. Royce also curates shows that feature a variety of artists including fine, graffiti, and street.
Warehouse Manager of Mishka NYC…Mishkanyc.com
Hebru Brantley, a Bronzeville-native living and working in Chicago, explores personal and cultural memory in his art. Taking themes from his 1980’s upbringing, Brantley uses a creative process akin to free-form journaling, using a variety of surfaces and media including wood, spray paint, coffee and tea. His work delves into political and social issues with a conscious focus on playful insight and the optimism and possibilities of youth.
Brantley’s style derives from graffiti-worn buildings and sneaker-hung telephone poles honoring memories of local legends. Saturday morning cartoons and comic books celebrating the triumphs of mythological heroes inspired him to tell stories. Brushes and aerosol cans replace his original medium, words and incantation. The paintings are a peak into his mind represented by codified synapses and coagulated liquid pigments.
Joseph Meloy was born in New York City in 1982. Raised in the Lower East Side, from an early age, his eye was drawn to the immediacy of the art and graffiti that plastered the city streets. After several years working in the advertising industry, in 2010, Meloy founded Vandal Expressionism, Inc., a creative outlet for his primal, post-graffiti aesthetic.
L’Amour Supreme is an artist from Bronx, New York who has a background is architectural design.
He has meticulously crafted a balance of extraordinary mural work, powerful installations and a prolific commercial career in design for companies like Mishka, Nike, G-Shock, and Scion.
Influences range from street cultures of New York City, hip hop, hardcore and punk music all the way to 80’s and 90’s pop culture. He has travelled the world showcasing his work and live painting in places like Tokyo, Stockholm, Berlin and cities across the US. His background in architectural design has given him the ability to conceive his art in 3D not limited to 2D design. He has designed products ranging from custom furniture, jewelry, cars and footwear. LAmour Supreme would like to keep pushing the boundaries of how ordinary objects are perceived and always blending aesthetic form with function.
Jeremy Penn was born in 1979 in New York and studied Fine Art at both the University of Maryland and Pratt Institute. His works have been exhibited internationally and received honors from curators at museums such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 2009, Penn was honored as the “Featured Artist” for New York City’s Freedom Week. In 2010, Penn’s art was awarded ASFD’s Pinnacle Award and the Peace Maker Award for his painting “War Child”. In 2011, Penn was the artist selected to represent the United States during Rosafest, a global art exhibition celebrating the Pan-American Games.
Penn’s work explores the initial feelings of a single gaze and the deconstruction of that moment in time. With a heavy emphasis on his subject’s eyes, he creates a seductive power play between the viewer and the art.
Lankin is a Manhattan based artist who explores the spirit of our times, and timeless ideas connected to the human condition. He is known for painting in the studio, on location, at live events, essentially everywhere he goes. In addition to his master expressionist abstraction he develops conceptual abstraction linked to emotions, nature, and technology. Lankin collaborates in a wide variety of projects including: design, apparel, film, performance, curation, and street art.
The maxim, “Everything is Connected” is central to Lankin’s image making. The plastic, the ephemeral, and everything in between are intertwined in his work. Memory and active perception are in flux as first impressions dissolve and new revelations emerge. Lankin creates energetic images where the viewer is free to assign meaning and revel in sensation. His paintings are windows of self-reflection and residue of performance.
Paul Zepeda has pursued his passion for creation for nearly two decades. His oil paintings and works in gold leaf on canvas can be found in the collections of celebrities, have been featured by the BBC and have sold at auction to benefit numerous worthy causes. Currently based out of NYC, he uses his studio as a launch pad for projects around the globe including live painting at intriguing hotspots. The artist’s intent when creating a piece is to bring the work to life by capturing the subject in a bold yet deceptively simple manner through the building of textural layers. These layers mirror the multi-dimensionality of the human spirit, and create a unique experience for every viewer.
Ray Noland has been an urban art pioneer. Noland is a Chicago native and graduate of the School of the Art Institute. He operates the Creative Rescue Organization (CRO) and works under the same pseudonym. During the 2008 Presidential election, CRO gained national attention with his street art campaign ‘Go Tell Mama!’ His striking
images of Obama appeared throughout Chicago and across the country in the streets and alleyways.
CRO draws his inspiration from contemporary political discourse. His work is particularly powerful because of the elegant manner in which it depicts serious, complicated and contentious issues, while insightfully critiquing the
political culture in which we all live.
