American, b. 1994
Adam Lundquist is a Chicago-born and based designer, printmaker, and visual artist. His distinctive style is influenced by skateboarding culture and its confluence of rock & roll, tattooing, graffiti and street art. The aesthetics and imagery of these subcultures intertwines in Lundquist’s handcrafted wood carvings and detailed paintings. Lundquist is a regular collaborator and featured artist at numerous commercial venues, skate collectives, and art institutions throughout the city.
American, b. 1927
Alex Katz is an American painter renowned for his large-scale depictions of landscapes, flowers, and portraits. His earliest work took inspiration from various aspects of mid-century American culture and society, including television, film, and advertising, and over the past five and a half decades he has established himself as a preeminent painter of modern life, whose distinctive portraits and lyrical landscapes bear a flattened surface and consistent economy of line. Utilizing characteristically wide brushstrokes, large swathes of color, and refined compositions, Katz created what art historian Robert Storr called "a new and distinctive type of realism in American art which combines aspects of both abstraction and representation." Since the 1950s, Alex Katz's work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions around the world. His work can be found in nearly 100 public collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others.
Italian, b. 1980
Based in Rome, Alice Pasquini is an internationally recognized street artist, illustrator, and painter. With expressive lines and bursts of color, Pasquini’s practice explores the intimacies of emotional connection and the universal qualities of human experience. She frequently depicts strong female characters, presenting a more nuanced alternative to the highly sexualized image of femininity that dominates the street art world. Her prolific street art practice extends into her studio work, which often incorporates found materials and vintage ephemera. An avid traveler, Pasquini’s work can be found on city walls from Sydney to New York, Moscow to Marrakesh. She has been featured in gallery and museum shows worldwide, including the MACRO Contemporary Art Museum in Rome, Saatchi Gallery in London, the Museo Italiano in Melbourne, and the Mutuo Centro de Arte in Barcelona.
Australian, b. 1979
An early pioneer of the street art movement in Brisbane, Anthony Lister is now one of Australia’s most renowned contemporary artists. High and low culture clash in the subject and style of his paintings, resulting in provocative works that are often equally perverse and alluring. This duality is amplified by Lister’s distinct aesthetic: a synthesis of a sophisticated, painterly approach with the grit and exuberance of street art. Lister’s global art practice encompasses a variety of media from painting and drawing to film and music. His work has been exhibited in major cities around the world and acquired by prominent art institutions including the National Gallery of Australia.
Brooklyn-based artist duo ASVP began working together in 2008, developing a unique, hand-drawn, graphic style that incorporates recurring references to advertising, pop and comic book culture. With a flourishing street practice, ASVP has created large-scale public murals in locations ranging from New York City to Varanasi, India. Their studio pieces have been exhibited at galleries and auction houses worldwide, and they recently collaborated with Columbia College and the Wabash Arts Corridor to complete a mural in downtown Chicago.
British, b. circa 1975
Whether plastering cities with his trademark parachuting rat, painting imagined openings in the West Bank barrier in Israel, or stenciling “We’re bored of fish” above a penguins’ zoo enclosure, Banksy creates street art with an irreverent wit and an international reputation that precedes his anonymous identity. Banksy has gained his notoriety through a range of urban interventions, from modifying street signs and printing his own currency to illegally hanging his own pieces in institutions such as the Louvre and the Museum of Modern Art. Although his identity remains anonymous, it is believed that his style grew out of the Bristol underground scene, where he bombed with the city’s DryBreadZ crew in the 1990s. Most often using spray paint and stencils, Banksy has crafted a signature, immediately identifiable graphic style—and a recurring cast of cops, soldiers, children, and celebrities—through which he critically examines contemporary issues of consumerism, political authority, terrorism, and the status of art and its display.
American, b. 1945
Best known for layering aggressively directive slogans over black-and-white photographs culled from mainstream magazines, Barbara Kruger’s visual language is strongly influenced by her early work as a graphic designer at magazines including House and Garden, Mademoiselle, and Aperture. In bold black letters against a strip of red, some of her instantly recognizable slogans read “I shop, therefore I am,” and “Your body is a battleground.” Much of her text questions the viewer about feminism, classicism, consumerism, and individual autonomy and desire, while her images are appropriated from conventional publications selling the very ideas she is disputing. Kruger’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, as well as on billboards, bus cards, posters, a public park, a train station platform in France, and other public spaces.
American, b. 1966
A revered figure in a bi-coastal subculture that comprises skaters, graffiti artists, and West Coast surfers, Barry McGee creates drawings, paintings, and mixed-media installations that address the struggles of contemporary urban life. Operating under the tag ‘Twist’, McGee became known for his stylized images of hobos, liquor bottles, and screws painted on walls and subway cars. He is a prominent member of the Mission School, a group of artists that emerged from San Francisco's Mission District in the late 1990s and whose handmade aesthetic and DIY attitude contrasted with the dot-com gentrification of the area during that time. McGee has participated in multiple international biennales and been featured in exhibitions at major art institutions such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
Using collage to create what he calls “mutated scenes,” the Brooklyn-based street artist known as Bäst has been embellishing urban environments in New York and Europe with his wheat-pasted posters for more than 15 years. Inspired by early punk flyers and a gritty urban aesthetic, Bäst appropriates iconic images from 20th- and 21st-century mass culture, creating collages that merge classic cartoon characters, fast food branding, and sex advertisements into biting satires of consumer culture. The artist has exhibited internationally with both solo shows and collaborative projects with the artistic duo FAILE. As Bäst’s work continues to gain notoriety both on the streets and in the galleries, he remains one of the few truly anonymous artists.
