My love of graffiti originated as a child watching the trains whose tracks divided my small hometown. My curiosity was piqued by the freight cars covered with graffiti tags and images. I wanted to know these faceless individuals were and the stories behind each piece. I never saw it as vandalism but as a cry. The artists wanted the world to know that they exist.
Since then, graffiti has evolved into a recognized art form respected for its social commentary (see earlier post on Banksy) and artistic brilliance. It has inspired many new artists whose work helped move graffiti from the streets to galleries around the world.
One such artist is Hush. The British street artist is a trained graphic designer and illustrator. Hush’s inspiration includes graffiti, manga, pop and Eastern cultures. To create his pieces, he combines such media as graffiti, stenciling, paint, drawing and the collaging with graphic novels and comics. His primary inspiration is the Japanese geisha. He shows both their power, innocence, and feminity. In an interview, Hush explained, “The female form is art, and I always like to convey the power of the female form and how the presence of a woman can influence. The reason for introducing the female form to the paintings is to allow the graffiti, which is usually seen as masculine, aggressive and ugly, change context and become accepted and beautiful – I like playing with these ideas.”
The background of these pieces mimics city walls covered with the complexity of lines and graffiti style tag lettering. Upon this, he adds the female form using vivid colors as an accent. It gives a look of serenity upon chaos. Both can fight for your attention as you look at the piece. It is this struggle that I love best about his work. He combines opposites of western and eastern influences. The struggle of chaos and calm behind the primary focus of beauty and strength.
d-_-b “girls” – Life in Sweatpants