Written by Michael Ashman
Graffiti art is all about getting noticed in the streets. The visual style must be interesting and a little complex. Also, the artist must be clever enough to get his artwork seen by getting up in as many spots as possible. There is an effort to both create art and distribute it. Whether it is creating art for the public or for a small group of friends, the time spent creating it is the most important part. EXIST1981’s artwork can be seen in a number of random places for anyone that happens to find them, but may not give it a second look as art. At Thumbprint Gallery, he has focused his efforts into his works knowing they will be appreciated in his solo show titled “Corazon.”
His effort can be seen in the meticulous detailed lines seen in the untitled work labeled #29. Carefully crafted lines spread out around the painting in a multitude of designs and patterns. There are discernable shapes within the flowing lines. There are two stars that come forward in the picture. The one on the bottom seems to give off a bubbling energy that radiates circular outlines from it. They seem to gravitate out and up to the bigger star in the top-right corner. Just like with the smaller star, it also extends itself outward using a diamond-shaped pattern this time. The diamond is also repeated inside a cluster of circles. These shapes seem to sit on top of a dynamic bed of fluid-like threads. The waves of flowing lines give this image the illusion of movement. They also add to the expanding shapes around them. The amazing amount of lines shows how much effort went into creating this piece.
This work of art combines many colors that display a pure psychedelic painting. The use of many colors set the abstract mood of this painting. Patches of washed-out blues, greens, yellows, and pinks blend together to add to the dream-like vision. Every shape in the artwork has a different portion of the kaleidoscopic color pattern. His use of a combination of light and dark colors adds depth to the picture. The star at top shines brighter with lighter shades of blue and yellow. It floats in front of the darker green threads that surround it. This is also true of the bubbling pinkish circles at right. EXIST1981 gives his all to create an emotional work by using a diverse color palette.
EXIST1981 injects himself into the picture. The most notable is the blood spatter across the painting. All the time spent making this took his sweat and, figuratively, his blood. One of his well-known icons, a female-looking face, is formed by the blood. Another example is his name “EXIST1981” cleverly hidden in different spots. In the blood, the number “81” appears. Also, stretched lines camouflage the words EXIST and 1981 within the work.
This art piece is all about him and his experience and emotion as an artist combined. The amount of detail is incredible and is currently on display at Thumbprint Gallery. To see this piece and more of EXIST1981’s artwork visit Thumbprint Gallery on Kline Street in La Jolla. The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm. The show will be on exhibit until January 6.