A perspective on how graffiti has paved the way for many successful artists today. The story is told by the artists themselves on their journey from tagging graffiti on city walls to becoming respected icons in the cities they serve. They have proven that art is something that can influence, create emotion, inspire, and bring culture to an area. As the film progresses you see the difficulties they have endured and public criticism of their work. Today the murals they produce bring in big advertising dollars from some of the biggest companies. These artists are hired to paint murals and design various forms of art for commercial campaigns. The murals they produce are nothing short of awe-inspiring from their sheer size to the complexity of the piece. Their portfolios extend from massive spray painted murals to fine art gallery showings. The street art scene at one point was an underground subculture that has transformed into a legitimate profession. This film offers insights into the struggles and successes of four artists from different cities as they tell how they overcame adversity and legality to where they are today.
“TO ME A CITY WITH NO GRAFFITI
IS A CITY WITH NO SOUL… ”
– DUAL STREETS
Perhaps best known for his work with wheat paste, particularly since his feature in the 2011 wheat pasting documentary Stick ‘Em Up!, DUAL has never been one to confine himself to a particular medium, background, or context He has been recognized not only for his work with silkscreen and spray paint but also for his work with lithography and acrylics. Though his obsession with “making marks” stems from his background in graffiti, he has translated that into a passion for creating art. His “art” includes everything from large-scale murals, to paintings on canvas, to meticulously made tape collages, to the forgotten art of sign painting. Dual’s work has evolved from gestural character studies to more hard-edge abstraction with an added exploration of color – creating quite the dichotomy between the “street” artist and the “fine” artist.
Nathan “SLOKE” Nordstrom is an Austin, Texas native who has been producing graffiti art since 1990.
Specializing in the use of spray paint, Sloke travels the world exhibiting and curating art shows and producing murals for companies including Apple, Facebook, Nike, Google, Red Bull, Tecate, Jose Cuervo, Pepsi, Scholtzsky’s, Nordstroms, Ray-Ban, Pandora, Cartoon Network, Trouble Maker Studios, Univision, Time Warner, Vimeo, Fox Network, CNN, Reagan Outdoor Advertising, SXSW, Nikon, Toyota Scion, Ford Motors, F1 Circuit of the Americas, Rackspace, Tango, R.J. Reynolds, the University of Texas at Austin, American Heart Association and many others.Sloke also gives back to the Austin community by teaching art and mentoring the youth in partnership with the City of Austin, Austin ISD, and the Mexican American Cultural Center.
Los Angeles, CA
Jaber is a full-time artist that began putting his name up in the bay area in the early ’90s. Though he resides on the west coast he has shown work all over the United States and Canada. What sets Jaber apart from regular graffiti artists is the number of diverse styles he has gone through and the consistency of quantity he puts out. He is always brainstorming on new ways to get his message across. While in Seattle he worked as an “artist mentor” for at-risk youth. He has been contracted by Seattle public utilities, Seattle super Sonics basketball team, and many more companies in Washington to do design or create murals. In 2004 He began touring with major acts doing live painting for the shows. He works as a production designer for films, does backdrops for parties, and does design for major fashion companies. His artwork is featured in many graffiti publications, train magazines, and books. Currently, he is booking shows all through the U.S and Europe.
New York, NY
Meres sometimes referred to as 5 pointz has been a long-time contributor to the graffiti and street art scene of New York. Having managed the infamous 5pointz wall where so many different artists from around the world would come to paint. He has recently been recognized for his mural at Laguardia International Airport and has recently created his own multi-story art gallery experience.