Friday, January 15, 2010
JOHN MATOS (CRASH)
Crash (b. John Matos, Bronx, New York, Oct. 11, 1961) is a famous 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". By the 1980s Matos had exhibits across the United States and abroad. He was given his first gallery showing by Sidney Janis at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1983. 
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" (nickenamed by Eric's 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."  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) were displayed in the Brooklyn Museum of Art in a featured exhibit titled "Graffiti.