(1959, Bolivia)

Often times Javier Rocabado combines themes into installations that feature real US currency alongside human figures or icons and real objects. These icons are then embellished with 22 k Gold Leaf halos, cultured pearls, semi-precious stones, 18k gold and silver jewelry, the vials of used injectable HIV medications filled with holy water or olive oils. I also use inert bullets, maps, cloth and a myriad of common house-hold objects.

Although he uses a variety of materials, his theme and methodology is consistent in each of the art pieces in this series. All the pieces are linked by recurring formal concerns and throughout the subject matter. The subject matter of each piece thus determines the materials to be used and the form the piece will take.


(1977, Canada)

Ben Tour channels a dark, often haunting sense of humanism in his work. His observations deftly inform his paintings, enabling him to capture the essence of a character, then distort that view any way he desires. 

Frenetic lines, swaths of color, and intimate angles all convey a sense that Tour may not only be drawing inspiration from the lives of strangers he observes, but manifesting his own personal experiences as well. The emotional content in each portrait is palpable as this perceived notion of creation and catharsis is paired well with the immediate voyeuristic allure of his characters. 

Tour has exhibited in galleries from Los Angeles to Miami, Hamburg to New York. His work has been featured in publications including BLK/MRKT One and Two, Juxtapoz, and Playboy. He has worked with clients such as BMW, Absolut, Nike and Burton Snowboards.

Watch the Stickboy "Monster Murals" project by vancouveropera


(1983, Santiago, Chile)

Basco Vazko currently lives and works in Santiago. He has been painting all of his life and will paint as much as he can for the rest of his days. He says he's not an artist or a graffiti writer or a street artist; he's a painter. Besides a painter he's a collector. He collects rocks, old magazines, stamps, old books, small cactuses, and other people's drawings. He tries to keep most of what he paints to himself. 

He has been contributing his unique street art and graffiti to public canvases all over South America from a very young age and in recent years has had a series of successful gallery appearances around the world.

Watch this video by uppdx:


(1940, Dallas, US)

Barron is an American illustrator, graphic novelist, and educator. He is known for his accomplishments as an illustrator and fine artist, as well as for his career as a teacher. Storey has taught illustration since the 1970s and currently is on the faculty of California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He has also taught at San Jose State University and Pixar Studios. 

He has been a commercial illustrator since the 1960s, and his clients have included major magazines such as Boys' Life, Reader's Digest, and National Geographic. His cover portraits for Time of Howard Hughes and Yitzhak Rabin hang in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. His giant painting of the South American rain forest hangs in New York's American Museum of Natural History, and a 1979 rendering of the space shuttle commissioned by NASA, the first official painting ever done of it, hangs in the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.

As a book illustrator he as done cover illustrations for the Franklin Library classics, War and Peace, The Good Earth and Stories by Sinclair Lewis; as well as the covers of Fahrenheit 451 for Del Rey / Ballantine; and, most famously, the 1980 reissue of Lord of the Flies.

David Choe wrote of Barron in his book, Slow Jams (1999): “Nobody draws better than Barron. Not you, not your little sister, your architect dad, not your rebellious ex-boyfriend who draws with his own blood, not the most talented kid at your art school. Not your favorite artist in the whole world; I've seen the work with my own eyes. Nobody draws better than The Barron.”

Watch Life After Black - The Visual Journals of Barron Storey by magpiejst:


(Barcelona, Spain)

Aryz prefers to paint simply for the sake of painting. He enjoys using classic street art tools such as brushes, spray paint, rollers, and more. He paints in abandoned factories because people avoid bothering him there. These factories often offer a perfect location due to their huge walls and varied surfaces. Aryz attributes his skill as a painter to aerosols because that was the method that he used primarily to practice.

Aryz creates large character murals. This quickly earns him a spot with some of the best muralists. He states that placing a shape on a wall is a simple excuse to put colors in one place or another. 

His street art often includes gigantic creatures, arranged through strange, emotional mixtures expressing both rawness and tenderness. His art may also represent a paint palette of vibrant, cool colors which create fantastic atmospheres resembling those of science fiction. 

