Bisco Smith

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Bisco Smith
Bisco Smith 1.jpg
BornJuly 22, 1980
EducationPratt Institute, Brooklyn
OccupationVisual Artist
Known forGraffiti, Street Art, Gestural Abstraction

Bisco Smith is an American visual artist and noisemaker with roots in music, graffiti, gestural abstraction and street art currently based in Brooklyn, New York and operating studios in both Los Angeles and New York City.[1] Bisco works in a variety of formats, including canvas and large outdoor murals, and is celebrated for his "visual freestyle"[1] that mixes street style art with fine art techniques to create work that is original and sometimes expands beyond the medium it is portrayed upon. His abstracted text, written on canvas and walls and painted predominantly in black and white, captures the rhythms of music and exudes positive messages.

Bisco Smith has exhibited art, performed music, painted murals, and partnered with creative brands and live events worldwide.[2] His work is regularly exhibited in major markets and is collected by both national and international collectors.[3][4] Bisco Smith's aim is to create work that inspires, captivates, offers subtle social commentary, while adding positive energy to the world.[5]

Early life[edit]

Bisco Smith 2.jpg


Between 1993 and 2013, Bisco wrote graffiti and is included in such books as Broken Windows Graffiti NYC[6] and Burning New York[7] by James and Karla Murray, Fresh Paint NYC by Billy Schon [8], 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.[9][10]


Bisco entered into the music and disc-jockey world as another creative outlet that aligned with his graffiti.[11] 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.[11][12] 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.[13]


Castles in the Sky - EP (2014)[14], Atlantic Sky - LP (2013)[15], Jackson P - EP (2012)[16], 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 3.jpg

Inspired by the process of song writing and freestyle rapping, Bisco creates text-based art that modernizes the aesthetic of iconic action painters, such as Franz Klein and Jackson Pollock, with his own unique design.[17][18] Although his work is often a collection of words, Bisco 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]

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."[18]

In addition to process, positive intention is integral to Bisco's art.[20] His aim is to blend his experiences in life with the experience being in the moment to create work that captivates, offers subtle social commentary, questions and inspires.[21][22]

Bisco Smith is a profiled artist in The Art of Writing Your Name: Urban Calligraphy and Beyond.[23][24]


Bisco has collaborated with brands, events, and artists, including Coach New York[25], Adidas[26], RYOT[27], Okayplayer[28], Hypebeast[29], SLS Hotels[30], W Hotel[31], Miami International Car Show [32], and The Governor’s Ball Music Festival[33], Ralph Ziman[34], Leias, Bishop203...


  1. ^ a b "Juxtapoz Magazine - Bisco Smith "Process" @ C.A.V.E. Gallery". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  2. ^ "Live Graffiti Performance by Bisco Smith". Art Central Hong Kong. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  3. ^ "Bisco Smith NYC". Treason Gallery. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  4. ^ "Bisco Smith Journey". Artsy. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  5. ^ Tompkins, Michelle (2017-11-09). "Bisco Smith Talks About The Value of Street Art, How He Became An Artist and His Charitable Works". The Celebrity Cafe. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  6. ^ Murray, James and Karla (2018-11-28). Broken Windows Graffiti NYC. Ginko Press Inc. ISBN 1584230789.
  7. ^ Murray, James and Karla (2018-11-28). Burning New York. Ginko Press Inc. ISBN 1584231734.
  8. ^ Schon, Billy (2018-11-28). Fresh Paint NYC. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9780764334955.
  9. ^ Kramer, Ronald (2016-11-23). The Rise of Legal Graffiti Writing in New York and Beyond. Springer. ISBN 9789811028007.
  10. ^ The Rise of Legal Graffiti Writing in New York and Beyond | Ronald Kramer | Springer.
  11. ^ a b "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.
  12. ^ "Bisc1: When Electric Night Falls". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  13. ^, HipHopDX -. "Bisco Smith - The Broadcast". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  14. ^ Bisco Smith (Singer, Songwriter) Dfalt (Producer) (February 24, 2014). Castles in the Sky (Audio). Daylight Curfew.
  15. ^ Bisco Smith (Singer, Songwriter) Bq and RAM (Producer) (August 1, 2013). Atlantic Sky (Audio). Daylight Curfew, SVP.
  16. ^ Bisco Smith (Singer, Songwriter) Peter Jay (Producer) (March 1, 2012). Jackson P (Audio). Self.
  17. ^ Lizy Dastin (2017-02-27), Art and Seeking: Talking to Bisco Smith, retrieved 2017-03-02
  18. ^ a b "Bisco Smith Takes His "Process" To Fresh New Levels In New Exhibit". Mass Appeal. 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  19. ^ Contributor, Yo! Venice. "Venice Artist Bisco Smith Searches For Personal Truth & Most Raw Expression". Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  20. ^ "The Moment In Motion". The Plus Paper. 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  21. ^ "Bisco Smith | BeatJunkies". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  22. ^ "Recap: Bisco Smith – "World Upside Down" at Lowbrow Artique - 12ozProphet". 12ozProphet. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  23. ^ ""The Art Of Writing Your Name" Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing". Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  24. ^ Hundertmark; Hartl, Christian; Patrick (2017). ART OF WRITING YOUR NAME : Urban Calligraphy and Beyond. [S.l.]: Gingko Press. ISBN 3939566500. OCLC 971541290.
  25. ^ Himawan, Dhika (2018-02-27). "The Coach Logo, as Reimagined by NYC Graffiti Artists". LOfficielArt. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  26. ^ "Projects". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  27. ^ Seigel, John (2018-01-25). "5 LA Tech Offices That Will Inspire". Built In LA. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  28. ^ Dantana, Dantana (2016). "Bisco Smith MANIFEST at Okay Space Gallery". Okay Player. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  29. ^ Eng, Eddie (2017-04-16). "The HYPEBEAST Hotel Brought out Gucci Mane, Tyga and Cali's Most Beautiful". Hypebeast. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  30. ^ "ART BASEL 2017 AT SLS SOUTH BEACH AND HYDE BEACH". Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  31. ^ Hertzfeld, Esther (2018-01-25). "W Hotels unveils sound suite at W Hollywood". Hotel Management. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  32. ^ Brewer, Chris (2014-11-08). "2014 Miami International Auto Show First Ever "Cars Meet Art"". Automotive Addicts. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  33. ^ "A series of huge new murals at The Governors Ball Music Festival by Li-Hill, Akira Beard, Sek3 & many more, Randall's Island, NYC". StreetArtNews. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  34. ^ "Afrika 47 x Bisco Smith Mural presented by #SmileSouthCentral ~ L.A. TACO". L.A. TACO. 2015-03-12. Retrieved 2017-03-03.