John 'Crash' Matos, American (1961 - )

John Crash Matos

Crash (b. John Matos, Bronx, New York, Oct. 11, 1961) is a graffiti artist. As early as 13, John Matos was spray painting New York City trains, the full image art as opposed to simpler tagging soon transferred to silk screened canvas. He was first noticed through his murals on subway cars and dilapidated buildings, he is now regarded as a pioneer of the Graffiti art movement. His work is said to convey a "visual link between street life and established society".

In 1980, Crash curated the now iconic exhibition:"Graffiti Art Success for America" at Fashion MODA, launching the graffiti movement that has remained very active through today. By the 1980s Matos had exhibits across the United States and abroad. Galerie Yaki Kornblit was the first instrumental gallery in Amsterdam that help launch his career in Europe. In 1981 Crash, along with 10 other artists were chosen by The Public Art Fund to design animated imagery for The Spectacolor Billboard in Times Square. He was given his first gallery showing by Sidney Janis at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1983.[1][3] Chase Manhattan, N.A., as well as CITIBANK, N.A., and other collections came calling. In 1984, Crash along with Keith Haring painted mural installations for the 5/5 Figuration Libre France/USA at the Musee d'art Moderne de la Villa de Paris. In 1988 he sprayed Notes in the Wind measuring 178 x 178 centimetres to be exhibited and eventually to be owned by the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation in Zevenaar, Netherlands. In 1995, Crash was commissioned by British American Tabacco to create a commission for Lucky Strike brand cigarette, joining fellow artist Keith Haring, to create a special work for this company and their collection.


In 1996, Crash painted an Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster and gave it to the artist as a gift. Clapton went on to use the specially designed guitar through his 2001 tour and later appeared with another. In total Crash has created 5 guitars for Clapton, though only three of them have made public appearances. One of Clapton's "Crashocasters" (nicknamed by Eric's former guitar tech, Lee Dickson) auctioned for $321,100 (USD) by the name of "Crash-3" and was used extensively during the first Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004. Soon after Fender Musical Instruments commissioned the creation of 50 such graffiti designed guitars from Crash and named the line "Crashocasters." Crash went on to also design a line of custom painted telecasters with match Fender amps. Other artists such as John Mayer have used the custom painted Crashocaster guitars.
In July 2006, the pieces titled "Aeroplane 1" (1983) and "A-U-T-O-matic",(1985), along with other paintings from their permanent collection were displayed in the Brooklyn Museum of Art in a featured exhibit titled "Graffiti. In 2009, Crash held his first exhibition of painted guitars and guitar related artowrk in NYC.
In 2010, Crash held a 30 year retrospective at Fairfield University's Walsh Gallery. Crash was asked by Sanrio to create a series of paintings to be shown at Art Basel, Miami Beach, FL, featuring Hello Kitty and other characters from Sanrio's catalogue. Also, in 2010, Crash was commissioned to create a special limited edition luggage for TUMI, Inc. A painting was created and used for the design, which was released world wide in 2011. Same day releases were coordinated in Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Germany, Paris and London. Crash is one of the New York artist featured at MOCA, The David Geffen Building, Los Angeles' "Art in the Streets", April-August 2011. In 2011, Crash held his first print survey exhibition in Southport, Ct., at Southport Galleries.

Collections

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Yaki Kornblitt Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Raimund Thomas Collection, Munich, Germany

Sidney Janis Family Collection, NYC

The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.,Art Collection

Aachen, Nue Galerie-Sammlung Ludwig, Germany

Frederick R. Weismann Foundation, Los Angeles, California

Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Groniger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands

Museum Boymans-van Beuninger, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Galerie d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy

Gallery Cotthem, Zottegem & Knokke, Belgium

Neumann Family Collection, Chicago & New York City

Peter Styvesant Foundation, The Netherlands

Speerstra Family Collection, Monaco

Verraneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium

Mr. & Mrs. Martin S. Blinder, Arizona

Keith Haring Foundation, New York City

Sidney Janis Gallery Collection

Collection Dakis Joannou, Athens, Greece

Giovanni Agnelli, Turin, Italy

Donald & Mera Rubell, New York & Miami, Florida

Henk Pijnenburg, Deurne, The Netherlands

Evelyn Levy, Lausanne, Switzerland

Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York City

The New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA

Mr. and Mrs. John Fernandez Museum of the City of New York, NY

Mark Twain Bankshares, St. Louis, Missouri

Silvana Coveri, Enrico Coveri, Milan and Florence, Italy

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ

Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY

The Bronx Council on the Arts

OMAS, Italy

Nellens Family Collection, Knokke, Belgium

Museum of Arts and Science, Daytona, FL

Appleton Museum or Art, Ocala, FL

Gulf Museum of Art, Largo, FL

Tampa Mueum of Art, Tampa, FL

Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA

Cornell Mueum, WinterPark, Florida

Flint Insitute of Art, Flint, MI

Zimmerly Museum of Art, Rutgers University

John Leguizamo and Family, NY

Deland Museum, Deland, FL

Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama

Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia

Ft. Wayne Museum, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Cedar Rapids Museum, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Vero Beach Museum, Vero Beach, FL

Vieques Museum, Vieques, Puerto Rico

Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL

Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL

Thunderbirds@Nellis Air Force Base, U.S.A.F.

Museum of Arts and Sciences, St. Augustine, FL

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