Urban Odyssey: John ‘CRASH’ Matos
  -    -  Urban Odyssey: John ‘CRASH’ Matos

Urban Odyssey

John ‘CRASH’ Matos.

Showing: Fall/Winter 2024
Artist Reception: Thursday, November 14th
Location: 511A West 22nd St., New York, NY 10011

JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present URBAN ODYSSEY, featuring works by John ‘CRASH’ Matos. In a continued exploration of the spray paint medium, this exhibition highlights Matos’ distinct blend of pop sensibility and limitless energy.

As a result of his decades-long autodidactic art practice, Matos’ fluorescent palette, structural boldness, and graffiti influences have become synonymous with his proficiency. Eye-popping canvases and smaller watercolors balance flatness with dimensionality whilst incorporating signature elements of lettering, ocular motifs, lens flare, and decisive slashes of color. Borrowed imagery from popular cartoons including Popeye, Dick Tracy, and Batman gleefully appropriate and excavate visual history to echo Matos’ childhood memories as he delivers collective nostalgia. Ransacking the senses with bright neon and visually fragmented compositions, Matos generates works that reject the mundane.

Rooted in his identity as a Bronx-born graffiti artist, having come of age in the hip-hop fueled Bronx of the late 1970s, Matos’ unique style made him an iconic part of the New York City 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. A frequent collaborator, CRASH is continuously engaged in various projects, commissions, and numerous museum shows, with works in many permanent museum collections such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Brooklyn Museum (New York), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (Scottsdale), and Stedeljik Museum (Amsterdam). Whether on city streets or gallery walls, concrete or canvas, Matos’ works are instantly recognizable.

John ‘CRASH’ Matos’ work 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.