When I paint a mural, almost always, I do it without a preliminary drawing or any sketching prior to painting a wall and I work from reference 90% of the time. When I visited London in July of 2015 I painted 4 murals and the first one was a 15 foot portrait of Rowan Atkinson’s comical character, Mr. Bean. Hidden Streets of London facilitated the wall in Bethnal Green and less than 24 hours after I arrived I had primed the surface white and went straight on to the wall with photographic print in one hand and a spray can in the other. Eight hours later I had completed the Mr. Bean mural.
Out of the four murals I painted in London Mr. Bean was my favorite and I knew that I would recreate this image again on canvas. For quite some time I have thought to recreate some of my murals into a series of paintings titled ‘From Wall to Canvas’. Other murals I have thought about recreating on canvas are Roberto Clemente (2014- Bushwick, Brooklyn), The Hulk (2013- Queens, NY), Tropical Paradise (2015- Bushwick, Brooklyn) and my Army of One tribute (2014- Queens, NY) to name a few.
Grafstracting from a mural to a canvas began on New Year’s Eve, 2015. At times I hashtag fine art on walls (#fineartonwalls) as I am just an artist who paints modern art with a paintbrush on canvas and the same fine art with spray paint on a wall. The art has not changed only the medium. When I paint on canvas or with a paintbrush I am a fine artist but that public view seems to change when I paint on a public space. When that happens now I paint street art or I am painting graffiti. Is it the wall or the spray paint that puts me into these different categories of artist. Well, if that is the case then lets be more accurate with how to describe the mechanics of my creative process. Fumeroism is grafstract. I do not paint typical abstracted or traditional abstract art, to say as such would not explain my approach to what I am creating, so I coined a term grafstract back in 2010 that perfectly describes the Fumero ism or idea. Crop in on any section of my exaggerated or ‘abstracted reality’ and you will see pure abstraction specific to my intrinsic development.
People used to ask me and still do with the question, “what is Fumeroism“? That started to get me thinking heavily and I pondered that question for a while. I thought about my artistic journey which has been a life long process from graffiti to grafstract. My figurative art which I refer to as anatomical grafstraction is composed of organic shapes of unnaturally colored flesh tones enveloped by hard-edged-contours. Fumeroism is a transfer of ‘flavorful’ wild style letter designs outlined in black when I was a graffiti artist from ages 13-20, actively bombing walls and perfecting my graff-style in black books. It was at SVA (School of Visual Arts, NYC) where and when all my years of artistic exploration came into fruition and fumeroism was born. Fumeroism is the embodiment of the evolution from graffiti to grafstract in the post-graffiti art movement of the late 20th and 21st centuries.
The 18″x24″ acrylic on canvas portrait of Mr. Bean marks new series to grafstract as I go from canvas to wall and wall to canvas. I am looking forward to getting back to basics with brush in hand instead of a spray can. 2016 will be a great year for the return of the canvas, until it gets warm and I become “murally active” once again.