Tristan Eaton’s art is everywhere – from his 2008 poster to the president Obama’s campaign to its narrative collaboration with Starbucks in 2018 to his illustrations which became art on Super Bowl LIV Tickets. His murals cover the sides of buildings around the world; one of them, his take on Universal Studios “Monsters,” line the wall of the entire Hollywood studio backlot. Its design is on the San JosÃ© sharks hockey team jerseys, accentuating their presence on the ice; his art even traveled to space with SpaceX in the form of indestructible paintings.
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One thing the multidisciplinary urban pop artist hasn’t had until now was a solo exhibition in a museum in the United States. This Friday, his first major retrospective, “Tristan Eaton: All At Once: 25 Years of Art & Design”, opened at Long Beach Museum of Art, its opening night coinciding with the reopening of the museum.
WHAT: Tristan Eaton: All At Once: 25 years of art and design
WHEN: July 16 to October 3, 2021.
O: Long Beach Art Museum, 2300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, California
The Eaton show took over both floors of the LBMA Hartman Pavilion, creating an immersive and interactive experience that retraces his artistic trajectory. The exhibition includes original elements of Eaton’s long-standing works, replicas of classic pieces, and installations developed exclusively for this exhibition.
The exhibition begins with Eaton’s early works, including artistic toys, which were his first foray into public consciousness at the age of 18. He co-founded the legendary KidRobot company after graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York. It was at KidRobot that he created his iconic “Dunny” and “Munny”. The five-foot-tall “Munny” covered in chalkboard paint, on which visitors can write, is included in the LBMA exhibit.
Enter the exhibition samples of his former secret identity, TrustoCorp. Like most works of contemporary art, Eaton’s work is social commentary. After his involvement in Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, during which he experienced racism and hypocrisy, he envisioned TrustoCorp to satire and draw attention to the situation.
âThere was something futile about adding to the noise of street art,â says Eaton, 43. âI started to look where else in the landscape there is typography and messages that we trust. Street signs, billboards, grocery storesâ¦ â
He tapped into these means of communication and created 72 road signs. He posed them in New York, so they drew a middle finger. He took photos of each panel and created an interactive Google map. He repeated this project in nine different cities across the United States. The New York City installation map is recreated on a wall at the LBMA with giant push pins and the original Polaroids from this project.
The TrustoCorp area of ââthe exhibit, which spans the five years of this alter-ego from 2008 to 2013, also features an interactive replica of the original Eaton lowrider shopping cart created with hydraulics, audio system and a paint job. personalized. Eaton says, âIn the work of Trustocorp, this is where you see the first seeds of what I’m doing now, where I start to put pictures together, tear things up and put them together.
While the ground floor of the exhibition includes works that are the building blocks of Eaton’s artistic growth, the second-floor space showcases works where his mature style, which art lovers are in. come to recognize as being singularly his own, is realized. Although it consists of all new parts, they reference Eaton’s earlier work, presenting them in a new way.
On this level is a brand new installation for âAll At Onceâ titled âUnfair Fun Fair: Play or Get Playedâ – 88 feet of interactive murals, two new sculptures, lots of instants and backstage elements including items from Eaton’s archives that the public has never seen. Visitors begin by entering the âRat Raceâ, which is a 12 Ã 18 foot Plinko game. Going down to the bottom you earn custom laser engraved coins.
Interactivity is an important component of “All At Once”. In a section of the exhibit titled âLegacy,â Eaton pays homage to his father, also a painter, by continuing his tradition of listening to people’s life stories while painting their portraits. Interviews with the subjects of the portrait are accessible by scanning a QR code. And in the 3D section of âAll At Once,â Eaton brings together an entire piece of floor-to-ceiling 3D art that he has created over the past 25 years. There will be 3D glasses on hand for the full effect.
Sculpture is another predominant element of “All At Once”. A remarkable piece is âUpriseâ, based on the artist’s exhibition in 2017 at the Galerie Itinerrance in Paris which showed paintings commenting on a visual history of 300 years of protest and resistance. “Uprise” represents the ideas of these works merged into an intricately carved sculpture three feet high.
Also on the second level of the exhibit are Eaton’s artwork, which has just returned from the International Space Station. Title ” Human race “ these coins are symbolic images of nature, animals and humans engraved on sturdy double-sided plaques of gold, brass and aluminum. In addition, its official license wonder fine art prints are on display in an elaborate section that shows the original ink drawings, original canvases and the 40 pound copper plates used for the photo stamping.
Eaton’s Big Sale murals are arguably the most impactful of his products, and they are the keystone of “All At Once”. Detailed to a Minimal Degree – Eaton spends as much time, perhaps more, researching the subject as it does drawing. âThis early preparation before painting the fresco is such an important part of it,â he says. âIt’s more academic than I thought I could handle. But, I like it a lot because I always find surprises that excite me to paint. At my best, each element of the mural represents something and is not just a throwaway graphic.Eaton’s murals are an improvement wherever they are, not to mention the ones that are copied and pirated. Through its partnerships with leading brands, Eaton brings its art to the public each year, both to expand its audience and give everyone access to their work.
âI don’t want to be an artist who only does things so expensive that no one can afford them,â he says. âYou only have a certain credibility in the street, but sometimes you have to break through with the times. You have to be able to reach the commercial audience every now and then, get people kicking and screaming in the underworld of art.
âIt’s a privilege for me to be in this building,â he continues. âMy work is a visual collage of many different styles and aesthetics. None of this happened overnight. It’s new for me to see it all together like this, exciting and sometimes scary. Seeing the progress and being able to bow it and move on is a really great thing.