UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Southport Galleries announces CRASH: Hide 'N Seek April 12

Friday, April 12, 2013

Southport Galleries announces CRASH: Hide 'N Seek April 12

Southport Galleries announces CRASH: Hide 'N Seek, new paintings by internationally renowned urban street artist, John "Crash" Matos, Friday, April 12, 2013.

 John “Crash” Matos who pioneered the graffiti art movement tagging dilapidated buildings in New York City and broke onto the contemporary art scene in 1981 with the illumination of the Spectacolor Billboard in New York’s Times Square and other installations around the world, brings his newest paintings to Southport Galleries for their Spring season kick-off. Hide ’N Seek – a collection of freshly completed, multi-layered canvases of "disguised images" will premiere at a free, public opening on Friday, April 12.

 CRASH’S newest series- Hide ’N Seek-explores the dazzling layers of signs, shapes, and patterns of our visual environment. “My art is a visual link between street life and established society,” CRASH points out. “Southport village as a venue is a dramatic juxtaposition to the south Bronx where I began tagging subway cars at age 13--but my works never looked better on the gallery’s generous white walls and amber-colored wood floors.” His paintings reveal the hidden, disguised language of the streets in endlessly amusing ways. “My work looks ‘hot’ in this electrifying hybrid of a ‘town and country’ setting -it all works for me!” Matos returns to Southport Galleries after a successful retrospective of his pop-inspired graphic works.

Now considered a living ‘old master’ legend of a movement that began 30 years ago, Matos remains a steady force in the contemporary art scene. CRASH was part of the first generation of graffiti artists who changed the look and feel of New York’s subways and streets and collaborated with Keith Haring on joint projects, years ahead of Banksy’s London streetscapes.

Throughout his artistic journey, CRASH broke out of the Bronx to hang out at Warhol’s ‘Factory’ studio, and was a part of and curated, the iconic 1980 “Fashion MODA” exhibit launching the graffiti movement. His work was pivotal in the very important Sidney Janis exhibition that helped introduce graffiti to the legitimate New York art world. “I was jumping over barbed wired fences evading the transit cops – and then one day being honored at leading museum exhibits.”

Rock music fans know his signature guitar designs “Crashocasters” used by singers Eric Clapton and Fairfield’s own John Mayer. One of his custom-designed Fender was auctioned for $321,000 to benefit Clapton’s charity as his spray-bomb signature is evolving into an internationally sought luxury brand.

“Our audience and collectors have been overwhelmed by the playful patterns and colorful intensities of the print series,” comments gallery owner Sissy Cargill Biggers. “And we are delighted to see that over the last three years CRASH has been experimenting and painting with a fascinating set of new ideas.”

“CRASH is unquestionably that rare combination of a truly pace-setting artistic hero,” notes Dr. Philip Eliasoph, Southport Galleries’ consulting curator. “His intuitive understanding of color theory, design, and explosive composition are turbo-charged into these unpredictably new works. Somewhere between Matisse’s patterns, Kandinsky’s squiggles, and Lichtenstein’s Pop art bubbles, CRASH has broken the sound barrier into his uniquely visualized voice. Like our Southport train station, he’s really elevated our tracks to a new artistic level!”

CRASH: Hide N’ Seek will remain open April 12 - June 1.
Southport Galleries is located at 330 Pequot Avenue, Southport, Connecticut.
Gallery hours: Wed-Saturday 11am-5pm and by appointment.
For information call 203-292-6124 or visit:

No comments: