John CRASH Matos: Shape of Things to Come to Open at JoAnne Artman Gallery in November




Installation view, John CRASH Matos: Shape of Things to Come courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery

JoAnne Artman Gallery will present SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, featuring works by John “CRASH” Matos. In a playful evolution of color and form, CRASH’s recent works are spray painted on custom-made, shaped canvases. Emphasizing silhouette and the external form, he presents new dynamic compositions that meld the versatility of his canvas medium with the layered depth of sculpture. Wrapping around the edges as if spilling on to the wall, vibrant pigment and decisive lines are barely contained to the planes of each painted surface. An allusion to stylistic progression as well as the contoured canvases, SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME delivers immersive works with steadily unfolding narratives.

John CRASH Matos, Untitled (Triptych), Spray Paint on Canvas, 40 x 48 inches. Image courtesy of the Gallery.

Challenging tradition for decades, CRASH’s ongoing exploration of spray paint as an art form breaks from convention both through technique and his irregularly shaped forms. Utilizing canvases that resemble wristwatches, stars, and speech bubbles, he continues a conversation around scope, scale, and environment. CRASH’s fluorescent palette and structural brashness cements his work firmly in the present, as he works within a dialogue culled from classic pop culture, comic book and print references. Balancing flatness with dimensionality, CRASH maintains his signature elements of ocular imagery, lens flare, and resolute slashes of color. Disrupting line trajectory and creating frenetic, unexpected compositions, he generates works that embody the experience of the world in tandem with the viewer.

John CRASH Matos, Untitled, Spray Paint on Shaped Canvas, 36 x 48 inches. Image courtesy of the Gallery.

Rooted in his identity as a Bronx-born graffiti artist, having come of age in the hip-hop fueled Bronx of the late 1970s, his distinct 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, CRASH’s works are instantly recognizable.

John CRASH Matos: Shape of Things to Come is the Fall/Winter 2022 exhibition at JoAnne Artman Gallery. The exhibition will be on view from November 1 through December 30, 2022. JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 511A West 22nd Street, NYC. Make an Appointment Here.

Take a look-back at DAZE: The City is My Muse at the Museum of the City of New York in 2015.