Bisco Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bisco Smith
Bisco Smith 3.jpg
BornJuly 22, 1980
EducationPratt Institute, Brooklyn
OccupationVisual artist
Known forGraffiti, Street art, Abstract Expressionism

Bisco Smith is a New York-based contemporary artist with roots in music and graffiti. Bisco works in a variety of formats, including canvas and large outdoor murals, and is recognized for his lyrical approach to deconstructed expressionism characterized by gestural marks and abstracted text that embody the energy of a moment. Using music as his muse, he approaches each canvas as unique opportunity to channel the expression of his inspiration by stripping his compositions to their fundamental essence of motion and rhythm.[1] Bisco's works, painted predominantly in black and white, embody the creative spontaneity that exists at the intersection of music and paint.[2]

Bisco Smith has exhibited art, performed music, painted murals, and partnered with creative brands and live events worldwide such as Nike, Turner, SLS South Beach, Adidas, and Coach New York.[3] With a resume of solo and group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Miami, Berlin, Seattle, and Hong Kong, Bisco Smith's works are sought after by collectors and art enthusiasts worldwide.[4][5] Bisco Smith is a profiled artist in The Art of Writing Your Name: Urban Calligraphy and Beyond.[6] In 2018, Bisco became an ambassador of Calligraffiti.

Early life[edit]

Bisco Smith 1.jpg


Between 1993 and 2013, Bisco wrote graffiti and is included in such books as Broken Windows Graffiti NYC[7] and Burning New York[8] by James and Karla Murray, Fresh Paint NYC by Billy Schon,[9] and The Rise of Legal Graffiti in New York and Beyond (2017) written by Ronald Kramer, where the artist's views on ethics within the practice are quoted.[10][11]


Bisco entered into the music and disc-jockey world as another creative outlet that aligned with his graffiti—the more he wrote graffiti, the more he was inspired to freestyle rap and the more he rapped the more motivated he was to write more graffiti.[12][13] In addition to writing and performing his own music, Bisco designed album covers and art directed projects for Definitive Jux, Ninja Tune, and Eastern Conference Records.[14]


Castles in the Sky - EP (2014),[15] Atlantic Sky - LP (2013),[16] Jackson P - EP (2012),[17] Thirty Three / Forty Five - Mixtape (2012), The Freeze Tag - EP (2011), Broadcast Radio - Mixtape (2011), The Broadcast - LP (2010), The Strange Love Project - Mixtape (2009), When Electric Night Falls - LP (2008), The Stay Up Project - Mixtape (2007), The Basics - EP (2005), Eyes Open - Mixtape (2003)

Visual Art[edit]

Bisco Smith 2.jpg

Drawing on his background painting in the streets, Bisco often composes his works using materials like household paint, rollers, spray paint, and wheat paste.[18] Although his work is often a collection of words, he abstracts the words to such a degree that they become nearly impossible to read, encouraging viewers to appreciate the design and organically absorb the energy.[19] Bisco utilizes his understanding of space from his early years as a graffiti writer, reimagining the execution of abstract expressionist painting through his unique contemporary lens.[1]

In 2016, a reviewer of Bisco's exhibition at CAVE Gallery in Venice, Los Angeles said of the artist's process: "Splattered with syncopated swirls, the grace of the letter, drizzles or jabs of paint, the mystery of learning how to trust the process is spelled out, moment by moment."[20] In addition to process, positive intention is integral to Bisco's art.[21] His aim is to blend his experiences in life with the experience being in the moment to create work that inspires hope for the future.[22]


  1. ^ a b McCurry, Matthew. "BISCO SMITH: MORE THAN WE KNOW". Treason Gallery.
  2. ^ KHATCHADOURIAN, ALEX (11 September 2015). "IN THE STUDIO WITH BISCO SMITH". Amadeus.
  3. ^ "Bisco Smith Projects". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Bisco Smith NYC". Treason Gallery. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  5. ^ "Bisco Smith Journey". Artsy. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  6. ^ Hundertmark; Hartl, Christian; Patrick (2017). ART OF WRITING YOUR NAME : Urban Calligraphy and Beyond. [S.l.]: Gingko Press. ISBN 978-3939566502. OCLC 971541290.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Murray, James and Karla (2018-11-28). Broken Windows Graffiti NYC. Ginko Press Inc. ISBN 978-1584230786.
  8. ^ Murray, James and Karla (2018-11-28). Burning New York. Ginko Press Inc. ISBN 978-1584231738.
  9. ^ Schon, Billy (2018-11-28). Fresh Paint NYC. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9780764334955.
  10. ^ Kramer, Ronald (2016-11-23). The Rise of Legal Graffiti Writing in New York and Beyond. Springer. ISBN 9789811028007.
  11. ^ The Rise of Legal Graffiti Writing in New York and Beyond | Ronald Kramer | Springer.
  12. ^ "Video Premiere: Behind the Scenes and In the Studio With Amadeus Issue 06 Artist, Bisco Smith | amadeus". amadeus. 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  13. ^ "Bisc1: When Electric Night Falls". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  14. ^ "Bisco Smith - The Broadcast". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  15. ^ Bisco Smith (Singer, Songwriter) Dfalt (Producer) (February 24, 2014). Castles in the Sky (Audio). Daylight Curfew.
  16. ^ Bisco Smith (Singer, Songwriter) Bq and RAM (Producer) (August 1, 2013). Atlantic Sky (Audio). Daylight Curfew, SVP.
  17. ^ Bisco Smith (Singer, Songwriter) Peter Jay (Producer) (March 1, 2012). Jackson P (Audio). Self.
  18. ^ Keimig, Jasmyne. "Bisco Smith: More Than We Know".
  19. ^ Contributor, Yo! Venice (28 October 2015). "Venice Artist Bisco Smith Searches For Personal Truth & Most Raw Expression |". Retrieved 2017-03-03. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  20. ^ "Bisco Smith Takes His "Process" To Fresh New Levels In New Exhibit". Mass Appeal. 2016-07-29. Archived from the original on 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  21. ^ "The Moment In Motion". The Plus Paper. 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  22. ^ THATCHER, LESLIE (11 May 2018). "Local News Hour". KPCW.