UFO907 is an artist with an untraditional career straddling between the classical fine arts and rebellious graffiti writing. Born on the outskirts of New York City, he was nurtured from a very early age by the visual language on the streets of the city, which constantly re-emerges in his paintings throughout decades. He attended Parsons School of Design, received canonical education on artistic techniques and aesthetic theory, while also traveling through Europe and Asia for more visual inspiration which was translated into a large volume of sketches and writings in his notebooks, and this critical period has laid a substantial foundation for his own genre of fine arts graffiti and revolutionary techniques we observe in his paintings later on.
After Parsons School of Design, UFO907’s artistic trajectory started to diverge from the traditional path. Instead of following the traditional post-graduation path for an emerging artist, he devoted himself into the wood and furniture shops, into the archaic labor that allows for a direct human contact with the natural materials, into the actual texture of real life. It was in the industrial shops that UFO907 received trainings on carpentry and fabricating, techniques essential for his current trademark shaped canvas paintings made out of canvas stretched onto the handcrafted, specially cut wood frames. It was also during this period that UFO907 started to create as a graffiti writer by scrawling his expressive lines and painting elaborate murals on the forgotten walls and buildings in the corners of New York City. He employs unwieldly blue-collar materials such as aerosol, house paint, rollers, and homemade markers. His urban public artworks combined the exquisite fine arts technique and the rebellious, ironic expression in graffiti, finding a new context for the classical medium and a more delicate translation for the spiritual core of the working class, local culture.
Art derives from our desire to interpret the world, and to leave our individual interpretation onto the world. To leave something behind underlies many artistic intentions, and for UFO907 this is also not an exception. It is devastating to see artworks wiped out, erased, damaged, destroyed, deprived of permanence, regardless of whether it is a framed oil painting or a graffiti. For this reason, after more than two decades as a graffiti writer, UFO907 has found his way back to his studio practice and has since then been working fervently on canvas, sculptures with a boldness inherent in an urban public artist and a contemplativeness brood by a long detour.
Following his solo exhibitions in New York, Tokyo, Bangkok and Los Angeles and multiple international group exhibitions, UFO907 for the first time creates a new series of works for MARFA, which cast a retrospective eye on his artist trajectory, making the paintings simultaneously fictional, surrealistic and autobiographical. It is also for the first time that UFO907 has transcended the previous mono-characterization and introduced more roles into the scene, significantly deepening the narrative space within the frame. Constantly, he pays homage to his formative period by referring to urban public arts symbols and techniques, and the shaped canvas materiality has also allowed him to delineate faithfully the configuration of dreams and fantasies. Picasso once stated, it took him a lifetime to learn how to paint like a child, and UFO907’s detoured, delayed returning, shows his interpretation of Picasso’s method.
The Walkabout, 2023. Aerosol, Acrylic, and Solid Marker on Artist made Shaped. Canvas. 61 x 87 x 1 1/2 in.154.9 x 221 x 3.8 cm
"Jungle Mission," 2023. Aerosol, Acrylic, & Enamel paint, oil pastel, paint marker on artist crafted shaped canvas. 35 x 23 x 1/2 in. 88.9 x 58.4 x 1.3 cm
"Pushin’ Out the New Shit" Aerosol, Acrylic, and Solid Marker on Artist made Shaped Canvas 54 x 34 x 1 1/2 in. 137.2 x 86.4 x 3.8 cm.
"Area 51". 2023 Aerosol, Acrylic, and Solid Marker on Artist made ShapedCanvas50 x 64 x 1 1/2 in.127 x 162.6 x 3.8 cm.