Evolution of graffiti art captured in Nathan ‘Sloke’ Nordstrom exhibit

Nathan “Sloke One” Nordstrom with his work at the Sam Coronado Gallery at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. The show, titled “Another Side” ran through March 25. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin native and veteran graffiti artist Nathan “Sloke” Nordstrom just wrapped up a solo show of graffiti-inspired abstract art last month, but he’s already back with another exhibit featuring new work at the Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus Kramer Gallery. “In the Public Eye: New Work by Nathan ‘Sloke’ Nordstrom,” which shows the progression of graffiti and how it’s changed over the years, runs through May 14.

Nordstrom, whose art has taken him around the world painting murals and participating in art shows, says the exhibit shows the power of the art form. The installation exemplifies the various graffiti styles from bubble letters to an intricate form of graffiti called wildstyle. The exhibit was curated by ACC Instructor and Art Historian Erin Keever.

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On April 19, the former ACC student-turned-internationally-recognized artist will also participate in a panel discussion at 6 p.m. at ACC’s Rio Grande Campus Auditorium (Room 201, Building 1000) following a free screening of the 1983 film “Style Wars,” a documentary about the early days of hip-hop and graffiti. Nordstrom will be joined by fellow graffiti artists Mez and Wake.

ACC Rio Grande Campus Kramer Gallery is featuring a new exhibit by Nathan Nordstrom. Contributed photo

Related: Exhibit shows ‘Another Side’ of Austin graffiti artist

Over the years, Nordstrom has become a mentor for a new generation of emerging artists and his commission work includes clients such as Nike and Google. Admission to the gallery is free and gallery hours are Monday -Thursday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 

Exhibit celebrates art by graffiti artist Nathan ‘Sloke’ Nordstrom

Graffiti artist Nathan "Sloke" Nordstrom paints a wall in his backyard in 2013. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Graffiti artist Nathan “Sloke” Nordstrom paints a wall in his backyard in 2013. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Veteran graffiti artist Nathan “Sloke” Nordstrom has been

As a native Austinite, he’s seen the local graffiti culture evolve from the days when he painted on the streets without permission. In recent years, he’s witnessed the city embrace a thriving street art scene, which

Now Nordstrom, who is also known as “Sloke One,” is taking all of his graffiti art experience and translating it to canvas for his first solo exhibition, “Fatcapped.” A selection of his pieces as well as documentary photographs of Nordstrom’s work from the streets are on display at the Austin gallery, Testsite (502 W. 33rd St.) from now through March 27. The gallery is open Sundays from 4-6 p.m. and by appointment.

“This is my way of taking the rawness and energy of the streets and bringing it indoors,” Nordstrom says in the exhibit’s artist statement.

Nathan Nordstrom at his "Fatcapped" exhibit.
Nathan Nordstrom at the “Fatcapped” exhibit.

“Fatcapped” was curated by Chale Nafus who says he’s been fascinated by the four elements of hip-hop culture (graffiti, b-boyin’, rapping and deejaying) since 1984. Nafus has seen these elements blossom, die and revive throughout his three decades in Austin.

In the late 1980s, Nafus met one of Nordstrom’s mentors In an accompanying essay with the exhibit, Nafus says he met Nordstrom years after Martinez’ 1994 death at a time when Austin’s hip-hop culture was being invigorated by events like hip-hop festival BBoy City.

In Nafus’ essay, Nordstrom explained his graffiti art process and style: “The letters are your name and the style is a reflection of who you are. Some people say, ‘Well don’t you get bored writing your name over and over?’ It’s not about that. It’s stylized typography. And as I change in life and evolve as an artist, so does my style.”