British/Thai, b. 1979
Beejoir is a contemporary artist, curator, and co-founder of Souled Out Studios based in Japan and the UK. Rooted in both Asian and European culture, Beejoir’s art practice navigates the differences between east and west with an emphasis on social critique and the detrimental effects of globalization. His body of work ranges from painting and printmaking to public sculptures and murals. As an artist and curator, he has been involved in over 70 successful solo and group shows across the world.
British, b. 1970
Ben Eine (aka EINE) is one of London’s most prolific street artists, developing his signature typographic style from the basis of all graffiti – the form of letters. Eine has painted his trademark large, colorful letters on shop fronts and streets around the world, including LA, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Dubai, and most famously in London on what is now ‘Alphabet Street.’ Deeply connected to the British street art scene, Eine produces screen prints with Pictures on Walls and creates original works with spray paint and acrylic on canvas. In 2010, British Prime Minister David Cameron gave one of Eine's paintings to President Obama during a state visit, and his work is currently held in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and galleries worldwide.
Australian artist Ben Frost is known for his kaleidoscopic Pop Art, mash-up paintings that take inspiration from areas as diverse as graffiti, collage, photorealism and sign-writing. By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold and often controversial. He has been exhibiting throughout Australia and internationally over the last 15 years, including sold-out solo shows in London, New York, Toronto, Singapore, Miami and San Francisco, as well as group shows in Beijing, Mongolia, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Chicago.
Blake Jones is a Chicago-based graphic designer, illustrator and fine artist. His playful characters and bold, color-drenched aesthetic lend his work a cartoon-like quality that is instantly appealing. In addition to his fine art and outdoor murals, Jones has worked for numerous local businesses and major companies including Soho House, Threadless, Budweiser, and Mountain Dew. Jones was selected by a panel of judges for Line Dot's Second Annual Juried Show.
French, b. 1973
Christian Guémy, aka C215, is one of the most talented and ubiquitous stencil artists working today. He is known for creating site-specific works that reflect the local community, especially the individuals most often neglected by society. Portraying his subjects with respect and sensitivity, he uses his street practice to draw attention to the marginalized and disempowered. He typically works with a restricted color palette, masterfully manipulating the subtleties of light and shadow to capture details usually lost in stencil work. The distinctive style of his street stencils—known the world over—translates fluidly into gallery pieces that often incorporate found objects to retain their urban aesthetic. Beyond his extensive street practice, C215 has exhibited in numerous international fairs and galleries, including Banksy’s Cans Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome.
American, b. 1971
Born and raised in Chicago, Chris Uphues is an artist and designer best known for his signature hearts that can be found wheat pasted and in murals throughout Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. His paintings and prints are densely detailed compositions of stars, flowers, shapes, and cartoon-like faces that are inspired by a range of popular references from comic books to Persian calligraphy, street art to Disney animations. His work has been featured in solo and group shows in the US and abroad.
Collin van der Sluijs is a renowned painter and illustrator from Maastricht, The Netherlands, where he lives and works. He started writing graffiti at the age of eleven, and at twelve began his studies at the professional painting college in Goes. He spent the next eight years studying a breadth of art disciplines in different schools across the Netherlands and graduated from the Academy of Art and Design St. Joost in 2004 with a Masters degree in Fine Art. He is widely recognized for his extraordinary dream-like depictions of everyday stories that question our personal pleasures and struggles, as well as society at large. Collin’s exceptional work has been published in magazines and books, and shown in galleries across the world—in The Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Belgium, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, and USA.
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. 1973
Cleon Peterson is an LA based artist whose chaotic and violent paintings show clashing figures symbolizing a struggle between power and submission in the fluctuating architecture of contemporary society. Peterson’s works are monochromatic and channel the fashion sensibility of the early 1980’s, complete with skinny ties and day glow colors. His distinctive style is recognized internationally, and his work has been shown in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, and Sydney among others.
American, b. 1981
Chicago-based artist Curtis William Readel is an artist and printmaker/co-owner of Pop!nk Editions. Reflecting and responding to his personal interactions with money and success, Readel constructs visual criticisms on power, consumptive greed, and the absurdity within our current social evaluations of wealth and accomplishment. From referencing monetary images to using actual currency, he creates semi-satiric, political commentaries that challenge our distorted views of financial normalcy and success. His work has been exhibited domestically and internationally in Brussels, New York, Kiev, and Bucharest among others.
Based in London, D*Face is an urban artist who has painted walls all over the world with his incisive, pop-inflected murals that critique consumerist society and the media-saturated environment of the modern world. His work often features iconic celebrities or appropriated cartoon figures such as Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty spliced with images of decay and mortality. Influenced by modern art masters, graffiti, punk music and skateboarding, he works in a variety of different media and continues an illegal street practice while becoming increasingly sought-after in the gallery world.
