THE BEST KEPT SECRET
Tonight is the opening reception for “THE BEST KEPT SECRET”
Curated by Damon Johnson
Featuring the work of Thomas Frost, Eric Inkala, Damon Ginandes, Jason Anderson, Alexander Dawson, And Damon Johnson
The title of the show is a reference’s Diamond D’s song of the same title. The song was recorded in 1990 and released 2 years later. It was the first time the legendary producer rapped on record. The secret of his skills in multiple mediums was revealed.
‘The Best Kept Secret’ will be an unveiling of sorts. Secrets will be revealed. The unknown made known. This is their first chance, for some in the show to display their talent in a gallery setting. The exhibited artists have secrets or secret identities or have produced work in secret. While hometowns vary from Brooklyn, Westchester, Boston, and Minneapolis; they all have roots in graffiti and street art. Names have been changed or retired, some are still infamous, and all are intertwined to an aerosol past, in which many have criminal history for the sake of their art.
Each artist has a distinctive style, and unique way of creation, from the use of bold colors to stencils to ceramic sculpture these artists have created their own style and techniques. While each artist work varies stylistically and thematically, the ferocious attitudes and bold statements resonate similarly.
About Damon Johnson
Damon Johnson was raised on a steady diet of comics and skateboarding. He drew pictures inspired by the imagery of superheroes and skaters. A need for self-expression led Johnson to write graffiti which evolved into his unique mural style. By the time he graduated high school he was doing commissioned murals. Johnson pursued a career as a professional artist graduating from New York University in 2000 with BA in Fine Arts. Damon showed his work at bars, clubs and alternative spaces throughout the Lower East Side and East Village. He also created street art with found materials which he called "wood boards" as the term street art had yet to be coined. Johnson bolted his wooden canvases to street poles and parking signs where they were most visible and least likely to be removed.
Johnson’s work has been described as urban surrealism; a melting pot of influences and art movements. His work combines pop culture references to graffiti, comics, tattoo art and skate graphics with traditional art movements including abstract expressionism, neo-expressionism, op-art and surrealism.
Damon experimented with many mediums. He painted on anything he found that he deemed suitable including an entire door complete with handle and hinges discarded in the streets of Brooklyn. Johnson partied and painted his way through New York nightlife. He continued his mural work by painting the interiors of nightclubs including Quo, Pink Elephant, NA, Plumm, Eleven, Go-Go, Retox, and Webster Hall. This summer he completed murals for The Surf Lodge in Montauk, the U.S. OPEN and the SoHo storefront of Design Within Reach.
Johnson has an upcoming solo show at CVZ Contemporary. His work is in the permanent collection of the Patterson, Hamilton, and Chelsea Art Museum.