John Matos aka CRASH (US)
CRASH (American, b.1961) is a Graffiti artist best known for his three-dimensional representation of lettering. Born John Matos in the Bronx, NY, he began spray painting on subway trains in his early teens, working alongside other pioneering American Graffiti artists, such as Dondi White (1961–1998) and Zephyr (b.1961). Although CRASH’s early work was lost when the MTA removed all Graffiti Art from the subway trains, he transitioned into working on canvas in 1978.
Inspired by American Pop artists, such as James Rosenquist (b.1933), Jasper Johns (b.1930), and Andy Warhol (1928–1987), CRASH established his place in the New York gallery scene in the early 1980s. He has also completed several public commissions, including the design of the Spectacolor Billboard in Times Square in 1981, and mural installations for the Musee d’art Moderne de la Villa de Paris in 1984. CRASH has painted several guitars, known as Crashocasters, for musicians Eric Clapton and John Mayer, and in 2011, designed a limited-edition line of Tumi Tag travel bags. He has held solo exhibitions at the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporian in Nice, France, the Gallery Speerstra in Paris, and the Los Angeles Art Show. He lives and works the Bronx, NY.