In his vibrant visual language of rhythmic, repeated imagery, street artist CANTSTOPGOODBOY mines inspiration from rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop—the music of the street. In his murals and paintings he depicts music-related motifs and incorporates fine arts, and guerrilla street art aesthetics, and now, thanks to a new app, his works are even more entwined with music. CANSTOPGOODBOY is currently featured as part of a pop-up exhibition at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum, in conjunction with L.A.’s Downtown Artwalk and Project Gallery. The exhibition is held in part to highlight Eye For Sound, a new app that seeks to connect musicians and artists, and those who appreciate creativity in all of its forms. Smartphone and tablet users can use the app to snap photos of artworks by CANTSTOPGOODBOY, among other artists, and get music suggestions and artist information. “By giving users something they can touch and feel the music is meant to be as tied to the artwork as the paint on the canvas. This new form of artistic expression is designed to provide an exclusive experience for each user,” Eye For Sound explains.
Similar to other street artists, CANTSTOPGOODBOY is interested in using his work to explore the proliferation of images in popular culture, a legacy inherited from earlier painters such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, both of whom also used comic book imagery in their work. And as with fellow Project Gallery artist GG, he uses iconic avatars to brand his work.
Along with elements from comics, cartoons, skate culture, graffiti, and fashion, the artist’s interest in music is a strong element in his work and has led to collaborations with the hip-hop artist Bruno Mars, ASG Guitars, and Warner Brothers Records. His 2013 sculpture Crooked Guitar is made with a working ESP-brand guitar in the shape of a lion’s head; its mane is composed of an array of spikes made from collaged comic books. This image is a recurring avatar he has named “Crooked Mane,” that can also be seen in Crooked Mouse (it appears in place of the head of Mickey Mouse) and in Escape, where it is repeated in a cascade down the center of a splattery expressionist field of black and gray acrylic paint impregnated with diamond dust. As the artist explains, “It’s based off of the fact that I’m a Leo—I was born in August. It’s also based off of my great grandma, who was the only other Leo in our family, so it’s an homage to her. It represents courage, perseverance, and the whole mindset of the lion.” Embodying the universality of the term “artist” and its significance within art and music realms, CANTSTOPGOODBOY creates works that reflect an eager desire to spread positivity and expressions of beauty.