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John CRASH Matos
Born John Matos in 1961, CRASH was raised in the Bronx, New York. At the age of 13, he began following the older teens from his neighborhood to the train yards and began bombing. Taking the name “CRASH” after he accidentally crashed the computer in his school, his name began appearing on trains circulating all throughout New York City. By 1980, he began transitioning from train yards to galleries, he curated the ground-breaking "Graffiti Art Success for America" at Fashion MODA, launching the graffiti movement that has remained very active through today. CRASH’s career took off and he saw instant popularity throughout Europe and America, and eventually Asia. CRASH has been part of numerous museum and gallery shows around the world focusing on Graffiti and Street Art, and has works in many permanent museum collections. Visually iconic, he has partnered with many companies for projects including Absolut Vodka, Fender Guitars, SoBella Handbags, Levi’s, and most recently, Tumi luggage and Morphik. He continues to work and show both locally and internationally. He is the co-owner of contemporary art gallery WALLWORKS NEW YORK and the co-owner of Wallworks TWO.
Born Robert Michael Provenzano in 1970 in the Bronx (NY) to a middle class family, Ces began writing graffiti in the early 80s. He’s part of the second wave of writers, those that innovated in letters. Influenced by the dynamics of the pioneers: large images on trains, subways and walls, Ces helped developed the writing commonly known as wildstyle. The NY wildstyle that Ces was instrumental in developing employed more jagged, aggressive and hard edge letters as opposed in the rounded script of classical graffiti.
Starting out as a sculptor in New York in the 1970s, Chalfant turned to photography and film to do an in-depth study of hip-hop culture and graffiti art. One of the foremost authorities on New York subway art,and other aspects of urban youth culture, his photographs record hundreds of ephemeral, original art works that have long since vanished. His archive of over 1,500 photographs is represented exclusively by Eric Firestone Gallery, New York and East Hampton. Exhibits of his photos include the O.K. Harris Gallery and the landmark ‘New York-New Wave’ show at P.S. l, and important galleries and museums in Europe. He has co-authored the definitive account of New York graffiti art, Subway Art (Holt Rinehart Winston, N.Y. 1984) and a sequel on the art form's world-wide diffusion, Spray Can Art (Thames and Hudson Inc. London, 1987).
In 2016, his solo-exhibition at Eric Firestone Gallery “Henry Chalfant: 1980” was accompanied by a monumental catalog featuring 30 full-color plates of Chalfant's subway photographs, along with essays by cultural critic Carlo McCormick, hip hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, famed graffiti writer and artist Lee Quinones, graffiti historian and former writer Jayson Edlin, and Henry Chalfant.
Chalfant co-produced the PBS documentary, Style Wars, the definitive documentary about Graffiti and Hip Hop culture and directed Flyin' Cut Sleeves, a documentary on South Bronx gangs, in 1993. He produced and directed Visit Palestine: Ten Days on the West Bank in 2002. His film From Mambo to Hip Hop was featured in the Latino Public Broadcasting series, Voces in 2006-2007, and won an Alma Award for Best Documentary.
Coming of age as a young man and as a budding photographer, in the mid 70s, proved to be baptism by fire, during an unprecedented chapter of New York City urban decay. Joey was a part of a generation that had refused to be erased by corrupt politicians and a disparaging educational system. His talents had found their niche within the collective acts of defiance that boldly re-invented the very world that left them for dead. This socio-cultural movement would eventually be recognized in American History books as Hip Hop.
Some of those pictures captured by a teen-age boy with his camera, throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, have traveled over land and sea, in one form or another, to various parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas. They are regarded by genre experts and academia as an important lens into the roots of Hip Hop culture, and as being an integral source for any serious discourse on the movement.
Johnny Cage aka DeathQuest
Born in the Tremont section of the Bronx, DeathQuest is inspired by street art and graffiti. One of his best memories, getting pizza with his father, inspired his pizza character. He hopes his people will prompt people to ask "WHY PIZZA?" DeathQuest has a very creative and colorful process, creating pizza characters that pull from his own experiences.
Kristen Matos Jewelry
Kristen Matos is an independent consultant with Paparazzi Accessories selling lead-free and nickel-free jewelry.
Khilali is a self taught multifaceted artist from the Bronx. She takes great inspiration from Mexican painter Frida Khalo. Known for her bold colors and creation of her own painting style, Khalo challenged the societal norm and pushed boundaries with her art. Khilali’s Mission is to break stigmas and stereotypes while bringing awareness and representation to unarticulated areas. In her first exhibition (mind over matter) she strives to create a better understanding of mental health while creating a clean representation of the people who may be suffering with these conditions. Her belief is that mental disorders are not sharply defined, and that everybody deals with some sort of mental health related issue, each piece is curated to speak to every individual differently.
Ricky Flores was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents in 1961. His father, Pastor Flores, a merchant seaman, and his mother, Ana Luisa Flores, a garment worker, lived in the Tremont section of the Bronx during the early 60’s. Flores’ father died in 1965 from bronchial asthma and his mother moved the family to Longwood section of the Bronx where he was raised.
Flores started documenting life in the South Bronx after he purchased a camera with a small inheritance he received from his father in 1980. It started a journey of self-discovery born out of photographing the lives of his friends and family during one of the most turbulent times in the history of Bronx and New York City.
Over the years Flores free-lanced for The Daily News, The New York Times, The City Sun and The Village Voice. Flores was recognized for his coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and is a two time winner of the New York Press Publishers Association for Spot News. He has a permanent installation at I.S. 206 in the Tremont section of the Bronx commissioned by the School Construction Authority, New York City Board of Education, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
ShiRoka is a collaboration between Shiro, an internationally renowned Japanese muralist, and LA ROKA aka BGIRL ROKAFELLA, a Bronx-based Puerto Rican dancer.
Shiro: Shiro's artwork is an exploration of classic New York urban history through the lens of an artist who reveres Hip Hop culture. Her character named "Mimi" is foreign and yet incredibly recognizable. Her artworks are prime examples of her fusion of both Japanese aesthetic and old-school New York graffiti art. Mimi has deeper meaning beyond the surface, she is emblematic of strength and femininity.
LA ROKA: NYC born and raised LA ROKA, also known internationally as BGIRL ROKAFELLA for herBreak dance mastery, performed as a teen in school productions and later at open mics. She began to perform at theatrical venues with Full Circle Prod ( the non profit company she co founded with her husband Kwikstep) and found her voice after successfully providing interludes for the dance pieces in their evening line up. La Roka is well rooted in Hip-hop and Afro Latin rhythms because she grew up at a time when so many genres were emerging.