DUAL (b. 1979)
DUAL stands for the conflict between “street art” and “fine” art, between freeway burners and gallery exhibitions, between mass recognition and total anonymity. His bold lines and fresh colors are a break from the everyday monotony of life in the city—a taste of urban subculture, whether you asked for it or not.
While one may not have a choice in where and when they encounter a DUAL piece, DUAL leaves it up to the observer to assign a meaning to his work. By operating under a pseudonym, he lets his audience write their own narrative for who he is and the message he is trying to get across.
Perhaps best known for his work with wheat paste, particularly since his feature in the 2011 wheat pasting documentary Stick ‘Em Up!, DUAL has never been one to confine himself to a particular medium, background, or context.
He has been recognized not only for his work with silkscreen and spray paint, but also for his work with lithography and acrylics. Though his obsession with “making marks” stems from his background in graffiti, he has translated that into a passion for creating art. His “art” includes everything from large-scale murals, to paintings on canvas, to meticulously made tape collages, to the forgotten art of sign painting. Dual’s work has evolved from gestural character studies, to more hard edge abstraction with an added exploration of color – creating quite the dichotomy between the “street” artist and the “fine” artist.
In addition to being a constant presence on the street and a fixture in the Houston art scene since 2005, DUAL has also pursued a formal arts education and his work has seen more than its fair share of gallery walls. DUAL has been featured in a number of exhibitions by some of the top names in the Houston art scene including M Squared Gallery, Pablo Cardoza Fine Art, Colton & Farb Gallery and Station Museum of Contemporary Art. He has had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of brands, labels and charities including the Lebron James Family Foundation, Pabst Brewing Company, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Houston Outlaws, Dickies Workwear, Schmutz Watches, Street Serpents Apparel, and even Sprite. He has also been featured in a number of periodicals including 002 Magazine, Papercity, Houston Modern Luxury, Houston Press, Free Press Houston, Houston Lifestyle & Homes, Houston Chronicle and Case Magazine and published in books such as Stay Up and Stuck-Up Piece of Crap: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art.
I am a painter born and raised in Houston who has always been obsessed with wanting everything around me to be bold, bright and loud. It’s as if I’ve always wanted to live in a world of sensory overload. I built a name for myself after a decade of being involved in graffiti, then went to school for a BFA which provided the knowledge to bridge the gap from graffiti outlaw to working artist. I have now become known for not only creating art in the studio, but also for my large scale, vibrant murals you can encounter throughout the city.
I started making art because I wanted to make walls noticeable where before they merely stood as inconspicuous dividers. I want to take something dilapidated and make it beautiful. I paint to make what was once a silent surface speak for something. And finally, I make art so that hopefully one day, regardless if I’m here or not, someone will see it, be motivated and want to create something for themselves!
Heavily inspired by everything around me, my paintings are colorful, abstract works of art which leave it to the viewer to interpret the forms. The human figure, botanical elements, pop-culture icons, animals, lettering and more have been reduced down to simple line form, separated into pieces, then carefully and methodically reorganized to create a brand-new experience. I want each completed painting to represent how I see the world: loud, bright, in your face but at the same time, inviting and approachable.
The majority of my paintings begin with research, where I compile imagery and information dealing with a certain subject that I will then reference in the work. The finished paintings are created with a combination of using aerosol, acrylic and latex paint and have covered many surfaces: wood, brick, fabric, metal, glass, and concrete. Although I use a wide variety of colors and techniques in each piece, my process of arranging all the shapes, lines, and patterns on the canvas, creates a consistent language which is recognizable in my work.
It’s a magical feeling to have a young child point out an animal in my work or an elderly person tell me they see a landscape that I didn’t intentionally mean to be there. It further backs up my purpose of creating work that can not only be observed in many different ways, but also create different emotions amongst a variety of viewers.SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Pipe Dreams, Fat Cap Gallery, Houston, TX2016
Waste Nothing, Wedge Space, Houston, TX2014
Daytripper, Cardoza Fine Art, Houston, TX
Psych-Out!, Emergency Room, Rice University, Houston, TX
New Works and Then Some, Dionysus Salon, Houston, TX
Self Titled, Houston Fixed Gear, Houston, TX
Iconoclastically Yours, Aerosol Warfare Gallery, Houston, TXGROUP EXHIBITIONS
At the End of the Road is a 3 Pointed Star, Leona Gallery, Austin, TX
Xanax Party: Time to Chill Out, Private Eye, Houston, TX
Hook, Line & Sinker, Pizza Gallery, Los Angeles, CA2018
ALL CAPS, LCD Gallery, Houston, TX2017
Record Props, Cactus Music, Houston, TX2016
Daylight Savings, The Brandon, Houston, TX
Texas Contemporary Art Fair, GRB Convention Center, Houston, TX
Brazen Women Pansexual Cowboys, the second bedroom, Houston, TX
Payday Lenders, Cardoza Fine Art, Houston, TX
Where are we now?, the second bedroom, Houston, TX
Texas Contemporary Art Fair, GRB Convention Center, Houston, TX
Side Effects That Nobody Wants, Cardoza Fine Art, Houston, TX
Artopia, Winter Street Studios, Houston, TX2013
The Legends, Avis Frank Gallery, Houston, TX
Still Up Yours On Main Street 2, UP Art Studio, Houston, TX
Art Crawl, Cardoza Fine Art, Houston, TX
Graffalot’s Summer Jam, Alvagraphics, Houston, TX
NeoPopStreetFunk 5, Gallery M Squared, Houston, TX
Call it Street Art, Call it Fine Art, Station Museum Contemporary Art, Houston, TX
FunkMotor, Peveto Gallery, Houston, TX
Art – A Spring Artist Exhibition, Spring Street Studios, Houston, TX
Personal Freedoms and Liberties, UP Art Studio, Houston, TX
All Aboard, El Rincon Social, Houston, TX
Monster Show 7, Domy Books, Houston, TX
The Mural Project, Kingspoint Graffiti Mecca Art Space, Houston, TX
Abrasive Beauty, Maison d’ Etoile, Austin, TX
PBR Art, Boheme’s, Houston, TX
Stuck Up, Domy Books, Houston, TX
Printer’s Ball 2012, Spring Street Studios, Houston, TX
Always On My Mind, Houston Fixed Gear, Houston, TX
Artopia, Winter Street Studios, Houston, TX
Photo-Graff, UP Art Studio, Houston, TX
Rock The Lot!, Aerosol Warfare Gallery, Houston, TX
The Serie Project, MECA, Houston, TX
Off The Wall II, Jenni’s Noodle House, Houston, TX
Stick ‘Em Up! Poster Exhibit, Aerosol Warfare, Houston, TX
Reds, Whites, and Boos!, Advantage BMW Midtown, Houston, TX
Monster Show 6, Domy Books, Houston, TX
NeoPopStreetFunk 3, Gallery M Squared, Houston, TX
Use Your Illusion, Colton & Farb Gallery, Houston, TX
FPSF Artist Series Poster Exhibit, Spacetaker ARC Gallery, Houston, TX
Off The Wall, MegaHost Gallery, Houston, TX
Plexi-glass Art Show, Black Swan Studio, Houston, TX
New Works, One Allen Center, Houston, Texas
Printer’s Ball 2011, Spring Street Studios, Houston, TX
Monster Show 5, Domy Books, Houston, TX
Stay Up Book Release Art Show, War’hous Visual Studios, Houston, TX
White Linen Nights, Blue Line Bike Lab, Houston, TX
Roadside Distractions, Gallery 619, Houston, TX