In the world of graffiti, the battle on the streets has transcended East vs. West. Graffiti artist Sloke points to a painting scrawled with thick, interlaced letters woven across the canvas. “That's what we call the East Coast style,” he says before pointing to another painting busy with crosshatched lines and figures twisting like freeway off-ramps. “This is more of an West Coast style,” explains show curator Sloke, whose real name is Nate Nordstrom, “but people forget that there is another coast, a third coast. That coast is Texas.”
At Friday's opening of Texas Heat at the Crewest gallery, graffiti artists from the third coast gathered to showcase the hybridized style existing in this stylistic space between two art worlds. From the intricate H.R. Geiger-esque lettering of Lawgic to the beefy style of Soner, the show highlighted the intersection between the simple characters of the East Coast and the tangles of West Coast style.
But many of the works also intergrated the styles of the street with fine art. Coler's aerosol tribute to Tupac with tag lettering strewn on the work mixed fine-art portraiture with subway style scrawlings. Nordstrom says that bringing Texas Heat to Los Angeles was a chance to showcase artists whose works were often confined to freight trains, abandoned buildings, and walls of the forgotten coast.