Graffiti is an art unlike most others. Risking your freedom for the proliferation of your name, on anything crossing the human eyeline, can indicate extreme narcissism or indomitable savvy. The initial ingredients needed for building a street artist’s rep are artistic talent and a healthy dose of disdain for authority figures. Most don’t come into the spray can art game with the business acumen to take the name-branding marketing ploy to a commercial level. Transforming what is usually seen as a blight on the community into a commodifiable art form is a rare task, but one that Stash has made his livelihood.
For the past 30 years Stash has been building his name in the graffiti and fine arts scene amongst contemporaries like Jean-Michael Basquiat and Keith Haring. Since the mid 2000′s Stash has been placing his heavily handstyled Stash logo, signature spraycan cap camo, and his gradient of blue hues – on collectibles from collaborators such as Nike, Bape and Reebok, as well as on items from his own (now defunct) retail outlet Nort/Recon.
Stash for Lafayette Interview
The story of Stash is interwoven with the rise of graffiti culture in America, and his contributions to art and commerce have done as much to reinvigorate interest in street art as a concept as they have done to sell product. His Nike collabs are still amongst the rarest of grails for a sneakerhead, and his upcoming work with brands like Lafayette and Reebok show that same attention to branding – and not just the building of his own, but also adding to that of his benefactor. Not bad for a guy that’s known for having the blues.
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