Earlier this month We had the opportunity to meet and work with Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Associate Professor of Ceramic Art at Indiana University. Malcolm is from the pivotal era of the late 80’s, when graffiti spread out from major cities and into essentially every urban center in America, as well as the entire world. Inspired by the hip hop movement and graffiti culture, Malcolm has since taken his love for all the imagery indigenous to graffiti art into the 3-dimensional world of ceramics. It’s pretty clear once you see his work that the shapes and motifs you see are the same seen in modern and classic graffiti styles.

We met Malcolm (a.k.a. Sea One) through Brisk. We all met initially for dinner and hit it off right away. Malcolm is a solid guy who has a deep appreciation for the way graffiti changes and enhances lives like all of ours.  He was preparing for a retrospective of his work (a semi-comprehensive exhibition of works from throughout an artist’s career) at the Indianapolis Museum Of Contemporary Art and wanted to work with us on a collaborative wall to show multiple generations, styles, and techniques of graffiti in the gallery as well. The idea is that the people who come to see his graffiti-style sculptures can look across the room to a mural and see exactly the bubbles/arrows/colors that inspire his work today.  Malcolm really has preserved these aspects of traditional graffiti style in a way that is reminiscent of our good friend and fellow CISA brethren, ISH. We could not be happier to represent our art form in a museum setting.

Below are some photos of the process. Please hit up IMOCA Friday, April 1 and support a genuine artist with roots in our culture.

Mark Ruschman coordinated the perfect setup and brought in some students from the Center For Inquiry, a local charter school, for a demo. Thanks to him, we had everything we needed to make this wall proper. Check out the video of the entire process, also courtesy of Mark.

Show information: http://www.indymoca.org/2011/03/inner-city-inspiration/

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