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Breakout Creations: DASKARONE Art of Graffiti Peyton Scott Russell Jan. 14 – March 14, 2021

The Reedy Gallery at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum


Peyton Scott Russell Minneapolis-based artist, Peyton Scott Russell, was first introduced to graffiti art in 1984 through the film, Style Wars. Peyton has a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and for over three decades has worked as a professional artist and arts instructor, facilitating numerous community mural projects and arts education programs. Through his arts program, SPRAYFINGER®, Peyton manifests his mission to increase awareness of graffiti as a teachable art form by working with schools, teachers, and artists on curriculum design, outlines, and lesson plans to deepen the understanding of a longmisunderstood art form.

Breakout Creations highlights Peyton’s recent interest in conceptual painting ideas

Photo by Greg Thompson

and abstract forms informed by graffiti and street art aesthetics. As Peyton shared recently, “The essence of the craft is found in stylized letterforms, but it is also supported by design principles and artistic elements that bring the craft into a fine art realm. I want to explore the forms that support this aesthetic.” In the Reedy Gallery exhibition, Peyton explores the elimination of graffiti found in public, or what is known as The Buff in graffiti culture. Organic shapes are created when graffiti is painted over with off color matches of the original paints. The layering effect of asymmetric, natural, organic forms become another form of graffiti making that is of particular interest to Peyton. “Graffiti Writers tag a spot, it’s painted over, tagged again, and painted over, etc. I love the aesthetic of an aged wall that has the “scars” of unwanted graffiti and other markings,” Peyton said. The Buff is another step of the process that adds to this modern, dominant contemporary language.


Welcome to Breakout Creations: DASKARONE - Art of Graffiti

Peyton Scott Russell: Influences

Peyton Scott Russell is a force in the Minnesota graffiti art community. We are honored

significant influence has been graffiti art. Since 1984, I have been a part of the graffiti

to display his work in the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Reedy Gallery. He not only produces art but as importantly, shares his talents with students of all ages around the country. His passion for education matches our mission, and we are grateful he will be back in the fall to teach graffiti arts to 60+ participants through our creative aging series which is being funded in part by a generous grant from the Metropolitan

My influences come from more sources than I can mention here; however, the most writing movement documented in the film Style Wars. I have always seen it as an art, but in high school I could not articulate that I felt it was something deeper than mindless vandalism. While attending School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), I was highly influenced by the abstract expressionist movement. Artists like Pollack, Rothko, Newman, Motherwell,

Regional Arts Council.

Mitchell, Tobey, Stella, Rauschenberg, Kandinsky, Miro, Picasso, Duchamp, Braque, Klee and

Peyton grew up in North Minneapolis and earned his B.F.A. from the School of the Art

of emotions. I have always tried to incorporate these concepts into my work.

Institute of Chicago with a focus in printmaking. It was there that he fell in love with the abstract expressionists, and their influence is undeniable in his work today. The viewer may see the action of Jackson Pollock, the flat color picture planes of Barnett Newman, the harmonic elements found in Wassily Kandinsky, or the rectangular planes that

so many others, opened the idea of creating free gestural markings and color statements

At one point in the 1990s, I tried to merge traditional art with graffiti to create a new category of art. I used techniques from artists such as Duchamp, Stella, Picasso and Magritte with graffiti aesthetics to create what I called KRASH Art. This approach was

catapulted Mark Rothko.

short lived.

Graffiti art is no longer simply a street movement. From seemingly humble roots, it has

What I have always noticed is the aesthetic of painting over graffiti that looks like scars on

had a monumental influence on popular culture from music and film to fine art. It has found its way to museums, galleries, high-priced auction houses and into the canon of art history. The essence of the work as Peyton notes has always been rooted in classic design principles and elements of art. This movement into gallery indicates a growing acceptance of graffiti and street art within the mainstream art world, and today it is my privilege to present Peyton Scott Russell aka DASKARONE and his art work to the wider Arboretum community.

a wall. In the graffiti culture, we call this “The Buff.” It was a term used in the documentary film, Style Wars, to describe what happened when the subway trains would get a scrub and buff (like a car wash) with a very toxic spray of paint remover, erasing the graffiti, and creating The Buff. The term is now used for any painting over graffiti. The Buff can also be the type of paint used to prepare a surface for painting (i.e., buffing a wall as in priming it or covering anything that was there before). Buff marks and scars of erased graffiti appear to me as abstract paintings, as they are layered with unmatching colors in random places, dictated only by the location of the

Wendy DePaolis Curator Art and Sculpture

tagging. I have finally found a source to introduce the concepts of abstract painting combined with the contemporary language of graffiti. Using the concept of The Buff, paired with graffiti writing, I can practice both graffiti art and abstract expressionism and possibly revisit the idea of KRASH Art. Yet, I am not using any original concepts of abstract expressionism. Instead a functional process and action used to remove graffiti becomes another expression of a graffiti aesthetic itself. My current influence is found in graffiti writing and the removal of it as one expression of graffiti.


A,a: ay,uh – Alpha (NOT FOR SALE) 2018 24” x 18” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold Leaf on Paper The study of graffiti-style lettering is developing fonts where the letter takes on a creative character or symbol, very similar to hieroglyphics, where the alphabet originated. Yet in this case the meaning of each letter is guided and personally dictated by the artist that created it. I have developed a style of drawing letters based on a grid format. Each letter fits on to a rectangle grid and forms a block or block-style font. I like the bold presence of block style letters. “A” being my favorite letter, I’m keeping the dominant weight and energy of this leading letter but adding a soft ambiguous flare that reflects my personality.

