I am so proud and excited to be a part of this. I have never in my life been part of an exhibit that dove so far in depth to the history of art and pushed the limits of how people view graffiti as an art form. The books involved with this show play a huge roll in how I was inspired for my piece.
Do not miss this experience! The show is on display at the El Segundo Museum of Art, in El Segundo, California from June 8th until September 21st 2014. The entire show was inspired by a series of books brought out from the Getty Research Institute archives. Some of the books that are on display as part of the show simply blow me away, that I have even been able to see them in person, much less to have my art bound into a book as part of this collection and shown in an exhibit. I have to give special thanks to my friends for making me a part of this: Axis, David Brafman, Ed Sweeney, and the ESMoA Gallery.
The large piece in the gallery that I worked on was lead by artist Axis in collaboration with myself, Plek, Atlas, Krush, Eder, and Bob and Charlie Roberts. There were about 50 artists involved with the installation, and 143 artist bound into the LA Liber Amicorum book, for which I illustrated my own page. Here is the write up from the ESMoA Museum website (esmoa.org):
Many of LA’s most influential graffiti and tattoo artists will cover the walls and floors of ESMoA to publicly launch their 21st century encounter with an artistic tradition: The Getty Graffiti Black Book.
In 2013 more than 150 of LA’s leading graffiti artists responded to a 16th century manuscript from the vaults of the Getty Research Institute called a liber amicorum (book of friends) by contributing works on paper to be bound into a single book and created the Getty Graffiti Black Book. Street artists have used black books for decades to create a visual memory of drafts and to serve as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas. The extraordinary competition that occasionally arises among such artists can also lead to respect as rivals invite each other to “hit” their black books with original works. The contributing artists decided to give the Getty Black Book the title, LA Liber Amicorum, to capture the spirit of its transformation of rival ‘writing-crews’ into a Los Angeles Book of Friends.
Now, ESMoA and the Getty Research Institute have invited Getty Black Book artists Axis, Cre8, Defer, Eyeone, Fishe, and Miner to co-curate those crews of creative friends from the LA graffiti art community and turn the art laboratory of ESMoA into an open black book. Graffiti and tattoo artists will transform the space into a cathedral of urban art for the first presentation of the LA Liber Amicorum to the public with SCRATCH.
Graffito is old Italian slang for “a little mark,” and graphein in Ancient Greek meant “scratch, draw, paint” long before it meant “to write.” Graffiti artists craft letterforms, draft perspective, and merge line, color, and form with the same techniques employed by Renaissance masters like Albrecht Dürer.
The first edition of Dürer’s landmark book on perspective was just one of the many rare books that the artists viewed at the Getty Research Institute in the process of creating the LA Liber Amicorum. Some of those jewels in the history of calligraphy, engraving, and emblematic symbolism from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, as well as sixteenth-century painted friendship-books that inspired the project, will be installed in the space surrounded by the graffiti-writers’ art. iPads will be mounted, so visitors can ‘e-flip’ through the books and not only share the artists’ own creative experience and response to the impact of viewing these rare books, but also continually co-curate the space by choosing which page-openings will be in dialogue with the art on the walls and floor.
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