Above Second is proud to present Tristan Eaton’s first major solo exhibition. Eaton began pursuing street art as a teenager, painting everything from walls to billboards in the urban landscape wherever he lived, including London, Detroit and Brooklyn. He designed his first toy for Fisher Price at 18 years old and has since become a driving force in the world of ‘Art Toys’, designing the Dunny and Munny figures for Kidrobot. In 2012, Eaton moved back to his childhood home of Los Angeles to pursue his paintings and large-scale mural projects full-time. His murals have become emblematic of the current street art movement, and can be seen all over the world including the Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Guam, Honolulu, Berlin, and Paris. The greatest catalyst for Eaton’s work is people and contemporary culture. His work combines pop icons, typography, comics, and other visual stimuli of daily life. Living a somewhat transient, travelling life, he meets hundreds, if not thousands of people every year. These people can become friends, lovers, memories or simply just images loosely attached to a distant time and place. For this body of work, Eaton has chosen to focus on these people.
The subject of this new body of work is dedicated to the precious yet fading memories associated with human connections. Human behavior, mistakes, glory and failure are all as inspiring to him as the human figure itself. In painting his subjects, Eaton sets out to portray them not literally, but to conjure all the ephemera and visual noise that’s associated with them in memory. Very often when you think of an old friend or a new love, you don’t only see their face, you see a channel surfing montage of everything associated with them. This mental collage of emotions, memories and images is what he stitches together in his portraits.
All works are a mixed media on cradled wood panels. Each painting features hand painted figurative elements, with additional details executed with spray paint and stencil, silk-screen, collage, pencil and brush work. Every color is sprayed one at a time – a very intensive process – then hand drawn and painted, silk-screened and collaged.
Born in Los Angeles in 1978, Tristan began pursuing street art as a teenager, painting everything from walls to billboards in the urban landscape wherever he lived, including London, Detroit and Brooklyn. After growing up on comic books, graffiti and skateboard culture, Tristan designed his first toy for Fisher Price at 18 years old and began working as an artist full-time. He has since become a driving force in the world of ‘Art Toys’, designing the Dunny and Munny figures for Kidrobot.
Shortly after studying at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Tristan founded Thunderdog Studios, of which he was the President and Creative Director for 10 years. Thunderdog Studios regularly designs and consults for clients such as Nike, Disney and Barack Obama on projects that span the globe across all mediums.
In 2012, Tristan moved back to his childhood home of Los Angeles to pursue his paintings and large scale mural projects full-time.
Tristan’s work can be seen in galleries around the world and in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).