More than just an ancillary exhibition to Art in the Streets, Blurring the Lines – opening on April 30, 2011 – serves to explore regional variation in graffiti culture. With legends CRASH, FREEDOM and RISK presented through the expert eye of curator Roger Gastman, who also worked on Art in the Streets and is author of The History of American Graffiti, the exhibition finds the fine line where graffiti and fine art merge. On view through May 18, 2011.
Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Select images and artist bios after the jump.
Chris Pape / FREEDOM
Born in 1960, Chris Pape began painting trains as a teenager in New York, and in 1979, he adopted his world-famous moniker FREEDOM. Pape began exhibiting in galleries in the early 80s showing with CRASH, Jean Michel Basquiat, FUTURA and others. In 1989, with the emergence of the “Mole People”, he chose to abandon his gallery career and focus on painting and drawing the homeless known as the Freedom Tunnel series. In 1996 the tunnel was closed off and the artist painted his final work titled “Buy American”. Considered by many to be the leading archivist of the New York subway graffiti movement, Pape reemerged as an author and filmmaker, continuing to paint commissions based on the eclectic works in the Freedom Tunnel for collectors worldwide.
John Matos / CRASH
Growing up in the Bronx, John Matos began his career at the early age of 13. He was first noticed through his murals on subway cars and dilapidated buildings. As he got older, he transferred his art from the street to canvases and has exhibited his work in museums worldwide. In 1996 Matos painted a signature Stratocaster for musician Eric Clapton and gave it to the artist as a gift. Clapton used this guitar throughout his 2001 tour. In total Matos has created five guitars for Clapton and was commissioned by Fender Musical Instruments for 50 guitars he titled the “Crashocasters.” Today Matos is not only recognized as a fine artist, he is also regarded as a pioneer of the graffiti movement. Matos’ work is included in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn as well as private collections worldwide. For more information about the artist, please visit crashone.com.
Kelly Graval / RISK
In a career spanning 29 years, RISK has impacted the evolution of graffiti as an art form in Los Angeles and worldwide. RISK gained major notoriety for his unique style and pushed the limits of graffiti further than any writer in L.A. had before: He was one of the first writers in Southern California to paint freight trains, and he pioneered writing on “heavens,” or freeway overpasses. At the peak of his career he took graffiti from the streets and into the gallery with the launch of the Third Rail series of art shows, and later parlayed the name into the first authentic line of graffiti inspired clothing. RISK has continued to work on numerous Hollywood projects for movie and music video sets, including the film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and videos for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Bad Religion and Michael Jackson. Today, RISK is still involved with graffiti, surrounding himself with writers and supporting them in their art, and exhibiting at galleries and museums worldwide. For more information about the artist, please visit riskrock.com.