Written by PRINCESS JOHN
What is art? Who defines it, sets the boundaries for which it can go, and, most importantly, contains something that is constantly growing and evolving?
These are some questions that planned to get answered with the help of the COMnGRAF 3 Exhibit at the Kings Art Complex.
The exhibit, which runs from June 4th to August 27th, bridges the gap between two art forms: graffiti art and comic book art. COMnGRAF 3: Breaking Boarders — displays the union of the now staples of the Hip-Hop culture. The exhibit will also have demonstrative showings, in which the audience can have a first-hand look at how each style influences the other.
But how did this obvious and genius idea come about? The concept is the brainchild of graffiti artist, Grodz; while the event is that of Marvel Comics artist Rob Stull. “He [Grodz] approached me about doing an art book with comic and graffiti collaborations.” Five to six years later, the exhibit has finally made its way to Columbus.
COMnGRAF is a change from the usual showings at the Kings Complex. At this event, the audience can expect a live collaboration, a panel, not to mention being able to see a medium of art that speaks to a generation of young adults in the community. “Look at what it has become from the negative stereotypes,” said Rob, “as far as graffiti, the vandalism is passé as the art form.”
For Stull, one of the many featured artist, art was always a passion and a talent in his life. “I’ve been drawing since I could walk,” he jokingly says. Stull also notes that he began drawing comic books in 3rd grade, and sold them to classmates. His parents noticed their son’s ability early and helped nurture his talent by buying crayons and other art supplies. It was only a matter of time before Stull would navigate his way to the path he’s on now.
After some encouragement from teachers, Stull studied his craft at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Today, he has expanded his horizons past just being an artist. He and Grodz opened up a think-tank, of sorts, by the name of True Element, LLC, with which the two can help their thought come to fruition.
The other artists featured, such as Sket One, TooFly, Nic One, and several others artists will have their unique take on the canvas during the exhibits. “All of the artists never disconnected from their beginnings, but they have evolved,” Stull added. These origins, whether it’s tagged in the subways of New York, or first edition copy of a Superman comic, all have contributed to the identity that has flourished in the African American community.
The presence of African Americans in art is inspiring and can influence others kids to pursue it as well. “Knowing the presence [of African Americans] in the arts was inspirational to me,” said Stull. “Their evolutions [graffiti and comic book art] bring about more acceptance in the community.”
COMnGRAF 3: Breaking Boarders, running from June 3rd to August 27th — in the Elijah Pierce Gallery of The Kings Art Complex, and opens in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Complex.