I am fascinated by street art and crazy about the look of graffiti. When I get back to Atlanta, I’m planning to refurbish a cheap dining room table with (my attempt at) graffiti-style paint! The basic table will be from the Craigslist Boutique, so if/when I end up ruining it, it won’t be a huge monetary loss.
The perfect inspiration for bringing street art interior design and every day products: Graffiti artist John “Crash” Matos. He first garnered attention for his murals on New York City subway cars and buildings, and eventually came to be considered one of the founders of the graffiti art movement following his 1980 exhibit at Fashion MODA (South Bronx, NYC), “Graffiti Art Success for America.” Fashion MODA itself ought to be the subject of its own post; in short, it functioned as both a physical institution and a type of cultural ideology centered around values of inclusivity (race, gender, social class, etc.), artistic collaboration, and creative freedom. My little summary doesn’t do justice to Fashion MODA’s influence on the art community; it’s worth googling if you’re interested in learning more.
Anyway! His canvas work falls into my “dream purchase when I win the lottery” category. Obvious but necessary legal note: the art that follows is displayed for educational, informational purposes and is the copyright of the artist or the artist’s assignee/transferee. The sources I link to indicate the website from which the image was obtained.
But the kicker for me is that Crash has partnered with a number of more mainstream companies to create mind-blowing products. By far, my favorite collaboration is with Fender Musical Instruments, which commissioned a line of its guitars, “Crashocasters.”
Unreal. In the artist’s own words:
Finding a source to let your rawest emotions bleed through…
sitting alone in silence as your fingers explore notes that will remind you of then…
tugging on the strings as the echoes of yesterday bring her back…
I paint, yet I can feel the same experiences that a guitar player feels
when your [sic]searching for the moment, find it, and lay it out for all to hear/see.
Crash also designed a line of Tumi luggage in 2011. They don’t appear to be featured on the Tumi website anymore, and a search on eBay didn’t turn up any available for sale, so I’m forced to assume that if you didn’t scoop one up last year, you’re out of luck. Still, they’re pretty to admire.
The fruits of Crash’s partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. (the popular jeans brand) are still available in men’s sizes on The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) website. All proceeds are dedicated for the benefit of MOCA and related community programs.
Somehow, I suspect that my forthcoming dining room table attempt won’t quite display this level of mastery… I’ll be sure to post pics either way, though.