John Crash Matos
John Matos aka Crash, is a graffiti artist of Puerto Rican origin born in the Bronx on October 11, 1961. John Crash is one of the founding members of "Aerosol (R)evolution".
He started painting graffiti on trains in New York at a very young age before turning to creating works on canvas. He did his first train graffiti in 1975. Crash is one of the great American street art artists.
He found his nickname in high school when he accidentally deleted the contents of his computer, a computer "crash" that will have great consequences.
In 1979, he joined the Graffiti Studio which allowed urban artists of that time such as Dondi, Futura, Daze or Kel to turn to canvas production.
In 1983, he joined the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York, before entering the world's largest collections at the MoMA in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum of the City of New York.
He became known to the general public during an advertising campaign for the cigarette brand Peter Stuyvesant, which he created with the great Keith Haring.
At the beginning of the 1980s, his art began to interest Europe. He participated in the first exhibitions devoted to the art of graffiti in Amsterdam (Yaki Kornbilt) and Monaco (Speerstra Gallery). He joins the Speerstra collection which lends some of his paintings for exhibitions in the Netherlands, Denmark and France.
In 1984, John Crash Matos exhibits for the first time in France at the exhibition "5/5 Figuration libre - France/USA" at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. This exhibition featured works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Robert Combas, Kenny Scharf, François Boirond, Tseng Kwong Chi, Hervé Di Rosa and John Crash Matos.
In the late 1990s, Matos Crash painted five Fender Stratocaster guitars for Eric Clapton. Clapton used them on his 2001 tour, which further increased his recognition and visibility.
In 2004, one of the guitars made for the singer, called the "Crash 3", was auctioned off at Christie's for $321,100. Subsequently, the artist has made other works on Fenders and collectors are snapping them up.
In July 2006, he had the honour of exhibiting at the Brooklyn Museum. After this date, he exhibited quite regularly in Europe, notably at the Galerie Brugier-Rigail and in Monaco in connection with ecological projects supported by the Foundation of Prince Albert II of Monaco.
John Crash Matos is renowned for his play on lettering and for his innovations in what is known as the "Wild Style". He has developed a strong and colorful graphic style. On the canvases of this artist we often find an eye which is in a way his signature, his emblem.
Also, his style is very inspired by Comics, flamboyant and pure colors. John Matos is one of the banners of urban arts around the world, he pursued Pop Art to place his art in the high spheres of art history and the art market.
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