Cost is a legendary graffiti writer and artist who, from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, blanketed New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area with his wheatpaste stickers, spray paint tags and paint-roller pieces. Collaborating frequently with fellow NYC graffiti writer Revs, their work is widely recognizable for its bold, black printed letters and intentionally obscure messages such as Cost Fucked Madonna or Suicide Revs. When asked in 1993 by a New York Times reporter what it all meant, Cost responded, "If you could give us [Cost and Revs] the meaning of life, I’d give you the meaning of us."
American, b. 1982
Minneapolis-based artist Greg Gossel illustrates a visual history of change and process that simultaneously features and condemns popular culture. With a background in design, his layered compositions are an expressive interplay of words, images, and gestures balanced by precise and expressive mark marking. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Japan, London, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, and Chicago. His commercial clients include American Express, Levi’s, Burton Snowboards, Stussy, VICE Magazine, and Interscope Records.
Left Handed Wave is a Chicago-based street and visual artist. Highly acclaimed for iconic characters and intricate pattern work, LHW's art started in the street and has branched off into a variety of different mediums. From plush toys and clothing to public murals and fine art, LHW continues to evolve in Chicago while gaining national attention from frequent travels around the states.
American, b. 1970
Shepard Fairey is a renowned graphic artist known for the posters, stickers, and murals of his Obey Giant campaign and his iconic 2008 "Hope" portrait of Barack Obama, now in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Constantly shifting between the realms of fine art, commercial art, street art, and political art, Fairey steeps his ideology and iconography in the self-empowerment of those who refuse to be manipulated by the machine of manufactured consent. With the biting sarcasm of his Obey Giant works, he goads viewers—using the imperative OBEY—to take heed of the propagandists out to bend the world to their agendas. In addition to his guerrilla street art presence, the artist has executed more than 50 large-scale painted public murals and installations around the world. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and many others.