“My work is simply about visually documenting and recording pop, social and political issues of my time. It
addresses racial identity, pop culture, politics and at times alludes to underlying social behaviors historical and
current which continue to shape American society.”
KHno7’s collage work plays in humorous situations and a kinetic design aesthetic to redefine the common-place. Drawing inspiration from a multitude of vintage printed sources, such as old catalogs, cookbooks, and photos, she combines and reveals the ironic and unsettling in these innocent artifacts and ephemera.
KH grew up in Los Angeles California. She initially pursued an education in medicine, but after trying her hand at illustration, she found her true calling. Subsequently, she attended Art Center College of Design; one of the country’s top schools for design. It was there she was turned on to the work of Ed Fella, inspiring her to break from traditional drawing and to work in collage.
Two years ago KHno7 took her art to the streets of Los Angeles. She was instantly greeted with praise and demand. However, it was the act of putting her art out on the streets that drove her to continue. She suddenly had this way of showing her artwork to thousands of people without ever having to sign a contract.
Presently she continues creating new works and taking them to the streets; exposing Los Angeles to her unique perspective and vernacular. One of her more popular images, a Champion spark plug, symbolizes the genesis of creative thought and progression to create.
Jason Woodside is a professional colorer between the lines with agile wrists and a head full of mystical shades and shapes from the future. He has been living and painting in New York City since for ages.
Russell King is a New York raised New York based street artist. His work can be seen all over the city and beyond its borders in Philly, Chicago, L.A., and San Francisco.
Russell is known for his screen prints done on metal signs affixed to street poles often depicting classic looking women and men.
Chantala Kommanivanh a Chicago native is a high energy and actively engaged emerging artist. He is both a visual artist and has an active role as one half of the dynamic hip-hop duo called Maintenance Crew with whom he has released 4 full-length albums. The rap music and the visual work have areas of overlap in terms of their
meaning and content. His work has been displayed in two solo shows in the Chicago area galleries and has been included in numerous group and invitational exhibition. Chantala has arrived in Milwaukee Fall of 2010 to continue his research in Painting and Drawing. He received his B.A at Northeastern Illinois University and has achieved
numerous awards such as the Union League Civic & Arts foundation award and this past years A.O.P Fellowship award.
Chantala Kommanivanh is a candidate for an M.F.A degree at UWM Pecks School of the Arts.
Stal was born and raised on the north side of Chicago. Being heavily influenced by the variety of cultures in the Ravenswood neighborhood allowed for his artistic spirit to be ignited at a young age. At 14 years old, a fellow peer introduced him to first the essence of swift quick strokes of the spray paint medium. From that moment on, he
evolved into the street artist known as Stal; his style has transitioned from basic lettering to multiple styles forming from abstraction, motion, and color theory layering. He has yet to find a comfort zone, thus evolving and testing new grounds seemingly will always be his path.
Currently he is pursuing an educational career at Columbia University as a Product Design Major with the intention of expanding he street artist passion into a quintessential designer.
Revise CMW grew up riding the subways. He was exposed to the world of graffiti at a very young age through the colorful rooftops the redline had to offer. It was not until he entered junior high that he decided to take on this very
demanding art form. Revise has always had an appreciation for the elements of style, color, form and composition in graffiti. In high school he began creating his own recognizable wild style. At the time, Revise was highly influenced by his peers in the Chicago graffiti community. However, he has come to stand out due to his constant
experimentation. His artistic approach has stretched far beyond the graffiti standard of producing letters.
As an artist of modern times, understanding himself and the world through color, defining the meaning of originality Chor Boogie is one of many masters that leads this pioneering craft of spray paint in its diverse art form.
Borbay, dubbed a re-inventor of collage, the Big Kahuna, profiled on the BBC and featured by Forbes, is a professional artist residing in Manhattan.
His work encompasses four spheres: portraiture, locations, live event painting and branding. Borbay’s portraits focus on celebrity. He has texturally recreated the likeness of Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Daniel Day Lewis, Kanye West and Lil Wayne.
