All image rights reserved to REVOK or their respective owner.
The urban art world was rocked this past Monday with the conviction of REVOK, one of Los Angeles’ premier graffiti writers. The alter-ego of now-known artist Jason Williams, REVOK was arrested at LAX late last week attempting to board an airplane to Ireland and has since been sentenced to 6 months in jail as a result of violating the terms of his probation — with a bail rumored to be set at a whopping $320,000, things have definitely been better for the Los Angeleno. While today’s Featured Face has fallen on some hard times as of late, he has become the subject of yet another social media freedom campaign (twitter trend #FREEREVOK) and more importantly, has dumped diesel fuel on this already-raging inferno of a debate. Does urban art have a place in the public sphere and if so, how do we differentiate between accepted and criminal activity? While we can guarantee that today’s feature will not even approach a resolution of this hotly-contested argument, we can assure that you will see some amazing pieces…we present to you: REVOK.
REVOK has been a visible mainstay in the Los Angeles art scene, perhaps most notably as a contributor to the MOCA’s Art in the Street exhibit that opened on April 17th, 2011. We say “perhaps” because this would likely be REVOK’s most notable “legal” contribution, but an argument can be made that his “illegal” work has packed more of a punch. While these publicized exploits have undoubtedly contributed to REVOK’s reputation, they have also been the source of multiple arrests (including the most recent this past Monday). REVOK has long been considered an “oversharer” of his exploits, utilizing social media outlets such as Twitter and Youtube to document the process and product of some of his most daring works. Known for his brilliant execution of the wild-style technique and superb color theory, REVOK’s claim to fame would be the location of his signature pieces. While many writers adopt the “quantity over quality” approach (using repetition of a simplistic tag to gain credibility and recognition), REVOK has gained notoriety for his large and time-intensive masterpieces in highly-visible (and inherently dangerous) locations. In doing so, REVOK maximizes the power of his message — check out the gallery and see for yourself!
Please visit REVOK’s website and/or Twitter pages for more of his work and updates on the plight of this talented artist. While you’re at it, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the value (or lack thereof) of graffiti in our built environment — leave a comment and let’s get this discussion going! While the primary goal of Ballista Magazine is to showcase design talent, we also are looking to bring design into our daily conversations and this digest is our humble contribution to the discussion. Your contributions will help!