Justin Bua

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Justin Bua
Bua (unknown date)
Born 1968 (age 45–46)
Education Art Center College of Design
Known for Figure drawing, graffiti and illustration

Justin Bua (born 1968) is an American artist from New York City's Upper West Side, raised between Manhattan and East Flatbush, Brooklyn. He lives in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Bua was fascinated by the raw, visceral street life of the city. He attended Manhattan's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts and complemented his education on the streets by writing graffiti and performing worldwide with breakdancing crews. Bua went on to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he earned a B.F.A in illustration. His work is also heavily influenced by Ernie Barnes, the former NFL player and creator of the "Sugar Shack" painting featured in the opening credits of the television sitcom Good Times (1974–1979) and Marvin Gaye's album I Want You (1976). The style is recognized for elongated limbs that represent rhythmic movement.

Starting in the world of commercial art, Bua designed and illustrated myriad projects from skateboards and CD covers to advertising campaigns. He developed the look and feel of the opening sequence for MTV's sketch-comedy television series The Lyricist Lounge Show (2000–2001), EA Sports video games NBA Street (2001) and NFL Street (2004), and the world of Slum Village's award-winning music video Tainted among others. He designed the Bua line of apparel and a limited-edition shoe line with PF Flyers that sold out completely.

Currently,[when?] he teaches figure drawing at the University of Southern California, while continuing to be a leading innovator in both the fine and commercial art worlds. Bua's energetic and vocal worldwide fan base ranges from former presidents, actors, musicians, professional athletes, and dancers, to street kids and art connoisseurs.

In July, 2013 he launched the Online Art School with Justin BUA.


Justin BUA’s artwork portrays the beauty and struggle of life. All of his art was compiled together into one book, The Beat of Urban Art 2007.[1]

Sweeping in its scope, The Legends of Hip Hop is an intimate look at the visionaries, the movers and the shakers, and the pioneers who have helped shape the world of hip hop. Groundbreaking artist Justin BUA profiles and paints fifty key figures, including everyone from Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash to President Obama and Jay-Z, providing a portrait of each legend in a style reminiscent of the great masters. The artwork is accompanied by an engaging autobiographical narrative that contextualizes the impact each icon has had on BUA’s personal life and on the hip-hop culture at large. With a foreword by Chuck D, this landmark volume is more than a celebration of hip hop; it is the definitive word on the subject as told by BUA, one of hip hop’s leading artists and a legend in his own right.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chideya,Farai, "Justin Bua Chronicles 'Beat Of Urban Art", NPR Books,September 19, 2008

External links[edit]