Borbay has painted around the world in cities and destinations including: Walt Disney World, The Guggenheim, Las Vegas, Milan and Shanghai. In April 2012, the Major League Baseball Fan Cave launched, showcasing four Borbay’s. In 2011, Borbay branded Bomb Wines and was commissioned by Advertising Week. Borbay has donated work to the following charities: Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children of Armenia Foundation, A.C.E., We Love Japan and The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Borbay’s press credits include Forbes, WSJ, BBC, New York Post, New York Times, The Source and NBC’s Grio.
Rashayla Brown is an interdisciplinary artist and independent
researcher. In her work, she explores how popular culture, mythology,
music and spirituality influence how we shape our personal identities.
Her pieces engage the visual language of mass media and pop
iconography through photography, video, performance, printmaking,
graphic design, and sound.
Born in 1980, Cesar Augusto Perez De Arguezo, ( Czr Prz), is an artist/designer from Stone Park IL. He comes from a line of artists and currently resides in Chicago IL where he does freelance art direction, murals and illustration.
Czr Prz “new brow” slash street art and techniques are inspired by classic nouveou comic books with heavy graffiti influences. His style is both spontaneous yet clean, his gestural style forms depth and balance of his objects through color and shape. He works with spray, acrylic, and house paints and develops digital graphic art for silkscreen prints to vinyl installations. Prz also fabricates props and background sets for installations/events and has been involved in corporate projects including; Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Nike, Camel, Toms Shoes, North Coast Fest, COCA I Cancer Society and Pop Cultour.
D Young V is best known for portraying a future world where history has been replaced with relics from a forgotten world, namely our modern society. Tribes of individuals have created culture from what is left of ours, and there is a sense of lawlessness about.His extremely detailed works can not only be seen in the gallery, but also on the streets. You never know which city corner may hold a chapter from the future world Young V has created
Erin Minckley Chlaghmo, b. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Chlaghmo’s identity has become an amalgamation of the myriad cultures she has assimilated into. Living as a religious outcast for most of her life made her aware of the gravity of belonging. Teaching art on a Native American Indian reservation was a shift in paradigm about American history and her first exposure to racism. Forever changed by that experience, she questions normative “white” culture through art making. Straddling the border between American and Moroccan society, she has a multi-cultural family and lifestyle. These immersion experiences have molded her life and artistic practice.
Chlaghmo’s process combines screen-printing, painting, sewing and construction to assemble 3D works layered with hand made fabric and found materials. The history of textiles is used in reference to the way people construct meaning/identity. Notions of craft are crucial to her work, formally, because there are moments of imperfection and
failure that reference true life and the ugliness of the social issues she is trying to tackle. The effect is an abstract collision of cultural references, pattern, colors and manipulated materials.
Matt Dobbs was born June 1987 in the San Fernando valley of Los Angeles, where he spent most of his life. He is currently a Brooklyn based designer and photographer, creating work that explores many different mediums including painting, installation, graffiti, screen-printing, and mix media images. Despite the interweaving of many mediums, his work remains cohesive and elements of other mediums are incorporated well together, where themes and motifs are consistent throughout the versatile content of his work.
The urban documentarian style of Dobbs work is a persistent vision, exploring a childlike observance of the grittier aspects of American subculture, unveiling his “own generations fucked up youth, and fucked up shit in general.” Most importantly his work encompasses a generation of life in the city, capturing the essence and influences of graffiti, skateboarding, punk, and the subcultures of an urban society.
ND’A is a Portland native turned NYC illustrator hit the streets running with a strong and unique style. His heavy-handed brush work and comical characters nestle within many of the forgotten grooves of Brooklyn. Unlike the typical graffiti characters found on the street, his work is like a troubled second cousin. One can’t help but be fascinated and slightly repulsed. Not to say they are grotesque but that they are grotesque, as the word was originally intended to be used.
I live in San Francisco with my husband Jay, in a tiny apartment that also serves as my painting studio. As a new girl to the city, I love exploring the different pockets and neighborhoods, sniffing all of the rose bushes and dodging the piles of human detritus on the sidewalks of the Mission. In addition to painting and drawing, I am a freelance illustrator and writer, and I occasionally design screen-printed apparel that Jay fantastically executes in T-shirt form.
UR New York tells the stories of a new generation of artists. They are talented urban and street creators generally hidden in the shadows and more often than not arrested and punished for expressing their talents. Exhibiting in shows and collaborations globally, with companies such as Nike, VH1, and Pop International, these two authentic, skillful and versatile artists disrupt the stereotype of struggling artists. Rather than hide in obscurity, Baca and Romero break and enter into the professional art world. UR New York returns home from their travels, with an approach to art that relies heavily on their New York City heritage and the people and cultures abroad to which they’re paying homage.
UR New York has grown up on the streets of New York City – Fernando grew up in Queens and Mike grew up in some of Brooklyn’s most notoriously tough neighborhoods. In the aesthetic allure of the street, Mike and Fernando started their own “gallery stand” on the corner Prince and Greene Streets a few years ago in SoHo, the originating point of New York’s hip, avant garde gallery district. Since claiming the street corner, Ski and 2ESAE are now fully represented by Pop International Galleries on West Broadway.
UR New York is the premiere urban art collective. Propelled by sheer determination, a hunger for success and growing validation by galleries, collectors and their peers, Mike and Fernando have a guerilla, community-focused approach to the art world — a point of pride for the two of them, who remain genuinely grateful and humble. This unconventional method has ensured benefits for the community resulting from their burgeoning success. During their journeys, they have worked determinedly with kids from all walks of life, earning admiration and respect the world over. “BE WHO YOU ARE®” is their credo and they take their growing visibility seriously. They genuinely recognize their responsibilities and work toward imparting a positive impact on the kids they encounter.
Baca and Romero truly work together – two distinct personalities who magically shape and meld on the canvas, creating a fusion of energy, hope, power, community and imagination in every exceptional work.
Claudia Gold created her eponymous luxury lifestyle brand aptly named CLAWMONEY. The brand features a multitude of collaborations with Nike, Calvin Klein, and Vans. Claw Money was the subject of Doug Pray’s Graffiti Documentary, “Infamy.” In 2007, she published her first book, Bombshell: The Life and Crimes of Claw Money. More
recently she’s been penning her fashion blog, www.blogue.us and painting murals for public art projects around the world.
New York native, Gold began at Anne Klein as a design intern and grew to become the Graffiti legend, and fashion maven she is today. For the past three decades you could find her iconic Claw tag in cities all over the world. In 2009, Claw Money was counted as one of the most influential graffiti writers of all time at the Tag au Grand Palais in Paris. Claudia has worked as a sought after stylist, costumer, fashion editor and designer all while building her namesake brand.
Ian Kuali’i is a multi-disciplinary artist born in Orange County California, raised in Maui Hawaii and currently residing in the New York City Metro Area.
Ian’s creative process blends the contrasting elements of very loose graffiti technics with extremely detailed hand cut paper and collaged found materials to create unique compositions. His work is a balance between the rough and delicate while exploring ideas of modern progress dependent on a foundation in one’s own history.
His art is predominantly influenced by his ancestral ties to the indigenous people of the Southwest United States and Hawaii, as well as masonic symbolism, mysticism, global politics and themes of urban decay.
Through out his career, Ian has assisted such artists as Doze Green, Carlos “Mare139” Rodriguez, Kid Zoom and WK Interact in large scale projects and installations across the country. He has worked in collaboration with notable brands including Universal Pictures and Global Grind by creating one-of-a-kind art pieces for their events and products.
New York native, See One, is a self taught visual artist with a big imagination.
Constantly drawing for hours on end. He was inspired by the colorful graffiti of the 1980’s, cartoon characters and comic books. See began creating his own world at a young age in sketchbooks and walls and has never looked back.
in 2009, he developed an abstract style for canvas work, known as “Shards”. A fluid, jagged abstract graffiti pattern, reminiscent work allows him to combine his Graffiti and Street art influences into one distinct creative vision.
full-time artist living and loving in San Francisco. I am inspired by skulls, glass bottles and messy hair. I dream every single night and I never get bored. I work in a variety of media, my favorites are oil and ink. I am currently preparing for my solo show at “Shooting Gallery“, San Francisco in January 2012. My illustrations, photography and paintings have appeared in magazines throughout the world. You can find my prints and designs at Urban Outfitters, Volcom Stone, Element, Nylon Magazine, Eyes on Walls, Envelop, Threadless, Bolia, Society6—and coming soon I will be opening my own online shop.
