John “CRASH” Matos
  -  John “CRASH” Matos

John “CRASH” Matos

Artist Bio

CRASH (b. John Matos, 1961, Bronx, New York) took an interest in unconventional artistic expression at an early age. At just 13 years old, he began following the older teens from his neighborhood to the train yards and began bombing. Designated as “CRASH” after he accidentally crashed the computer in his school, his name started appearing on trains circulating all throughout New York City. By 1980, the display of his work transitioned from train yard backdrops to canvases on gallery walls. CRASH transformed the graffiti movement by curating the groundbreaking “Graffiti Art Success for America” at Fashion MODA. CRASH’s career took off and he saw instant international popularity. His work has been part of numerous museum and gallery exhibitions around the world, including shows such as “Graffiti” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and “Art in the Streets” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Regarded as a pioneer of graffiti art, CRASH’s work combines elements of both traditional fine art and underground urban art creating a dialogue concerning the very nature of art itself. With apparent Pop-Art influences showcased amongst a subcultural street art foundation, CRASH allows viewers to explore the impartial quality that art has to offer, reminding us that great art can be found everywhere, whether it be on the side of a train, encompassing the surface of a building, or displayed on the walls of an art gallery.


Untitled (Yellow Letters)_John Crash Matos_Spray Paint on Shaped Canvas_40 x 30
  • March 2023
  • “Inside Actor John Leguizamo’s New York City Brownstone, an Antique Lover’s Paradise”
  • Architectural Digest
  • Maria Sherman
  • January 2019
  • “John ‘CRASH’ Matos talks Graffiti: Message, Medium and a Responsibility to History”
  • New York Said Podcast
  • January 18, 2017
  • JoAnne Artman Gallery: John “CRASH” Matos
  • Artillery Magazine
  • Liz Goldner
  • October 2016
  • Graffiti Icon Crash Serves Up an Animated One-Two Punch in Chelsea
  • The Creators Project
  • Jasmin Hernandez
  • September 2016
  • Bronx Native John “CRASH” Matos is “Breaking Ground” in Downtown NY
  • Crave
  • Miss Rosen
  • August 2016
  • John “Crash” Matos Brings the Bronx to “Breaking Ground: Redefining the Urban Experience”
  • Artsy
  • Karen Kedmey
  • August 11, 2016
  • Meet the legendary graffiti artists who inspired ‘The Get Down’
  • New York Post
  • Robert Rorke