360 VIDEO | Graffiti Icon RISK Demonstrates “Beautiful Destruction”

Photo by Birdman.

L.A.-based street artist Kelly Graval, aka RISK, made a name for himself painting freeway overpasses, signs and billboards, eventually becoming a living legend in the graffiti world. Through a combination of grit and style, he eventually broke into the art gallery scene, and more recently, founded his own, Buckshot Gallery, and started exhibiting an array of acclaimed international street artists, including such graffiti icons as SEEN and BATES.

For the gallery’s present exhibition, Unconventional Forces (running through June 4), RISK turned the spotlight around on his collaboration with poster pioneer TAZ. The artworks combines TAZ’s love for graphic iconography with RISK’s penchant for creating amazing, multi-layered color fields using a technique he’s dubbed “beautiful destruction.”

In the below 360° Video, we not only get RISK’s take on how he developed this technique, but get an inside look at the artist in action. In somewhat of an unprecedented move, we placed our cameras inside a 3′ x 3′ Plexiglas box and gave RISK the green light to beautifully destroy it. What resulted was a clear indication of this old school artist’s capacity for skillful and spontaneous creation. 

[This is a 360° Video! Play, Pause and Drag To Explore The Show. To view on Mobile Device, open in YouTube App, not browser.]

Crave: How did you approach painting the box, and how does this compare to how you approach making art in general?

RISK: I used to try and plan stuff out, but I realized every time I planned stuff out, it never happened how I planned it, and so I had to adapt and improvise. And I realized that my roots as an artist are as a graffiti artist, so I adapt anyways. So, now I just show up to things with a very limited general sense of what I’m doing and then adapt. So that box, even when I showed up, I was a little clueless; I thought I was going to be inside of a box! So, when I saw the box, I thought, okay, let me just figure out what I’m going to paint in reverse, and that’s what I did. 

What do you consider the primary “tools” in your artistic toolbox?

I’m an old school graffiti artist, so I learned how to paint with one or two caps. Nowadays, they have like 23 caps. I learned to paint with one or two, and I learned how to take things like a milk crate and use that as a stencil to do a repeated pattern, stuff like that. So I’m kinda just like an old guy, and they say you cant teach an old dog new tricks, so I’ve tried my hardest to master my limited supplies, and I just stick with them and see what I can do.

The video above was filmed using a 360° video rig, a relatively new piece of technology. How do you feel technology has affected the art making process, if at all?

I see it as affecting how people consume the end product. I was always a graffiti artist that believed in survival of the fittest, everything was competition based. That’s how it was in the streets and that’s just how it is. Nowadays, with this technology, the fittest are a lot fitter, so to speak. People are a lot better, they see a lot more. So technology is just another added aspect to showing people how stuff is done and raise the bar a little bit.

TAZ x Risk’s Unconventional Forces runs through June 4, 2016 at Buckshot Gallery (3129 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405).