Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Caleb Neelon

From my February profile of Caleb Neelon of Cambridge:
When Caleb Neelon talks about how he got hooked on graffiti, he often recounts a trip he took to Germany with his mom in 1990. The Berlin Wall had fallen the previous November, and the then-13-year-old kid was captivated by the notorious landmark's graffiti-covered remains.

"It ran the whole spectrum," Neelon remembers. "It was toilet humor and cries for freedom, and dick and fart jokes." He was also taken by the power graffiti seemed to have: "[It] struck me as this acid that ate away [at the Wall] until it was open."

Returning home to Cambridge, where he still lives, Neelon took up graffiti himself. His work tends to be more folksy, less flashy than typical street art. In part, it's because he's drawn inspiration from traveling the world, and tends to use local paints — in places where spray paint is either terribly expensive or deficient or both. But it's also his imagery: jaunty polka-dot bulls, birds, clouds, and bejeweled psychedelic mountains. It resembles something from a child's homey patchwork quilt.

Gingko Press just published a survey of the 32-year-old Neelon's career: “Caleb Neelon's Book of Awesome: Murals, Gallery Installations & Street Paintings from All Over the Place.”
Read the rest here.

Neelon: Fairey’s arrest hurts Boston biz

Portrait of Caleb Neelon at top by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research. Artworks below by Neelon are from top to bottom: "Animal Farm" mural at Kathmandu, Nepal, 2003; Kathmandu, Nepal, 2003; and "On the Hard," installation at Boston Center for the Arts, 2006. Photos by Caleb Neelon and Peter Tannenbaum. A slideshow of more of Neelon's work is here.


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