American, b. 1973
Born and raised on the East Coast, Damion Silver is a designer and fine artist currently based in Boston. Silver is a predominantly self-taught artist who has developed his skills from trades such as animation inker, cabinet maker, and product designer. Employing reclaimed and handcrafted materials, Silver utilizes collage and assemblage techniques to create unique mixed media artwork. His aesthetic is inspired by the ephemerality of the urban landscape and a lifetime of skateboarding culture. Silver’s work has been shown from coast to coast and exhibited internationally in Europe, Japan, and Australia.
American, b. 1980
Miami-bred artist Daniel Arsham employs elements of architecture, performance, and sculpture to manipulate and distort understandings of time and space. Structural experiment, historical inquiry, and satirical wit all combine in Arsham’s ongoing interrogation of the real and the fictitious. As a sculptor, Arsham imagines himself as an archaeologist of the future, casting fossilized facsimiles of everyday objects by using unconventional materials such as volcanic ash, steel and quartz. His work has been shown at MoMA PS1, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; Carré d’Art de Nîmes, France; the Athens Biennale, Greece; and the New Museum, New York, among others. He is also active as one half of the art and architecture collaborative Snarkitecture, along with Alex Mustonen.
American, b. 1985
Chicago native David Soukup is a critically acclaimed stencil artist known for his precisely rendered mixed media works that explore the urban landscape and gritty details of the city. His richly textured, hand-cut stencil paintings straddle the boundaries between photo-realism and graphic design, drawing inspiration from the beauty and detritus of the artist’s daily life in Chicago. Soukup has garnered international attention as the winner of the World Stencil Prize in 2013 and his paintings have been showcased worldwide in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and Sydney. His work has also been featured on the Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, and Artist-a-Day websites.
The Chicago-based artist known as DEAL specializes in street art and caricature illustrations. His interest in painting began at an early age, with influences ranging from cartoons, graffiti art and hip hop culture to sports, television and movies. DEAL's artwork often features humorous situations or tribute portraits depicting his renditions of famous cartoon icons, athletes, musicians, and other figures from pop culture. In addition to outdoor murals and features in several magazine and book publications, his artwork has been showcased in galleries around the country. DEAL was selected by a panel of judges for Line Dot's inaugural Holiday Show.
Brazilian, b. 1976
Eduardo Kobra is one of Brazil’s most prolific street artists and is recognized internationally for his trademark large-scale murals. His signature style of repeating squares and triangles in bold, vivid colors lends his work a kaleidoscopic effect. This playful aesthetic is balanced with his masterful use of photorealism, frequently drawing on images of historical figures and cultural icons. Kobra’s distinctive, massively-scaled murals can be found in cities around the world—from Rio de Janeiro to London, New York to Mumbai.
British, b. 1978
Ermsy is a Paris-based graffiti artist and graphic designer best known for his deconstruction of pop imagery and cartoon characters. Beginning his graffiti work in 1991, Ermsy has been painting walls across the globe ever since, in countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Canada. His studio work has been exhibited internationally and he collaborates with top brands such as Converse, Ecko Unlimited, and Cartoon Network. With a strong underground following, he also continues to paint for graffiti crews FMB (UK), PBG (Lithuania) and TT (Paris.)
FAILE is the Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil (Canada, b. 1975) and Patrick Miller (American, b. 1976). Since its inception in 1999, FAILE has attained global recognition for their pioneering street art techniques and for their explorations of duality through a fragmented style of appropriation and collage. Spirituality, heroism, unconditional love, a greater moral purpose–and equally a lack of these–are among the central themes tying together their vast array of multimedia projects. Their prints, paintings, sculptures, and interactive installations have been exhibited at prominent institutions the world over, including The Outsiders London, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Lisbon’s Portugal Arte 10, and the Tate Modern among others.
Frank Quintero is a painter, illustrator, and muralist based in Chicago. Working with acrylic, aerosol, and other mixed media, Quintero creates imaginative characters that recur frequently throughout his street and studio pieces. His bright, bold color palette and energetic style facilitate interaction with the viewer, opening a dialogue that Quintero sees as essential to the maturation of artistic culture. Quintero was selected by a panel of judges for Line Dot's Second Annual Juried Show.
Gabe Lanza is a Chicago-based artist who draws his artistic language from the flat world contained on the front of cereal boxes, toys and 80’s cartoons. With a sense of levity and humor, Lanza subverts conventional notions of moral value attributed to children’s entertainment. Lanza synthesizes familiar subject matter, such as robots and linear faces, with scraps and offcuts that would otherwise be discarded, resulting in images that feel both novel and nostalgic. Lanza has participated in art festivals throughout the US and Europe, and his work was selected by a panel of judges for Line Dot's Second Annual Juried Show.
British, b. 1982
Bristol-based artist and fashion designer Gemma Compton combines classic wildlife, popular culture and religious iconography with a strong illustrative style. Her childhood in the English countryside instilled an early love of nature that continues to inform her work. Darkly glamorous women merge with flora and fauna in her compositions, juxtaposing our modern human ideals of beauty with the natural beauty and cruelty of nature. Though she works mainly on her own studio practice, she continues to create stunning street pieces and collaborations with her husband, fellow street artist Copyright. Her work has been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally, including the Houses of Parliament in 2014.
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.
British, b. 1985
Hayden Kays is a London-based artist whose practice encompasses painting, sculpture and printmaking with a focus on the relationship between words and images. Kays has situated himself as an involved, sometimes complicit, commentator on capitalist culture, delivering challenging messages that range from the hard-hitting to the absurd. His work is characterized by acerbic word-play, traditional craftsmanship, deadpan humor, and bold imagery drawn from popular culture and art history. Employing everyday references and pithy witticisms, his artistic practice relates to and subverts the canon of the Pop Artists of the 1950s and the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s. Kays has enjoyed international exposure from platinum-selling band The Kooks, who used his work as the cover art for their latest album, and his solo exhibitions have garnered critical and commercial success.
American, b. 1981
Hebru Brantley is a Chicago native whose acclaimed artistic practice addresses the issues and injustices of urban life in America through his cast of youthful characters and their adventures. Imbued with a sense of fantasy and imaginative storytelling, Brantley’s work is inspired by a mix of comic book heroes, pop culture icons, Japanese anime, and street art pioneers Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kaws, and Keith Haring. While spray paint is often at the forefront of his mixed-media illustrations, Brantley experiments with a wide variety of mediums from oil and acrylic to more non-traditional forms like vinyl figures and comic books. His public works and solo shows have garnered international attention and major collectors including Jay-Z, LeBron James, and Lupe Fiasco. He has collaborated with Adidas, Nike, Red Bull, and Skyy Vodka, among others, and has exhibited worldwide.
J. Mikal Davis, aka Hellbent, is a Brooklyn-based artist known for his unique style of abstract graffiti that integrates ornate floral patterning, discordant colors, and sharp, fragmented geometry. His studio practice evolved out of a formal arts education and an early love of street art growing up in the South. Hellbent’s aesthetic language fuses the contemporary and the traditional, reflecting both the minimalist deconstruction of Graffuturism and the handmade, folk art style of the Mission School. Signing “Hellbent” in pastel colors or swirling cursive, a playful sense of irony informs much of his work, as does his deep love of music—his street name is drawn from his favorite punk musician Richard Hell and many of his pieces reference songs he listens to while working. In addition to gallery shows throughout the US and Europe, Hellbent continues his street practice with numerous large-scale murals and public commissions.
German, b. 1981
Jasmin Siddiqui is a graffiti artist and painter known internationally as Hera. She was raised half-Muslim and half-Catholic by her Pakistani and German parents, becoming intimately acquainted with the benefits and hardships of socio-religious differences even before elementary school. She discovered graffiti as a way to interact and deal with the diverse, often conflicting perspectives of her familial and cultural background. With a formal education in graphic design, Jasmin began to make a name for herself in the international graffiti world under the pseudonym Hera, after the high goddess of ancient Greek mythology. In addition to her acclaimed solo art practice, Hera met AKUT in 2004 and the two formed the crew Herakut. The duo’s artwork can be found in galleries and on the streets of major cities around the world–from Toronto to Kathmandu, and San Francisco to Melbourne.
French, b. 1969
Invader, also known as Space Invader, is an anonymous French street artist best known for pixelated mosaics installed in cities around the world. Invader’s works are composed of tiles resembling vintage graphics from the 1970s video game Space Invaders, the source of the artist’s pseudonym. The artist "invades" cities worldwide, adroitly placing his tiled pieces in certain locations and awarding himself "points" based on the intricacy of the mural and the difficulty in placing it. Invader began these urban, outdoor installations in Paris in 1998, and continued to "invade" 31 other cities in France, followed by an additional 22 cities across Europe. Currently, cities in the United States, Canada, Asia, and Australia are also home to examples of Invader's work. Since 2000, Invader's work has been featured in galleries around the world, and he gained greater popularity and renown after he was featured in Banksy’s 2010 documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Jakki Cafarelli is a Chicago-based artist specializing in bronze and metalwork. Her artistic practice draws inspiration from the hidden beauty and ephemerality of quotidian objects. In addition to her handcrafted sculptures, Jakki works at a bronze foundry creating artisan-made, designer furniture. Jakki was selected by a panel of judges for Line Dot's inaugural Holiday Show.
Jana & JS are a street art duo based in Salzburg, Austria composed of Franco-Austrian couple Jana Balluch and Jean-Sebastion Philippe. Their distinctive art practice involves turning photographs- typically portraits- into stencils which are transferred to recycled materials such as metal, glass, canvas or wood. These materials lend themselves to the duo’s subject matter: a blend of human connection, architectural urban spaces, and the vulnerability inherent to the ephemeral quality of each. Through their unique art practice, Jana & JS aim to capture the feeling and esthetic of both urban environments and the people who shape them. In addition to creating artwork in the streets of major cities worldwide, Jana & JS have exhibited in gallery shows in Germany, Austria, France, America, Israel and England.
American, b. 1971
JAS (James Mariano) is a multimedia artist, animator, and illustrator based in Chicago. His playful sculptures are hand-crafted from porcelain, making each character unique. An insouciant sense of humor pervades his work, influenced by the artist’s love of childhood cartoons, monster movies, and The Three Stooges. In addition to award-winning animation and design projects, his artwork has been exhibited in galleries nationwide.
