Tag Archives: graffiti

Colossal x Josh Keyes Print Release: I’ll Melt With You 

We are honored to have worked with Portland-based painter Josh Keyes on an exclusive release of the print edition of his 2016 painting, “I’ll Melt With You,” available now in The Colossal Shop.

Keyes’ ability to paint realistic renderings of our world becomes uncanny when he wields his brush in the name of environmental issues. Animals, rocket ships, and icebergs fall prey to graffiti, leaving the viewer uncomfortably wondering whether this is a painting of the future or a photograph of the present.

“I’ll Melt With You,” originally painted in acrylic on a 12 x 16 inch panel is translated to print form in its full dimensions, with an additional white border for convenient framing, for a final size of 16 x 20 inches. Printed by our friends at ioLabs in Rhode Island on Epson Hot Press Bright 300 gsm archival paper and available exclusively in The Colossal Shop.

Speculative Paintings of a Graffiti-Covered Earth by Josh Keyes 

"Descent" (2016), acrylic on panel, 8"x10"

“Descent” (2016), acrylic on panel, 8″x10″

Josh Keyes' newest series features subjects both manmade and natural, their common element being several layers of graffiti that cover a space shuttle, a melting iceberg, and even a whale’s tail. For the last ten years these marks had remained in the background of Keyes’ paintings, adding detail to the supporting elements of the environment rather than being integrated into the subjects of his work.

For Keyes, the decision to place graffiti writing in the foreground questions our relationship to the natural world, and what impact we are undeniably leaving on our planet. The iceberg for instance, is marked with the words, “I’ll melt with you.” This blood red message could be the voice of both the iceberg and the tagger, a warning that we will all be melting if we continue to desecrate the Earth.

“Are there things and places that graffiti should not be?” asked Keyes to Colossal. “Who is to say what surface is to be kept graffiti clean? My personal concern is that this will be a reality some day and speaks to a larger issue of our relationship with the natural world. The satellite and space graffiti hints that even if we colonize other worlds, what mark will we leave? No matter where we go there is evidence of our presence.”

Keyes’ will exhibit his paintings later this year with Thinkspace Gallery in LA. You can see more of his works on his Instagram and website.

"Tin Can" (2016), acrylic on panel, 24"x48", all images via Josh Keyes

“Tin Can” (2016), acrylic on panel, 24″x48″, all images via Josh Keyes

"Tin Can" (2016), acrylic on panel, 24"x48"

“Tin Can” (2016), acrylic on panel, 24″x48″

"I'll Melt With You" (2016), acrylic on panel, 12"x18"

“I’ll Melt With You” (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″x16″

"Frontier 2" (2016), acrylic on panel, 12"x16"

“Frontier 2″ (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″x16”

"Frontier" (2015), acrylic on panel, 19"x24"

“Frontier” (2015), acrylic on panel, 19″x24″

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Stencil Art That Blends Graffiti and Decay by Martin Whatson 

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All images via Martin Whatson

Norwegian born artist Martin Whatson produces stencil art that lashes out at the mundane, interrupting grayscale scenes with explosions of vibrantly painted graffiti. The works often focus on a singular matte subject, one that is seemingly unaware of the bright words and marks that have surrounded their bleak environment. Whatson’s inspirations come from a variety of urban origins, interested in everything from decaying walls to the graffiti and posters that cover them.

Currently Whatson has a work in the group exhibition “LAX / ORD” at Chicago’s Vertical Gallery. You can see more of his indoor and outdoor work on his Instagram and website.

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Street Artist Paints Over Ugly Graffiti to Make it Legible 

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Artist Mathieu Tremblin recently took to the streets of France on a rather quixotic mission to improve the legibility of ugly graffiti. Mimicking the scale, color, and layering of each tag, Tremblin created his own replica in a perfectly crisp font. It’s hard to say if either version is more aesthetically pleasing, but he definitely gets an ‘A’ for effort. (via Design You Trust, thnx Nikki!)

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Site-Specific Elephant Murals on the Streets of South Africa by Falko One 

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Garies, South Africa. 2015.

Working with the iconic image of the elephant, South African artist Falko One brings lumbering pachyderms to the facades of homes, alleyways, and businesses across the country. The Cape Town-based graffiti artist has been painting murals in the region since 1988, and though he depicts a wide range of subject matter in his artworks, the elephants seem to most easily capture the imagination of the viewer. Many of his site-specific murals incorporate elements of the building or even items far off in the background directly into the painting, creating fun optical illusions. You can follow more of his work on Instagram and on Global Street Art.

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Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

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Wesminster, South Africa.

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South Africa

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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Karoo, South Africa

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