The Miraculous Murals of Tristan Eaton
Art can be anywhere. As Warhol and the pop artists set out to prove in the ’60s, art can be found in the everyday – even in consumer products, in popular culture and in reproductions. As many muralists have set out to prove in the last decade, art can also be found in the streets – plastered upon the cityscapes of revitalized districts, abandoned buildings and hidden alleyways.
Tristan Eaton, an art director, muralist, graffiti artist and designer for Kidrobot, is one of many artists who make it their mission to eliminate the preconceived notion of art as a form of institutional wall-paper. Like other street artists, Eaton is bringing his work in to the public space, but he does so with a starkingly vibrant style all his own.
The above mural, titled “Peace by Piece,” is located in The Container Yard, a creative commune in downtown Los Angeles’ revitalized arts district. The work “addresses the conflicts and debate around gun violence and gun control in the United States,” Eaton writes on his website.
Despite the confrontational nature of his work, Eaton’s approach to street art is hands-on and approachable. He deploys colorful, robust spray paint designs as his weapon of choice. In doing this, Eaton’s artwork creates a new configuration of public space, reminding the passerby to take creative agency over interpreting the world around them, never presupposing a fixed order or status quo. Instead, his work invites the passerby to re-contextualize their world and their place within it, whether in regard to gun control or the issue of art’s functionality in and of itself.
Eaton’s background as a teenage skate punk in Detroit and Los Angeles has lent its way into a prolific career highlighted by a permanent collection at MOMA as well as prolific collaborations with Beats by Dre and Converse. The business and exchange of professional art is no foreign subject for this street connoisseur, who still chooses to share what he creates for the sake of sharing it.
“In general, just doing the ‘right thing’ is a common theme for me. Also, my tattoo from my family crest is ‘Vincit Omnia Veritas’ (Truth Conquers All). I respect truth and honesty,” Eaton said in an interview with Jeremyiad.com.
Eaton’s words visualize themselves onto his collected work. There is, consistently, a thorough line of passion and artistic originality in the works of Tristan Eaton.