6 — INQUIRIES: Arboretum Gift and Garden Store, 612-301-7619


E,e: ie,eh – Epsilon (NOT FOR SALE) 2017 24” x 18” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold Leaf on Paper “E” being my second favorite letter, I’m keeping the block shape of the “E” but embellishing its interior - keeping it exciting, energetic, and illegible as a creative personal expression of my own style within the graffiti writing culture.

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J,j: jay,juh - Jye 2018 24” x 18” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold on Paper $850

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P,p: pe,puh - Pee 2018 24” x 18” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold on Paper $850

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T,t: te,tuh – Tau 2018 18” x 24” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold on Paper $850

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X,x: ex,eks – Chi 2018 24” x 18” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold on Paper $850

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D,d: di,de – Delta 2018 18” x 24” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold on Paper $850

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R,r: ar,erreh – Rho 2018 24” x 18” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold on Paper $850

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V,v: vee,vha - Venus 2018 24” x 18” Aerosol, Cut Paper, 24KT Gold on Paper $850

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Tumbling Text 2011, 2018 (repainted) 46” x 43” x 12” Aerosol Paint, Aluminum PVC plastic on Wood $7,500 Letters, fonts and text information are the essence of graffiti art. I am showing letters in motion that are breaching the restrictions of a frame as a way of saying the source of graffiti writing remains free even in its artistic modular reference.

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Writing Abstracts 1, 2, 3 I have always been influenced by abstract expressionism and in Writing Abstracts 1, 2, and 3, I found a way to introduce the idea of abstracts into my work and still keep a pure aesthetic of graffiti concepts at its source. As my expression of abstraction is the removal of graffiti called, The Buff. Removing parts of a graffiti piece and taking the letterforms out of context, I find this to be an interesting composition as an expression of abstraction. The understanding of graffiti as an art becomes stronger as parts of it are removed and left for individual interpretation.

Writing Abstracts 1 2020 60” x 58” Aerosol and Latex Paint on Canvas $3,500

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Writing Abstracts 2 2020 60” x 58” Aerosol and Latex Paint on Canvas $3,500

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Writing Abstracts 3 2020 60” x 58” Aerosol and Latex Paint on Canvas $3,500

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In the Buff 1, 2, 3 Using graffiti writing/painting techniques and the idea of removing it is a unique juxtaposition as the two build a relationship and exist as one expression.

In The Buff 1 2020 70” x 48” Aerosol and Latex Paint on Canvas $3,500

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In The Buff 2 2020 70” x 48” Aerosol and Latex Paint on Canvas $3,500

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In The Buff 3 2020 70” x 48” Aerosol and Latex Paint on Canvas $3,500

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25 2020 75” x 60” Aerosol, Latex Paint on PolyTab and Canvas $5,000 My portrait at 25 years of age. Now being 50 years of age, it is a little surreal to see the look in my eye, but I can see exactly what I was thinking and what my intentions were at that time. In many respects I feel I have come back to that place in thought and energy. This work is created using a stencil technique popular in my art classes. For several years I have taught stenciling techniques but rarely have I used my own image to do so. I found the stencil is the actual art and not the copies it makes. Here I am using the stencil in a collage format and painting on top of it and around it. This is the opposite use of its function.

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Blue Throw 2020 75.5” x 69” Aerosol and Latex Paint on Canvas $2,500 A traditional bubble style of lettering that I sometimes use as a Throw Up. Throw Ups are full form gestural letter styles painted fast in two or three colors, originally used to cover another artist’s work in a disrespectful manner. Throw Ups are now a genre of styled lettering in the graffiti culture.

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Untitled (Buff Series) 2021 48” x 83” Latex and Aerosol Paint on Canvas $4,000 The process of erasing graffiti (called The Buff) can resemble scars on a wall. These scars, I find, are another form of graffiti marking that adds to the overall impact of graffiti on society. It’s evidence that something was there, markings that someone wanted to cover up. As a result, there appears to be a more important aesthetic message: markings are covered by other markings. I am trying to juxtapose the elements of The Buff and tagging as they intertwine with each other and form a push-pull relationship that ultimately highlights human interaction on public surfaces.

42 — INQUIRIES: Arboretum Gift and Garden Store, 612-301-7619


Related Class at the Arboretum If you’d like to make your own graffiti art, consider joining Peyton Scott Russell at the Arboretum in Fall 2021 for an 8-week series specifically designed for students 60+. This program, supported by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, is designed for beginners and will allow students to integrate elements of the Arboretum grounds and natural environment into their own art pieces as they practice a variety of art-making techniques including traditional art elements and design principles.

arboretum.umn.edu/creativeagingart.aspx


Reedy Gallery is open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All visitors must make an advance timed reservation: Arb.umn.edu Members, free, non-members $15, kids 15 and under free. Masks are required indoors.

3675 Arboretum Drive • Chaska, MN 55318

612-624-2200 • arboretum.umn.edu 46 — INQUIRIES: Arboretum Gift and Garden Store, 612-301-7619

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Breakout Creations: DASKARONE - Art of Graffiti  

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Reedy Gallery Exhibit

Breakout Creations: DASKARONE - Art of Graffiti  

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Reedy Gallery Exhibit