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  Crash  (1961 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: mod imagery, graffiti, printmaker

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Ad Code: 3
John Matos Crash
An example of work by Crash
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Art Link International:
A contemporary of Keith Haring and a modern-day master of this present day art form of graffiti, Crash (John Matos) shoots his metaphorical arrows into art galleries, subway cars, and dizzying flashes across concrete walls.  His work is intended to be a statement in time and space that celebrates the movements and change of an ever changing world. His work is a direct descendant of the Roman wall-scribes, but he strives to evolve this inherited gift back to its simplest form: "tagging," leaving his name.  Great artists sign their names on the paintings they leave behind, in this new/old incarnation the artist leaves just his name.  A reduction of unadulterated form; or "refined" art.

Even in its newly evolved forms, far from its beginnings on subway cars, the message of graffiti has been "decorate this."

Artist Statement: From colorful faux wall paper, to Marvel Comics, this was my youth. New York in the 60's had a life all its own.  And being a child of the 60's, colors made such an impression on me that I rely on these memories to bring me to my work today.

Whether is was an escape from the toughness of my neighborhoods, or an explosive imagination, drawing and painting was a launch pad that would change my life.  I believe that if you pour your heart into your work it will show.  Well, how about pouring your heart into your work, and letting your imagination take you beyond its limits?  Isn't that what being a child was all about?

And, I still believe that if you give in to your imagination, and pour your heart into your work, you can't lose!

Welcome to my world..."
Crash, 2002

Solo  Exhibitions:
Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Fashion Moda, Bronx, NY
Yaki Kornblit Gallery, Amsterdam
51X Gallery, NYC
Yaki Kornblit Gallery, Amsterdam
"CRASH & DAZE", Sidney Janis Gallery, NYC
Yaki Kornblit Gallery, Amsterdam
Sidney Janis Gallery, NYC
Jus de Pomme Gallery, NYC
Yaki Kornblit Gallery, Amsterdam
"CRASH!" Manhattan Borough President
David N. Dinkins Municipal Bldg., 1 Centre St., NYC
Sidney Janis Gallery, NYC
Tamara Bane Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Hokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FL
"CRASH", B5 Gallery, Monaco
"CRASH & DAZE", Gallery Structure, Montpellier, France
Hokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FL
"CRASH & DAZE", Black and White in Color Gallery, Bronx, NY
Galerie Michel Gillet, Paris, France
"CRASH", Galerie Artcade, Nice, France
"New Paintings by CRASH", Sidney Janis Gallery, NYC
"John "CRASH" Matos : New Works", C'an Isidro, Ibiza, Spain
"CRASH Superheroes", Martin Lawrence Modern, NYC
"CRASH", Through Express Part I ( Retrospective )
MEXI-CARTE Museum, Austin Texas, June 11-July 10
Taller Puertoriqueno, Philadelphia, PA., Oct. 15-Dec. 10
Hostos Arts Gallery, Eugenio Maris de Hostos Community
College of the city of NY, Bronx, NY
Gallery Cotthem, Zottegem, Belgium
CRASH & DAZE, Deux Peintres New Yorkais, Galerie de la
Cathredrale, Monaco Villa
"CRASH, Works on Paper", The Hobbs Gallery, Boston, MA"
"CRASH", Mary Anthony Fine Arts, New Hope, PA
"CRASH/DAZE, Recent Works", York College,
City University of New York, Jamaica, Queens
"CRASH, The Villains", Mary Anthony Galleries, SOHO, NYC
Gallery Cotthem, Knokke-Zoutte, Belgium
Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, Fl
Bruce R. Lewin Gallery, SOHO, NYC
"CRASH", 2nd Floor Limited, New Orleans, LA
New York-New Works: John "CRASH" Matos, Galeria Las Palomas, Gaucin, Spain
"CRASH / DAZE", Enrico Coveri, Florence, Italy
"CRASH, Verticals and Horizontals", Mary Anthony Galleries, NY
"CRASH", Vail/Giesler Contemporary Art, Des Moines, IW
"CRASH, The Exhibition", The Masterpiece Gallery, Birmingham, MI
CRASH and DAZE: On the Express Train 1977-1999
Palais Liechtenstein, Reldkirch, Austria
CRASH and DAZE: On the Express Train 1977-1999
GroBmarkthallen Munich, Germany
American Graffiti: CRASH & DAZE
Musee D'Art Moderne et D'Art Contemporian, Nice, France
"CRASH, The Timetable", Galerie BLU, Pontiac, MI
Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FL
"Graffiti Indoors", AZ/NY Contemporary, Scottsdale, AZ
VIPS International, Rotterdam, Holland
CRASH, Fine Arts and Artists, Washington,D.C.
"Breaking Curfew",CPOP Gallery,Detroit,MI
THE POWER OF CRASH, Art Link International Gallery, Lake Worth, FL

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Yaki Kornblitt Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Raimund Thomas Collection, Munich, Germany
Sidney Janis Family Collection, NYC
The Chase Manhattan Bank, NA, Art Collection
Aachen, Nue Galerie-Sammlung Ludwig, Germany
Frederick R. Weismann Foundation, Los Angeles, California
Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Groniger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands
Museum Boymans-van Beuninger, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Galerie d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy
Gallery Cotthem, Zottegem & Knokke, Belgium
Neumann Family Collection, Chicago & New York City
Peter Styvesant Foundation, The Netherlands
Speerstra Family Collection, Monaco
Verreneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium
Mr. & Mrs. Martin S. Blinder, Arizona
Keith Haring Foundation, New York City
Sidney Janis Gallery Collection
Collection Dakis Joannou, Athens, Greece
Giovanni Agnelli, Turin, Italy
Donald & Mera Rubell, New York & Miami, Florida
Henk Pijnenburg, Deurne, The Netherlands
Evelyn Levy, Lausanne, Switzerland
Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York City
The New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Mr. and Mrs. John Fernandez
Museum of the City of New York, NY
Mark Twain Bankshares, St. Louis, Missouri
Silvana Coveri, Enrico Coveri Milan and Florence, Italy
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Madonna (pop star)
John Leguizamo (actor)
Eric Clapton (rock legend)
The Bronx Council on the Arts
OMAS, Italy

Art Link International

Biography from
Born John Matos in 1961, CRASH was raised in the Bronx, New York. At the age of 13, he began following the older teens from his neighborhood to the train yards and began "bombing", meaning spraying graffiti.

Taking the name “CRASH” after he accidentally crashed the computer in his school, his name began appearing on trains circulating all throughout New York City. By 1980, he began transitioning from train yards to galleries; he curated the ground-breaking "Graffiti Art Success for America" at Fashion MODA, launching the graffiti movement that has remained very active through today.

CRASH’s career took off and he saw instant popularity throughout Europe and America, and eventually Asia. CRASH has been part of numerous museum and gallery shows around the world focusing on Graffiti and Street Art, and has works in many permanent museum collections.

Visually iconic, he has partnered with many companies for projects including Absolut Vodka, Fender Guitars, SoBella Handbags, Levi’s, and most recently, Tumi luggage and Morphik. He continues to work and show both locally and internationally. Enjoy the awe and power of CRASH!?

(Courtesy of

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