BISCO SMITH (b.1980) is a contemporary visual artist with roots in music, graffiti, and street art, currently residing and working in Queens, New York. Bisco works in a variety of formats, including canvas and large outdoor murals, and is known for his “visual freestyle”—characterized as a blend of graffiti deconstruction, gestural abstraction, and lyric-based stylewriting. Made predominantly with a black and white color palette, his art visually captures the rhythms of music and the energy of the moment through its spontaneous marks and abstracted text.
That’s according to his website.
He is also one of the world’s best known and most respected Street Artists. Through his artistic and philanthropic work, he has global street cred and a certain laid back charm. Michelle Tompkins managed to capture that indefinably relaxed quality in an interview for TheCelebrityCafe during an installation of his work at an ArtRepublic curated city event.
Listen to him explain his views on Street Art, responsibility of the artist, the hatred for the word ‘graffiti’ and a passel of thought provoking questions.
“Michelle Tompkins: What would be your preferred term, just art?
Bisco Smith: I come from a time when it was graffiti. But I know that the schools before me, there are people that I really respect that hate that word graffiti because that word is made from the mayor, and the law, and that was a term to define a thing that was anti. Street art to me is a very loaded word. And where I come from it was graffiti versus street art. There was this thing and now it’s just become such a common household term that it’s taken on a life of its own, which is cool. I mean, I’m happy there’s more art on the street and there are more people making it work. I’m not anti the people doing it, but it’s become a blanket word for a lot of stuff.”
To find out more about Bisco Smith