Chris Diers also known as Codo originally from Omaha, first began working on art in 1994 shortly before moving to Chicago, had no prior training in art and is completely self taught. He started out innocently enough with a children’s spiral splatter paint kit. The problem however was the inks that came with it did not produce the same images as what was on the box cover. Not one to give up he came at it with more industrial paints and out came images more like the box and on a trek he went. Over the years the repertoire has moved on to the more serious sides of photography, painting, collage and street art. Now he produces collages that combine painting, photography and anything else he can get in the computer both digitally and non digitally trying to find commonalities in objects, items and cultures that are distant and foreign from one another and yet can all the sudden blend together harmoniously. His photo’s have graced book covers for Northwestern University and Notre Dame have been featured in the Chicago Reader weekly, Chicago Public Radio, Gapers Block, Mun2, Wired Science and numerous other places. He has been a featured artist in several gallery’s over the years including solo shows and recently has produced 3 self published books of his photography, painting and collages.
Goons is a street artist born in Denver raised in Washington State and grew up on the streets of Chicago. Chicago is the home of the first Goons. For nearly seven years he got up on the streets of Chicago, bringing the new era to the streets. Big posters. Big lips. Big characters. Big ideas. Ever since then Goons has been all over. Appearing in commercials, music videos and becoming a cult icon. Always looking to get the next look Goons climbs to new heights daily. Goons is all about being seen and recognized for brining shine to parts of the city that previously had been dull. Goons is looking to
2012 as his biggest year ever. Follow the lips…
Kevin William Reed is a multimedia artist based in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. He received his MFA in painting and drawing from Pratt Institute in 2012 and now kicks ass and takes names independently, with multiple recent installations throughout Brooklyn and publications in the U.S., China and Bulgaria. For Reed, childhood encounters with animal carcasses as craft materials – play things – led to a lifelong interest in aesthetic reanimations of the dead. Scavenging, salvaging, and reappropriating were the means of acquisition. Transfer these childhood passions to Brooklyn, and the scope of the dead expands. Bones become scrap metal and claws become shredded bumper plastic. All things Frankensteinian drive this compulsion and inspire drawings of unidentified fleshy skulls and emaciated humanoid beauties. A sense of the uncanny is evoked: the abject, the rejected are all invited to participate in this multi-dimensional play. Scavenge, salvage, reappropriate, reanimate, do
NOT rinse, repeat.
Matt Dranes originates from Queens, NY. His art is heavily stimulated by images from the 80s (cartoons, video games, graffiti, heavy metal cd covers), posters in the Art Nouveau style, pinup and the emergence of modern day (computer generated) graphic design & branding. His work is iconic – both clean and gritty, using clean lines over textural backgrounds. In 2005, he created “Ghost Girl” as his signature icon in representing his current work. Matt’s work can been seen inclothing lines by Better Days Clothing, skateboards by Reciprocal Skateboards, RoyalFlush Magazine, and numerous galleries in the NYC area.
I believe art is not meant to last forever and that it only remains in time for a fleeting moment. My street sculpture is created on to the base of boarded-up buildings, construction sites, and other temporary architectural structures. I
arrange ordinary wooden shapes collected from alleys, garbages and individuals, and strategically place them to wooden barricades. Building on and taking from the streets guarantees each sculpture a specific purpose in its environment, forcing interaction and allowing people to pay attention to their space. Each sculpture is spontaneously built on site so that it is capable of bringing a smile to the face of a passer-byer and so it can stealthily create its own unique story and design. My name is Charles Schiver and I strive to have active engagement and interaction with the people of my community, Chicago.
I have been hanging and creating street sculptures in Chicago for five years. Over time, these structures have been torn down by the city or covered with brown paint so that it can blend to match their surroundings. The moment each sculpture is destroyed is when I know it is completed and I realize someone has contributed to their space
and I have created something special. Walking my streets, gathering recycled materials, having direct contact to a building, and the destruction allows each structure to have purpose for a specific amount of time. The entire process is what I love and is very special to me.
I work without the burden of intention. I respond to each application instinctually, letting the energy of the composition guide my next brush stroke. Colors that lead your eye along the dynamic shapes and lines evoke a sense of movement.
I work fast, focusing on only the paint touching the canvas, the sensual caress of the bristles. The physical speed of painting is the basis of my work today. I enjoy painting live at different types of events, where an audience can experience my process with me.
Chez was put in a rehabilitation center when he was 16 in the middle of the San Bernadino mountains outside of Los Angeles. Another patient in his rehab center showed him several graffiti magazines and it hooked Chez to draw pieces every day. By the time he got out, graffiti was his passion. Chez has been painting for 12 years experimenting in the San Francisco Bay Area with many painting mediums and styles. He considers his style to be “organic and pushed to the next level” where he has made a transition from piecing parallel lettering bars to thick and thin shapes that make up his lettering. Chez not only rocks lettering. He is also a master portrait artist.
I’ve always sketched, painted, photographed, and constructed with what is around me. I love building things-whether in a digital matrix, on canvas or paper, a darkroom full of trays and chemicals, or a shop full of fire and flux.
If there is a concept or idea floating in my mind, I like to consider which medium would be best suited to give it life.With that theory in mind, I approach most creative situations as a puzzle awaiting some A-team-tactics to achieve the best results.
Frankly, I just like to make imagery that draws the viewer in a bit closer and alters their reality-if even just for a moment.
“When I begin the process of creation, I approach a piece sans regard of its final result. I set out to make discoveries. Sometimes I have a specific idea in mind, yet this idea is certain to change throughout the creative process. My construction of an image also involves an element of destruction, as I am searching for what I want.
When I have fully built, dismantled and rebuilt a piece and feel comfortable with the strength of its foundation, my creation is complete. To me, this is a stressful, yet remarkably satisfying way to achieve an engaging final product.”
Lewis Taylor, Chicago based artist and BFA recipient from Virginia Commonwealth University, is a process oriented abstract artist whose intention is to empower his viewers to create their own narrative. Taylor, a prolific street artist and graffiti writer, currently has work in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and The Free Street Theatre.
￼Josh Slater, born in New York City, currently residing/working in Brooklyn, his works represent future maps and blueprints.
Slater’s collages,drawings and videos have been shown in galleries from Japan to Los Angeles.
His work has graced the sides of New York City buildings as well as featured in such magazines as The New Order and Dossier Journal. He recently completed his newest film “FOREVER VISION”, while his previous video “Heavy Rays” was shown on the roof of the New Museum in NYC.
The most interesting aspects of art often come from outside the art world. With this in mind I have found inspiration in passions outside of the sphere of painting. Fashion images provide a rich source of color for my early entanglement series which involves splicing images together to create a new context for each in order to draw attention to strange and elusive awareness of perception. My current body of work marries my first passion, physics, with great musical performers to hint at the feeling of awe each engenders. The ultimate goal of my artistic career, and indeed of my life, is to create a work of art worth a ticket to space.
Michael Serfino lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn and works anywhere.
Gerardo Cid is a Multimedia artist interested in processes that involve spreading, distribution and analysis of “information”.
He like to see the drawing as the minimal creative expression that still need to be widely explored in this technological context. For this he use coding programing languages as Action Script and Databases to draw visual representations of communication models. Even though his exploration has taken him to draw with GPS , 3D scanners and other not conventional tools, he’s still engaged in the traditional pencil paper and paint techniques. He have participated in exhibitions in Mexico and U.S. Nowadays he prepares with Designer Ashley Burson a new line of unwearable light accessories generated by an Infrared Recognition system that track the user.
Estria began spray painting in Hawai’i in 1984 and has since painted hundreds of murals. He was an influential leader of the “Golden Age” of graffiti (1980’s) in San Francisco, pioneering painting techniques of characters and scenes. He is also one of the inventors of the stencil tip, a modified cap used by graffiti writers worldwide to create thin airbrush-like lines. Estria has painted in Peru, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Honduras, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Honolulu, Charlotte and San Francisco.
Colors and Colors and Colors and Colors…..
Leah Matthews is a Brooklyn Based Artist who is driven by Color, Light and the Pursuit of Glitter. Leah creates two-dimensional works and interactive installations that revolve on the effects of color and light and human refection. Her Last Show tittle Glitter Rock, Leah created a 10ft Glitter Zen Garden that consisted of 200lbs of glitter, color changing RGB LED’s and of course Rakes!
A Material Girl in a Material World…
Common product of the 80’s, Leah is Obsessed with Materials and a borderline art hoarder. Reluctant to commit just ONE, Leah works with a plethora of materials such as plastic, glitter, tape and hula hoops.
Now its time for the breakdown…
Leah just received her MFA from the Pratt Institute. In 2010, Leah received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C.