Biography of John CRASH Matos
Street art legend, John CRASH Matos, first began spray painting “bombing” as a 13-year old boy, after seeing the older kids hurtling around the neighborhood. Nicknamed CRASH after accidentally crashing his computer while at school, his tag name began appearing all round New York. Soon his graffiti, found on subway cars and dilapidated buildings, was being noticed by important personages, and his notoriety and fame began to grow. It did not take long for CRASH to transfer his skills to silkscreened canvas and he became increasingly ambitious in his art’s practice.
A ubiquitous presence in the graffiti art movement he even curated the now iconic exhibition “Graffiti Art Success for America” at Gallery 98, a show that is said to have kicked-off the graffiti art movement that is still thriving today. This was CRASH’s first emergence from the street art scene to the gallery world.
Forming a visual link between established society and the street life scene, Crash has also become popular in Europe, and his special issue Fender Stratocaster Guitars for British singers Eric Clapton and Ed Sheeran (in collaboration with British artist Teddy M) have become highly sought after. He has gone on to make upwards of 50 graffiti-designed guitars that have become known as Crashocasters.
In 1984 he collaborated with good friend Keith Haring to create a commission for Lucky Strike brand cigarettes and together they produced a mural for the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
In 2006 many of his most famous paintings from their permanent collection were included in the exhibition “Graffiti” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He had a major retrospective of his work at the Fairfield University’s Walsh Gallery in 2010. John Crash Matos had the honor of being included in numerous public collections around the world including MoMA in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam among many others. His distinctive and instantly recognizable style has put him in high demand with top companies and brands such as Levi’s and Morphik.