Dodging L.A. Traffic on a Sunday afternoon (Yup, there was traffic), I headed over to Known Gallery to check out Eric Haze’s 2nd one-man exhibit. Driving on L.A. surface streets, you can’t help but notice graffiti stricken walls that could be interpreted in different ways by tourists, bystanders, locals… I’m sure some love them, and some would hate them which bring us to the majestic nature of Graffiti as a form of Art. Nowadays, these pieces are starting to get noticed and appreciated not only by the new but older generations as well.
Eric Haze has carved his niche in the art, product and graphic design world for more than 30 years. It all started in New York during the 1980’s where he set himself to be at the forefront of the art scene. He was one of the frontrunners in defining the look and graphic definitions of Hip-Hop during its grandeur years. Working with the likes of Public Enemy, EPMD, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys identified him as one of the best in his craft. This led Haze to establish his own urban clothing line in ‘93 as well as opening the doors to collab with industry leaders such as Nike, Casio, Honda, MTV, Scion and Stussy.
After the numerous rounds around Fairfax looking for parking, I was lucky enough to find a spot at last and walked over to Haze’s exhibit. Revealing his graffiti roots, Haze exemplified his style by using repetitive geometric patterns and shapes as well as just working with various shades of gray, black and white. He teased his audience in his play of positive and negative space which for me had a modernized yin-yang effect. In my years of studying engineering and commonly seeing triangles, squares, deriving areas under the curve, bell curves and distributions, I could not have imagined that common engineering shapes and patterns captured my attention. Haze’s compositions gave my day to day common a surprisingly uncommon perspective.
Up to this day, I can’t help but admire the consistency of his freehand strokes and patterns. It takes a lot of practice and work to get to the level that he’s at. Eric Haze’s exhibit, gave me a fresh twist and meaning to abstraction. Haze wasn’t afraid to change up and explore his style and recall his graffiti roots. The New Mathematics exhibition truly exemplified – Simplicity at its best… Until the next one… Peace! -JP.