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John “Crash” Matos. Laguna Beach Exhibits. JoAnne Artman Gallery

FUN and Games Diptych_Spray Paint on Canvas_24 x 96

JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present, “JOHN ‘CRASH’ MATOS: CELEBRATING 45 YEARS,” an exclusive online exhibition continuing the conversation of scope, scale, and environment through the spray paint medium.

JOHN "CRASH" MATOS Untitled Spray Paint on Canvas 72.5 x 82 inches
JOHN “CRASH” MATOS Untitled Spray Paint on Canvas 72.5 x 82 inches

Over his 45-year career, CRASH’s work has engaged with environments on a huge scale – ranging from his early murals on the sides of NYC subway trains in the 70’s to commissions at the Bowery Wall and Miami’s Hard Rock Football Stadium. Barely contained to the planes of his work surfaces, CRASH incorporates dark outlines, bright colors, and figurative elements, bridging the divides between street art, public art, and gallery space.

JOHN "CRASH" MATOS Born to Be Free Spray Paint on Canvas 78 x 87  inches
JOHN “CRASH” MATOS Born to Be Free Spray Paint on Canvas 78 x 87 inches

Instantly recognizable, CRASH’s process is rooted within his identity as a Bronx-born graffiti artist, having come of age in the hip-hop fueled Bronx of the late 1970s. The radiant, fluorescent palettes cement CRASH’s work firmly in the present as he works within a dialogue culled from classic pop culture, comic book and print references. CRASH’s distinct style made him an iconic part of the NYC visual landscape, while also pioneering a new age for graffiti in 1980 when he curated the pivotal “Graffiti Art Success for America” exhibition at Fashion MODA.

JOHN "CRASH" MATOS Decade Dance Facade Spray Paint on Canvas 36 x 36 inches
JOHN “CRASH” MATOS Decade Dance Facade Spray Paint on Canvas 36 x 36 inches

Remaining true to his masterful integration of pop art, pop culture influences, and his accomplished background in street art, CRASH continues to develop on the narratives and imagery of his compositions. Inviting viewers to enjoy the impartial quality that art has to offer, he reminds us that great art can be found where you least expect, whether it be on the side of a train or displayed inside an art gallery.

John “Crash” Matos will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you’re sure to find the right artistic expression.

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Written by Martha O'Hara

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