Aerosol artists remain a mainly illusive, nocturnal breed, uncomfortable with commercial production, and prints can be as hard to track down as the painters themselves. (As Oakland-based artist Eddie Colla once put it, “The problem with vandalism is that it eventually attracts unwanted museum exhibits.”) And, like all fine art, originals are particularly hard to score. Luckily, the following folks are not only rattle-can masters, but they all have surprisingly affordable work available now.
In 1990, Revok began his art career in Riverside, California, by sneaking out of his parents’ house to spread his vision around the neighborhood. Since those early days as a 13-year-old graffiti writer, he has gone on to participate in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ “Art in the Streets” exhibition, the Pasadena Museum of California Art’s show “Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas,” and a solo exhibit at Vicious Gallery in Germany.
But the member of the infamous graffiti crew MSK (Mad Society Kings) hasn’t lost his street cred. As one of the world’s most influential taggers, Revok creates intricately stylized lettering, sometimes high above the ground. In 2008, he added his own flare to a billboard advertising a Murakami show at the MOCA. The beautified billboard was removed at Murakami’s request, so that the Japanese artist could add it to his own collection.
Revok’s artistic risks have led to several arrests in the U.S. and abroad and a 180-day jail sentence in L.A. He now lives in Detroit, where things are safer — at least for street artists. There, he founded the Detroit Beautification Project, which helps bring murals to blighted areas.
In recent years, Revok has been honing his craft indoors as well, creating wood panels layered with paint and strips of found material from abandoned buildings.
In support of fellow muralist Swoon’s community-based arts center, Braddock Tiles, Revok is selling a limited-edition print of one of his abstract works, “550 Helena St.
,” for $45
!Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery.