WANE COD (Bronx, New York)
Born in the United Kingdom’s West London, Wayne is of West Indian descent and lived in England and Grenada until he was 7 years old. In 1978, Wayne’s parents brought their 2 sons to the U.S. and moved to New York City’s North Bronx. The elevated tracks soon caught Wayne’s eye and he slowly became obsessed with watching and admiring the many great graffiti writers of the late 70’s and early 80’s.
In 1983, Wayne became ‘Wane One’ when he painted his first train. This was the beginning of a lifelong love for graffiti and the culture that surrounded it. Subway cars and train walls were his favorite canvases. He had an unquenchable thirst for painting his pieces onto these metal surfaces, thus transforming them into mobile works of art. Other writers knew his style was significant and a bond was quickly established with many serious subway painters. In 1988, Wane started experimenting and exploring other medias, such as painting with acrylic on canvas, denim jackets and jeans. He then began airbrushing onto t-shirts, which became popular in his neighborhood and gave Wane his first taste of being an entrepreneur. Wane was also one of the first writers to make the transition into Graphic Design and has designed logos for hip-hop groups like Gangstarr, Jeru the Damager and Group Home. Presently, Wane divides his time between painting, running his company Writers Bench, designing for Sean John Menswear, Nike and Reebok and traveling around the world. Wane still resides in the Bronx.
DEDOS NOMADZ AACREW (Vancouver, BC)
In addition to showing in galleries, Nelson "Dedos" Garcia is a Juno Award winner, a seasoned muralist, 2D animator, comic artist, illustrator and concept artist. Some notable clientele include artists like K-OS, K-Naan, Avril Lavigne, MTV, Cartoon Network and Nintendo. He has been in the animation/ video game industry for 13 years.
Dedos is recognized as one of the graffiti/ b-boy pioneers in Canada and in the early 90's was a core member of an infamous graffiti muralist crew: 'AA Crew.' As well as a dynamic b-boy crew: 'Contents Under Pressure' and a founding member of the hip hop group 'The Rascalz' that shook up the Canadian music industry.
Currently, he pushes the name of his own company 'Nomadic Alternatives Productions' with his wife Xochitl, together they aspire to create an abundance of great things and travel the world with their 3 children.
DABS1 YIA (Taipei, Taiwan)
Dabs1 has been involved in the graffiti art movement since 1993. At an early age, he became inspired into art through skateboard and comic book graphics.
Dabs1 had worked briefly in the video gaming industry before setting more development and emphasis on his own personal art endeavours.
Current themes of interest range from conventional graffiti lettering to psychedelic and graffiti futuristic concepts, meanwhile incorporating a broad mix of underground cultural references and ideas combined within his own personalized lettering forms.
While based throughout Asia, Dabs1 currently focuses doing design within the fashion and apparel industry. Notable art and design clients include industry names such as Red Bull, Givenchy, Nike, Adidas and Stussy.
SEVE ESTEVEZ (Barcelona, Spain)
Tattoo artists often in a way to evolve, study other artists' work. In one way, it's a way to progress, but on the other hand it leads to a loss of identity and authenticity of work. By contrast, in order to create a style that is truly unique, long periods of consistent isolation are needed to manifest original concepts. The Internet has changed the way artists approach work. On one hand, it has become more convenient to access information, but on another hand its easy access leads people to abuse information and authenticity of work is lost at the speed it is shared.
Seve Estevez was born in Galicia, Spain in 1976 and raised in Barcelona. Growing up in the Franca district with its concrete housing blocks, Seve was forced to dream big and worked with his father in order to buy cans to paint. After dropping out of school, he started painting more graffiti which soon lead him to travel and eventually found himself in Madrid. It was at this point that he became accustom to living as a nomad. He worked and traveled to many cities often working in friends stores. It was during this time that he made the switch from graffiti to tattoo; a common transition for many artists. Seve's tattoo style is directly influenced by his graffiti roots and it reflects in most of the techniques he uses. The movement and expressiveness he has borrowed from his graffiti is almost always apparent. Seve Estevez is not an easy guy to get to know and his outlook on life has not gained him many friends but his desire to seek out truth pertaining to his art makes him a true style master.
KRAM & ELEDU (Barcelona, Spain)
KRAM (Barcelona, Spain)
Kram is a Barcelona native who studied illustration and fine art and has been involved in the local street art scene since he was a kid. His character-based, cartoonish improvisational style can be seen everywhere from abandoned walls in the neighbourhood to art and fashion events.
Kram has his own definition of the difference between graffiti and street art. “Street art as we know it today was born through graffiti. Graffiti is the creation of a visual piece using cans of spray paint. No stencils, no rulers, no tricks! In the Nineties and early 2000s, many visual artists in Barcelona and elsewhere got the idea to use the modus operandi of graffiti to present their work in a more rapid and direct way. But as the movement grew, a new wave of artists with new methods changed everything. Stencils, paste-ups of pre-painted images and other techniques started appearing everywhere and captured more attention than traditional graffiti, to the point that graffiti is now considered to be inferior to street art. Technically it requires some skill and lots of practice to paint freehand with a spray can - I mean, really create something interesting, not just scrawl your name on a wall - but the street art and its newer techniques offer optimal results in a shorter time, which is why it’s appealing to both artists and viewers.” As a result, graffiti has gone back to its origins—an anti-establishment, sometimes destructive art—whereas street art has been refined so as to become palatable to art galleries.
ELEDU (Barcelona, Spain)
Eledu was born in Barcelona in 1976. His first can of spray paint reached him through a school friend back in 1990 and began with his first tags. Then he tried things of more complexion; on cloth on the roof of his house. But it was not until 1992 when he jumped to the walls with colour and styles. Later in 1994, this sporadic hobby became a vice and remains active today.
Always happy to be invited to paint, Eledu has collaborated in many exhibitions and events with a smile, because 'colour is joy that fills the heart' and he always tries to convey this feeling through his work.
BIP (San Francisco, CA)
"The anonymous, international artist known as BIP produces both giant, legal murals and smaller, illegal work with his characteristically expressive, humanist style."
Although BIP originated as a local Connecticut bomber, he quickly evolved into an influential but anonymous figure in the Yale-New Haven art scene revival. At Yale's dismay and Connecticut's joy, BIP led a multi-year guerilla painting campaign on city and university property that culminated in the preservation of local artists' work by Yale itself.
After additional stints in New York and Detroit, BIP permanently relocated to San Francisco to launch an international campaign and has since painted both graffiti and museum pieces around the world, from a 7-story facade for the Krasnoyarsk Museum of Art in Russia to a historic 4-story building for the National Museum of Art in Taiwan.
BIP is happy to be invited to Edmonton to produce an original piece for the Rust Magic Street Mural festival.
LIZARD KING (Canada)
Edmonton old school graffiti legend Lizard King started painting New York influenced styled pieces in 1986. His works were highly visible along the LRT train lines and were iconic and extremely influential to the history of Edmonton graffiti. The artwork of Vaughn Bode and Ed Roth had a big impact on most of his designs. Lizard King painted a large Fantasia piece in the mid 80‘s that was the city’s longest and most memorable running piece with a life span of almost 25 years before the city removed it. After being a mystery for so many years, he has resurfaced with a time capsule of graffiti funk.
Demer rocks pieces that are electric and funky using cryptic colour schemes reminiscent of lava, horizons and galaxies. His fluid handstyle and eccentric tags are transformed into large graffiti pieces with a combination that is cohesive. Demer’s natural eye for typography and letter structure are evident and remain at the front of his work. Mixed with a raw energy derived from the street, Demer creates an elixir of style that is wicked and seductive.
A long time letter artist, Adlib brings a mix of formalism and performance to his graffiti work. Moving to the rhythm of his interest in dance, he imbues his aerosol creations with a sensibility he acquires through arduous classical ballet training. Often integrating the artist in the painting, he has been working through a series of letter pieces wherein he himself poses as one of the letters. Moving while capturing movement, Adlib likes to create in the state he wishes his work to reflect; a very physical process using the space in and around the wall.
AJA LOUDEN (Canada)
AJA Louden (AJA sounds like 'Ajay', short for Adrian Joseph Alexander) is an emerging muralist, designer and educator working out of Canada. Born to a family tree with roots split between Jamaica and Canada, Louden is a child of contrast. Bold and arresting freehand spray-painted portraits of figures as divergent as Jimi Hendrix and Richard Nixon, combined with improvised hand-lettering work borne of a background in graffiti and calligraphy bring a fresh, contemporary approach to muralism. A sensitivity to and healthy disregard for pop culture and art historical traditions find balance in Louden's work
Rast was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Raised in close proximity to freight trains and the sprawling urban landscape, he took to graffiti at a young age. He would ride the cities subway (LRT) from end to end, looking out for some of his favourite graffiti writers like Tusk, Land, Plas, Lizard King and Demer to name a few. He began to immerse himself in the graffiti culture and dove head first into the craft that would form the beginning of his art endeavors. He presently resides and works as a freelance artist in his hometown. His work can be found in private collections or public art spaces throughout Edmonton and Canada.
CURLY YIA (Canada)
Curly started painting in 1994 and was introduced to the graffiti writing culture through random publications like Subway Art and Spray Can Art. With no real scene in his city at the time, he became obsessed with collecting any magazine or movie with graffiti and relied on them as well as knowledge from other more experienced heads to push him in the right direction. During this time he was also actively involved in the hip hop scene as a b-boy who concentrated on funky up rock flavours and style. In 2000, Curly spent 6 years in Taiwan where he painted actively with his longtime graffiti partner Dabs1. Together, they formed the crew YIA (Youth In Asia).
Today, Curly's graffiti art is always evolving. He enjoys painting New York influenced pieces as well as more darkly themed experimental pieces where he uses a minimalistic and a non-traditional approach to his work. Now working as a full time artist and owner of Fresh Canvas Art Co., he produces high quality custom art pieces for many prominent businesses and other commissioned projects..
VENZ YIA (Canada)
Graffiti with a women's touch. Venz likes to paint elegant flowing pieces with multiple layers of vibrant colours and fades. Taking inspiration from fashion and pop culture, she loves to use exotic motifs to paint her funky pieces. Her colour selections are always on point and while her graffiti lettering is simple in structure, commands immediate attention. An avid lover of style, she also works as a freelance wardrobe stylist and owns a massive collection of vintage clothing along with other rare and iconic items. Atop of her many creative endeavours, most of her time is spent executing designs and putting in work with Fresh Canvas Art Co. where she is the co-owner and key contributor to the company.