Jay Byrnes is a Chicago-based artist, graphic designer, and
American, b. 1979
JC Rivera is a Puerto Rican-born artist currently living and working in Chicago. Rivera is known for his iconic Bear Champ, a boxing glove-sporting bear who serves as the artist’s personal avatar and expresses his reflections on identity, ambition, survival and power. Whether in the studio or on the street, Rivera imbues his artwork with a sense of humor and playfulness that makes his message accessible to a diverse audience. With countless murals and collaborations throughout the city, Rivera is a central figure in the Chicago scene. His artwork has been featured and exhibited in numerous galleries, commercial venues, and esteemed publications.
Jenny Robinson is a fine artist and printmaker based in San Francisco. Over the last decade, Robinson has pioneered her own monoprinting method that is uniquely suited to her creative environment. This original process results in a distinct textural quality that, coupled with Robinson’s striking compositional choices, lends each piece a dichotomic balance of fragility and monumentality. With saturated colors that streak and bleed across heavily inked surfaces, her work explores themes of atmospheric effect and corrosion. Robinson studied printmaking in England and her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the UK and the United States.
American, b. 1995
Joseph Renda Jr. is a fine artist living and working in Chicago. Renda is intrigued with unifying contrary ideas such as life and entropy, chaos and order and nature and mankind. While integrating stylistic approaches from classicism, surrealism and urban contemporary art, Renda utilizes urban materials such as spray-paint with traditional oil painting mediums and techniques. An emphasis on the value of material and unique mark-making can be found within the technical aspects of the work. His creative process ranges from throwing chemicals on top of paint to obtain uncontrollable reactions, to highly refined realism and trompe l’oeil. He is influenced by the human experience, examination of self, synchronicity and surrealism.
American, b. 1977
Josh Grotto is an artist, designer, and illustrator born and based in Chicago. Beginning with graffiti writing as a young kid, Grotto’s interest in art intensified and evolved through formal education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from where he holds a degree. His signature artworks are an elegiac confluence of abstract expressionism, urban wheat-pasting, and traditional portraiture. Working intuitively, he splices together hundreds of pre-existing images sourced from prosaic materials, adding paint and texture to create new characters that are hauntingly abnormal, yet intimately familiar. Despite their melancholic mood, these works are a celebration of Chicago’s complex history, the artist’s personal narrative, and the robust lineage of picture-making. Grotto maintains an active studio practice and has exhibited work in solo and group shows in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Julia Banderas is a contemporary artist working and living in Chicago. Her signature artwork has evolved into a pattern-based “LePanther” series that illustrates a leopard and panther merged together as a representation of strength and evolution. This new series was inspired by Banderas' fascination with fashion design and old Hollywood patterns. As a co-owner of a screen printing studio, she experiments with different media in her fine art practice and creates original works in a custom mix of paints and silkscreens. Banderas was selected by a panel of judges for Line Dot's inaugural Holiday Show.
American, b. 1988
Kate Lewis is a Chicago-based artist whose freehand drawings fuse art and architecture to chronicle life experiences. With meticulous attention to detail, Lewis captures the intricacies of everyday edifices to memorialize the architectural elements of quotidien life and embolden viewers to discover new ways to engage with their surroundings. The purposeful selection of structures underlines the belief that walls silently absorb the stories lived within them; that much like us, they become a product of their environment. Lewis has drawn globally with pieces originating in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Mexico, France, Spain, Costa Rica, Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania, and Thailand.
American, b. 1974
Brian Donnelly, known internationally as KAWS, is a Brooklyn-based artist whose multi-media practice spans the worlds of graffiti, pop art, and consumer culture. His cartoonish aesthetic—including his best-known characters with X-ed out eyes—has its roots in his early career as a street artist, when he began replacing advertisements with his own acrylic paintings in the early 1990s. Continually blurring the boundaries between fine and commercial art, many of his most well known images are reimagined versions of animated characters. With their approachable Disney-esque style, these characters are able to express and provoke a complex array of human emotions. KAWS' diverse body of work has been exhibited worldwide in Paris, London, New York, Berlin, and Tokyo among others. Recent solo museum shows at the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art of Fort Worth have cemented his reputation, garnering popular and critical acclaim.
American, b. 1958
Keith Haring was an American artist and social activist known for his distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of symbolic imagery. Bridging the gap between the art world and the street, Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the popular appeal of cartoons with the energy of Art Brut, Haring’s practice explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis. Although the artist’s career was tragically cut short with his untimely death at the age of 31, Haring is regarded as one of the most influential street artists of his generation. His work can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C among other prominent institutions.
American, b. 1987
Kyle Cobban is a Chicago-based fine artist and high school art teacher in the city’s South Side. Cobban’s visual language evolved from years of observing his students as they grappled with the challenges of navigating their personal narratives. Working primarily in pencil, Cobban creates subtly surreal images that evoke both the strength and vulnerability essential for inner metamorphosis. Each drawing is an illusion of many beings compressed into one as hands and arms float around the core of each figure, searching for their center. Prioritizing line and tonal qualities, his realistically-rendered characters are contrasted with the emptiness of their white backgrounds. The juxtaposition of these static environments with more rhythmic features results in a subdued sense of movement within the works. Cobban often obscures the faces of his figures, creating a metaphorical mask that disrupts the typical power dynamics of subject and viewer.
Laura English is a Chicago-born and based visual artist and designer. Her distinctive, elegant collages are created through traditional techniques of cutting and pasting. Sourced from contemporary and vintage fashion magazines, each handmade collage presents an evocative narrative in English’s refined aesthetic. In addition to an active wheat-pasting practice, English’s soft, seductive images have been exhibited in numerous art institutions and are held in private collections nationwide.
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.
German, b. 1972
Based in Germany, Matthias Jung is an artist and graphic designer known internationally for his surrealist collages. Juxtaposing myriad architectural elements to dream-like effect, Jung creates ornate structures that feel both terrestrial and otherworldly. These hybridized edifices float above environments on the outskirts of civilization, appearing like mirages above rolling plains or arctic glaciers. Jung describes his creations as ‘architectural short poems’ aiming to challenge our relationships with traditional spatial environments. An avid traveler, Jung draws from his adventures both conceptually and physically, manipulating photographs from his trips to design each original collage. The resulting whimsical creations have been featured in multiple international publications including The Guardian, and influential blogs like Colossal and Designboom.
American, b. 1969
With their symmetrical compositions, intricate patterns, and lush colors, Maya Hayuk’s paintings and iconic outdoor murals evoke views of outer space, mandalas, airbrushed manicures, and traditional Ukrainian crafts. Hayuk weaves visual information from her immediate surroundings into her elaborate abstractions, creating an engaging mix of referents from popular culture and advanced painting practices alike while connecting to the ongoing pursuit of psychedelic experience in visual form. In addition to her myriad inspirations, Hayuk employs a vast repertoire of materials, using acrylic, ink, glitter, spray paint, watercolors, tape, ballpoint pens, and wheat paste in both public and private spaces. She has painted her massively scaled murals all over the world and maintains an active studio in Brooklyn, sketching in paint to inform her larger public works. Hayuk’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and commissions at venues including The Bowery Wall, NY; The Hammer Museum, LA;Democratic National Convention, Denver; Bonnefanten Museum, The Netherlands; and Musee E.A.V., Brazil.
American & Russian
Based in New York, Mint&Serf (collectively known as Mirf) is the artistic collaboration between Mikhail Sokovikov and Jason Aaron Wall. Deeply embedded in the New York graffiti scene, Mint&Serf distill their art practice to it’s most raw and unapologetic in defiance of the commercial beautification of graffiti as an illegal action. Rather than merely basing their aesthetic in graffiti, Mint&Serf translate the subversive attitude and lifestyle of the culture into their canvasses. Their chaotic compositions are built over many late nights in their studio, where they are often joined by members of their crew Peter Pan Posse (PPP) to create the succession of layered tags that lends their work a striking depth and authenticity. The duo has been featured in ArtNet, ARTFORUM, Artinfo, NYMag, The New York Post, Interview Magazine, Huffington Post, ARTNET, Dossier Journal, The DailyMail, Vice, Paper, ANIMAL, Complex, Mass Appeal, Gothamist and Blackbook.
French, b. 1966
Mr. Brainwash is the pseudonym of Thierry Guetta, a French artist and videographer best known for his role in Banksy's film Exit Through the Gift Shop that documented his rise to success. Mr. Brainwash practices an irreverent brand of appropriation characterized by the use of copyrighted images from history, popular culture, and other artists. Mr. Brainwash subtly alters the picture or its context, mischievously undermining the tone of the source material. His work hinges on the idea that anything is possible in his practice. “Art has no walls. Anybody can be an artist,” he claims. “Art has no rules. There’s no manual.”
Nicholaus Jamieson is a New-York based visual artist and graphic designer. Employing a serial process, Jamieson composes, masks, samples, and resamples colored chalk lines on paper. In both large and small-scale works, the inclusion of various mixed media within his vibrating color fields distills a calculated abstract language. Throughout, the combination of mechanics and gesture inherently challenge the viewer's perception of a handmade creation. Jamieson’s delicately composed pieces are held in numerous collections around the country.
Dutch, b. 1967
Based in Amsterdam, Niels Meulman is an internationally known visual artist, graphic designer, and art director. Meulman began tagging “Shoe” in 1979 and became a graffiti legend by the time he was 18. Together with Bando in Paris and Mode2 in London, he formed the Crime Time Kings and strove to define the style of European graffiti. In the 1990s Meulman furthered his technique by apprenticing under the Dutch graphic artist Anthon Beeke, and later ran his own design company, Caulfield & Tensing. In 2007, he revolutionized the art of writing with Calligraffiti, an art form that fuses calligraphy and graffiti. The intricate curves of his linework are derived from a long interest in the beauty of the written word, referencing an impressive range of forms from the calligraphy of sacred Arabic texts, to the vertical writing of East Asian scripts, to the richly illuminated manuscripts of medieval times. Widely acclaimed, Meulman’s calligraphic paintings have been shown in countless international exhibitions and are in the permanent collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
One of the most prolific writers of the London graffiti scene, OKER has been painting for over 20 years. He developed an interest in graffiti as a teenager in London before moving to New York and building relationships with the Kings of New York. Returning to the US, he brought NYC’s bombing style back to London and gained the respect of artists such as Ben Eine, Barry McGee, Banksy, and others who he now collaborates with. He has made an incredible contribution to the London scene, influencing many of the younger generation of graffiti writers throughout the years.
British, b. 1978
Based in Brighton, Pam Glew is a contemporary artist best known for her unique bleaching technique on vintage fabrics. Themes of national identity, gender relations, and anti-war politics feature prominently in her work. Flags, quilts, and other reclaimed materials are used to explore and challenge how our sense of self is constructed through our ancestral and contemporary cultures. An internationally renowned artist, Glew has been featured in over 100 group exhibitions and solo shows in the US, England, Germany, Sweden, Australia, and Korea among others.
American, b. 1980
Chicago native Jordan Nickel, aka Pose, has become one of the world’s foremost graffiti-style fine artists. In addition to his formal training, his artistic practice is deeply rooted in his graffiti experience and his immersion in traditional sign painting. Inspired by the streets, comic books, cartoons, and pop art, his compositions—whether on a wall or on canvas—burst with bright color, energy, and a pileup of fragmented, overlapping images. He is a member of The Seventh Letter, an acclaimed West Coast artist collective, and Mad Society Kings (MSK), a world-renowned graffiti crew. He has painted murals all over the world and his studio work has been shown at galleries from London and Dubai to New York and Los Angeles.
British, b. 1968
Pure Evil is the alias of Welsh-born graffiti artist and gallery owner Charles Uzzell Edwards. Pure Evil was first exposed to street art while working as a designer in California and was heavily influenced by artists such as Twist and Reminisce, who dominated the West Coast graffiti art scene of the 1990s. Returning to England after a decade in California, Pure Evil became involved in Banksy’s pop-up gallery concept known as “Santa’s Ghetto” and began producing his trademark images of fanged bunnies. Following the success of his first solo show in London, he opened up his eponymous Pure Evil Gallery in a Dickensian shop in the East End of London in 2007. Known for his highly regarded Nightmare series of portraits of famous figures, his work has been exhibited worldwide at the Saatchi Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum in London, at the Culture Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa, and at the Baker Gallery in Cologne, among others.
American, b. 1977
Ravi Zupa is a multi-disciplinary artist who draws from a variety of aesthetic material past and present to incite critique on contemporary society. His mixed media artworks often thrust repurposed materials into novel situations that challenge their original functions and build from their previous connotations. The resulting pieces balance a vintage aesthetic with a distinctly modern feel, addressing issues from anarchy and violence to religion and idolatry. Zupa’s work has been featured in top arts publications and exhibited in major cities from LA to Shanghai.
British, b. 1965
Accomplished multidisciplinary artist Robert del Naja is well known internationally as a founding member of the band Massive Attack and as a visual and graffiti artist. His background in graffiti began with The WIld Bunch crew in 80s Bristol, where under the name ‘3D’ he helped blaze the trail for the urban art movement to follow. Del Naja’s visual art is analogous to his music and his work has represented Massive Attack since the band’s inception, appearing in stage visuals and on multiple covers including James Lavelle’s UNKLE project. In its myriad forms, his creative practice grapples with issues of alienation, social and political unrest, and the redeeming possibilities of countercultural movements.
Based in Pittsburgh, Ron Copeland is a multi-media artist whose practice centers on the recontextualization of salvaged materials from abandoned spaces in the Rust Belt region. Forgotten architectural fragments and vestiges of the commerciality of bygone eras are transformed into an original visual language that is deliberately nostalgic, yet given new life by unexpected juxtapositions and reimagined purposes. In addition to major public projects and commissioned works, his pieces have been exhibited in solo and group shows across the US.
Scandinavian, b. 1975
Tony ‘Rubin’ Sjöman is a mural and studio artist currently based in Brooklyn. The son of Finnish immigrant workers in Sweden, Rubin began his artistic journey with his first graffiti tag at nine years old. He traces the roots of his signature style to his childhood in the working class housing projects of Bergsjön in Gothenburg, Sweden. The rigid skylines of his urban environment and the balanced serenity of Scandinavian design both inform his clean, geometric style and muted color palettes. Rubin’s murals can be found in cities around the world and his work has been exhibited in Hong Kong, Tehran, Stockholm, Reykjavik, Marrakesh, Montreal, New York and Los Angeles among others.
International artist Rune Christensen creates paintings and portraits that tell the stories of their sitters through a complex array of tattoos, decorative symbols, and patterned clothing. An extensive world traveler, Christensen collects his visual inspiration from all over the world, sourcing his motifs from the iconography and textiles of Asian, South American, European and North African cultures. Obscuring the faces of his subjects, Christensen has developed a unique method of portraiture that instead communicates to the viewer through a panoply of symbol and pattern. His work has been featured in galleries worldwide, with recent sold-out solo shows in Europe and the US.
