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the street is our gallery


June 15, 2017 to July 15, 2017

From the streets to the galleries shows the exemplary path of John ‚Crash‘ Matos that conquered the early graffiti art scene in New York. The Kolly Gallery  presents the new artworks of international renowned pioneer of graffiti John -Crash- Matos Color explosions as well as the omnipresent icon of the eye are predominant features in Crash’s canvases of the exhibition. As the title gives away the different colored swatches imitate amplified sprayed tags or throws ups on walls. The opaque yet transparent coloring and the layouts of the different patches should be a playful and light assimilation of tags and paint splats. Accompanied by the legacy of old school graffiti Crash developed his compositions, while traversing several abstraction processes. Lettering and tags became color swatches. Full feminine faces from his earlier paintings were shortened to one essential icon – the eye.

John “Crash2 Matos will surprise the public by showing drawings, canvases as well as installations. Crash wants bring his own vibe to the city of Zurich, hoping to communicate his experience of graffiti to the world. Back in the 70ies and 80ies John ‚Crash‘ Matos was a crucial personality in the graffiti movement in New York. In 1978 as one of the first graffiti writers he began painting on canvas. Soon his artworks were exhibited next to Keith Haring’s and Jean Michel-Basquiat’s pieces. At the age of 19 Crash curated his first and ground-breaking exhibition Graffiti Art Success for America at Fashion Moda (NY). Nowadays his works are represented in renowned art museums: Museum of Modern Art in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn.

“I paint to communicate an experience.“ – John ‚Crash‘ Matos, 2017.


Kolly Gallery


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