Watch a video by CityLeaks:


(1979, Brisbane, Australia)

Lister is a painter and Installation artist whoes work presents us with a grimy fusion of high and lowbrow culture with influences from a number of areas and genres, including street art, expressionism, pop art, and contemporary youth culture, often drawing from television and the "misguided role models" that result. Revelling in the "spirituality", and the "heritage" of Western popular culture he takes this joint legacy and remoulds it into something equally alluring and grotesque, a perfect representation of the society he seeks to depict. 

Taking influence from the dirtier and rough techniques of "Bad" Painting and merging it with the spirit and practices of graffiti art Lister has embraced an explosive, scratchy, scrawling form of figurative art using a variety of mediums from painting, drawing and installation to film and music.

Lister uses comic book imagery for his own means, redirecting popular culture for personal expression. Heroes and villains are taken out of the panel and placed in a new space, devoid of the usual storyline, dialogue and scenery. His paintings are not controlled by cartoon contexts. Rather, the figures in these portraits are reinvented through the artist’s hand. His mixed media technique, involving layers of ink, spray and brushwork, allow his paintings to simultaneously have soft ethereality and a garish, raw energy.

Watch his interview by We Love Street-Art:


(1971, Los Angeles, US)

Printmaker and video artist Albert Reyes is a soft-spoken guy who loves art. He loves art for art’s sake. His goals are simple: make a living as an artist and use his talent to make a positive impact on people’s lives. This pious, Los Angeles-based artist sounds as pure as the medium he used to launch his career. The very medium Reyes has established himself in is liquid. Whether beer, water, or saliva, Reyes can make a sidewalk portrait that lasts only as long the heat allows. 

With pencil sketches, paintings, and his creepy maze Albert depicts people, known and unknown, and their relationships. He believes art is for all and creates artworks on the pavements of California, spitting out mouthfuls of water to form the lines of these ephemeral, public drawings.

Watch Albert painting art by Giant Robot:


(Claremont, US)

This painter, sculptor, and textile artist, Ako Castuera, is based in Los Angeles where she works as a writer/storyboard artist on the animated television show, Adventure Time. Ako has turned her focus to work on paper with a variety of media, primarily using watercolor and gouache. The works continue her ongoing interest in land, the life within it, and the life it sustains.

Her work is colorful and she likes to have the freedom to improvise and change. The materials she uses are an important part of that. Castuera tries to go for tools and paints that seem to have their own life and finds materials that she gets along with. Ako lets their characteristics influence her choices while she is working.The themes are often about the relationship between humans and our home planet.

"Suburban tracts sprawl over hills and are at once picturesque, parasitic, and fragile. They coexist with dinosaur like animal forms that suggest prehistoric life," she says. "Dinosaurs have always inspired awe and fed fantasies of the past. Their extinction forces contemplation of the future, of what's in store for the land, animals, and humans all."

Watch this interview by Giant Robot:


(1976, Tokyo, Japan)

Akira is an artist living and working in San Francisco, CA. When not creating in the studio, his professional time is spent between exhibiting artwork and teaching painting/drawing. He is a faculty member at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he has taught Fine Art Anatomy and Fashion Illustration. Akira has shown at a variety of venues, mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area, including pop-up shows at the Academy of Science, live painting at the West Inn’s New Year Gala and other similar forms of contemporary exhibition.

Like the art itself, his professional practice stems from his ideas, beliefs and values. Akira's paintings are like tomes for the great spiritual teachers of the past, and also cleverly link contemporary culture with beautiful skills in portraiture. His work is relevant, moving, and powerful – truly spiritual, not upholding any outrageous or inhuman experiences but rather honoring the timeless power of what is here and now.

Watch Akira's Art Opening at The Emerald Tablet:


(1977, Los Angeles, US)

This self-made artist, Adam Harteau, works adroitly in a flurry of mediums, each informing the other, and serving its creative purpose as the project presents itself. An imaginative artist, designer, draftsman and problem solver, he moves with ease between painting, photography, drawing, collage, printmaking, sculpture, graphic and fashion design. At 18, he moved to Los Angeles to attend Otis College of Art and Design, where he received a scholarship for fine art painting. He has remained in Los Angeles since then, balancing his diverse and eclectic artistic endeavors with grand explorations of the world, which have all brought great inspiration to his life and work.

Watch Adam, Emily and the rest of the Harteau family take a break from their endless travels to join us as the next in our Dreamers + Doers series. See what it really takes to start a life of adventure, a family and an exciting new business from the open road: