Culture Monster

All the Arts, All the Time

« Previous Post | Culture Monster Home | Next Post »

Three pioneers of the L.A. graffiti art scene

April 9, 2011 |  7:30 am

Chaz Bojórquez, Craig Stecyk and RISK are L.A. artists who each in their own way helped to start the loose movement now known as street art. Bojórquez, 62, found beauty in Cholo graffiti of Latino gangs and, though never a gang member himself, painted in their style as early as 1969. Photographer-sculptor-printmaker Craig Stecyk, 60, was instrumental in shaping the the surf/skate/punk/graffiti aesthetic of the 1970s. And RISK, 43, helped to bring Wild Style graffiti from the subways of New York to the freeways of L.A. in the 1980s.

Today they are all still making art. They all serve, more or less willingly, as de facto historians of the more or less organized art movement, consulted for an array of articles, books and films. And this year they are also getting major play in museum shows. Along with appearing in MOCA's "Art in the Streets" survey, discussed in our Sunday Arts&Books feature, they will have other work around town this year.

--RISK has a gallery show at Corey Helford in Culver City, opening end of April.

--Bojórquez and RISK are both included in a group show in the Pasadena Museum of California Art exhibition "Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas," opening May 15.

--And this fall, Bojórquez  and Stecyk will both be part of "Pacific Standard Time" museum shows on the history of art in Southern California: Chaz's earliest roll call painting will be at the Museum of Latin American Art, while Stecyk's photographs of kids skating empty pools figure into "Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern Calfiornia Photography, 1945-1982" at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

And that's not counting the work you can still see by them on the streets, one of the questions explored in our Sunday Arts&Books story. To read about Bojórquez click here; for more on Stecyk, go here; and here to read about RISK.


BusVeteran NY graffiti writer Lee Quinones leads artists (not including Blu) in painting mural on Geffen

Graffiti and street art show to take over Geffen Contemporary

Ex-colleague of Jeffrey Deitch to curate street art show coinciding with his big moment

--Jori Finkel