American, b. 1983
Scott Albrecht is an artist and designer currently based in Brooklyn, NY and is a member of the Gowanus Studio Space. A self-taught woodworker with a passion for hand-drawn typography, Albrecht utilizes classic techniques with contemporary style. His masterful compositions frequently incorporate vintage ephemera and abstracted geometric designs. His work has been exhibited and published internationally, including a successful recent solo show at Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles.
American b. 1989
Shannon Finnegan is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Finnegan’s concept-driven, meticulous drawings and multimedia installations have been featured in numerous group shows and solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and Chengdu, China. Her latest popup installation, the Anti-Stairs Club Lounge, was commissioned by the Wassaic Project in New York and addresses the inaccessibility of the seven floor exhibition space, which has no ramps or elevators beyond the ground level. For visitors who cannot or choose not to go upstairs, the Anti-Stairs Club Lounge offers thematically-tied reading materials, decorations, seating, and light refreshments. The piece helps mitigate a practical problem about the inaccessibility of the exhibition space: some people have to wait on the ground floor while their friends or family tour the upstairs. It seeks to make their experience of the exhibition richer and more fun, celebrating their stay on the ground floor. The intent is for the experience to also operate on a metaphorical level, saying to those visitors “you are welcome and valued here.”
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.
British, b. 1980
Creating one of the largest bodies of street art to date, Sickboy is a leading artist to emerge from Bristol’s infamous graffiti scene. With his iconic Temple, Coffin, and “Save the Youth” tags, Sickboy’s work is characterized by a colorful exuberance and playful visual language steeped in a carpe diem philosophy that embraces the omnipresence of mortality. Formally trained in art school, Sickboy’s practice extends across media and disciplines, negating distinctions between graffiti and sculpture, street and studio. In addition to his wide-ranging work on walls and wheelie bins, he has gained global recognition for solo exhibitions, public interventions like his protest piece at the Tate Modern, and his featured appearance in Banksy’s Oscar-nominated film Exit Through the Gift Shop.
American, b. 1979
Chicago native Steve Seeley is a Pop!nk Editions printmaker/co-owner and an artist whose work draws inspiration from a wide range of pop culture sources including superheroes, celebrities, cartoons and comic books. Technically gifted, his artistic practice spans multiple media with a fresh sense of experimentation. His work has been exhibited throughout the US and he was a featured artist at Pulse Miami in 2008.
American, b. 1970
Los Angeles-based photographer Steven Nereo began taking snapshots between waves while surfing Malibu and Venice Beach in the 1990’s. Trial and error in the water allowed him to develop the unique vantage point that imbues his photos with their immersive quality. Printed in large format, the work often resembles color field paintings more than photographs. Nereo tracks the weather and watches surf cams seeking out ideal conditions where the waves are flat and the pauses between them are dead calm. “It doesn’t happen that often here” he says, “so you really have to watch everyday for when it does.”
Japanese, b. 1962
One of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from postwar Asia, Takashi Murakami is known for his contemporary Pop synthesis of fine art and popular culture, particularly his use of a boldly graphic and colorful anime and manga cartoon style. Murakami became famous in the 1990s for his “Superflat” theory and for organizing the paradigmatic exhibition of that title, which linked the origins of contemporary Japanese visual culture to historical Asian art. Drawing on both traditional printmaking techniques and Japanese manga, Murakami’s art acts as a cultural barometer with subversive undertones and imagery. His innovative practice includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, animations, and collaborations with brands such as Louis Vuitton. Murakami’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions around the world, including those held at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Versailles Palace, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Vexta is recognized as a leading female artist of the international street art scene. Juxtaposing animals and human forms amid colorful, geometric shards, Vexta’s work aims to provide an insight into our fundamental engagement with the human condition. Currently based in New York, Vexta spreads her vision across continents and countries, studios and streets, with an international array of public murals, exhibitions, and collaborations. She has work in prominent art institutions globally, including The National Gallery of Australia, and was featured in Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop and his Cans Festival in 2008.
French, b. 1969
WK (aka WK Interact) is a French artist who has lived and worked in New York City for the last 25 years. His unmistakable imagery features subjects captured in motion while surrounded by the frenetic chaos of urban environments. Employing a monochromatic color palette, WK’s high-energy, streaked figures blur through areas of stark negative space that balance their sense of urgency. Whether working on the street or in the gallery, WK chooses imagery specifically with a concern for encounters in public environments, or “interactions” as the artist indicates in his pseudonym. In the late 1990s his images began appearing on building facades in downtown Manhattan, complimenting the constant stir of bodies and the perpetual motion of contemporary urban life in the fast-paced city. With an extensive international following, WK has now exhibited in galleries from Tokyo to Berlin, Los Angeles to Sydney.
American, b. 1985
Zach Schrey is a Chicago-based artist and printmaker/co-owner of Pop!nk Editions. Rooted in contemporary urban culture, Schrey creates an alternate world of characters and designs that remind us of the everyday, yet have an instant presence because of their bold, clean aesthetic. Influenced by the ubiquitous imagery of cartoons, comics, and corporate logos/brands, Schrey’s work collectively pokes fun at these cultural icons, heightening our awareness of their superficiality and constant presence in our lives. His paintings and prints have been shown throughout the US and abroad.