Skateboarding. Punk rock. Graffiti. They’re all pretty aggressive subcultures, outlets that allow angry kids to express themselves. And Distort Monsters has been here for all of them since he was little. Whether out in QC on his board during middle school, running around Metro with a can in high school, or penning angsty punk songs all along, it was a way for him to channel his mood into relatively positive ways. And it paid off too, considering that he’s opening his first solo art show this Sunday, courtesy of the good people at Secret Fresh. [Full disclosure: Distort is now part of the Honeycomb team.]
JP Pining knows who’s got a soft spot for their fuzzy little friends. In his second solo show at Secret Fresh, dubbed “Endless Loyalty,” he uses his trademark geometric style to illustrate different breeds of dogs, capturing them in riotous color. JP has a doggo to call his own, who is part of the inspiration behind this show, but another driving force was witnessing how people are changed by forming relationships with their dogs. Any pet lover would know what it’s like, and these bonds were on full display with all the pets running around that night.
If you want to turn people’s heads, combining art, sneaker culture, and basketball is a great place to start. Throw in some PBA stars and make it all benefit a good cause and it’s a wrap. At Secret Fresh today you can catch the resulting mix in all its glory, organized by local stalwart Quiccs (who’s also releasing a new merch drop and sneaker sculpture) and star baller Gabe Norwood. “I’m just a little overwhelmed, to be honest,” says Norwood of the night’s turn out. “We just wanted to build the bridge between art and basketball and give back in the process.”
Only novices leave a game of cards up to chance, and Secret Fresh has a decade of experience behind them already. Their most recent group show “Balasa” was a who’s who of street artists, all playing off a “deck of cards” theme. Using the idea of suicide kings and jokers as a template, over a dozen artists reinterpreted them in a variety of styles.
Some were quite literal, with twin kings of their own design, one upside down, and one upright. Others were more abstract, just shapes and haunted dreamscapes. It was a quick and fun collection of pieces that were mainly bold and immediate but often filled with a satisfying level of depth.