Justin Bua

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Justin Bua
Bua (unknown date)
Born 1968 (age 47–48)
Education Art Center College of Design
Known for Figure drawing, graffiti and illustration
Website justinbua.com

Justin BUA is an internationally renowned artist, author, speaker and entrepreneur. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is best known for his lyrical narrative paintings of musicians, DJs and similar characters who help define the urban landscape.[1] As an artist “for the people, by the people, of the people,” BUA’s fan base is diverse and ranges from former presidents, actors, musicians, professional athletes, dancers, to street kids and art connoisseurs .[2]

Early Life and Education[edit]

BUA grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City during the height of the graffiti movement and was fascinated by the raw, visceral street life of the city.[3] 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 and taught figure drawing at the University of Southern California for ten years.

Fine Art[edit]

BUA's distinctive figurative style combines his classical training with his background in graffiti, breakdancing and experience living in New York City.[4] The subjects of his paintings range from recognizable figures, such as Snoop Dogg and Muhammad Ali, to anonymous people pulled from his memories, including the DJ and guitar player for which he has become best known.[5] Each of BUA's subjects is ennobled within the urban landscape he paints and is often rendered with elongated limbs or hands, emphasizing the rhythm of the scene.[2]

BUA exhibits worldwide and was recently featured in an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.[6]

Commercial Art[edit]

Launching his reputation in the world of commercial art, BUA has designed and illustrated a myriad of products that include skateboards, CD album covers, apparel and advertising campaigns.[7] He has also developed successful visual concepts in the entertainment world, including: the opening sequence of MTV's sketch-comedy television series, The Lyricist Lounge Show (2000–2001), EA Sports video games NBA Street (2001), NFL Street (2004), Slum Village's award-winning music video Tainted and Toyota's Long Beach Grand Prix campaign.[3][8]

Speaking and Entrepreneurship[edit]

In July, 2013 BUA became the first artist to launch an online school with ArtistWorks, allowing students around the world of varying levels of experience to study his curriculum and interact digitally through video exchange.[9]

In 2013, BUA collaborated with leading nutritionist David Wolfe to create the superfood drink mix, Immortal Machine.[10]

In 2015 the artist developed, hosted and was the executive producer for Oxygen Channel's "Street Art Throw Down" which featured legendary graffiti and street artists, including Lady Pink, Ron English and Mear One, as guest judges.[11]


  • Bua, Justin (2011). The Legends of Hip Hop. New York City: Harper Design.
  • Bua, Justin (2007). The Beat of Urban Art – The Art of Justin Bua. New York City: Collins Design. OCLC 474259359. [12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Borbet, Jason T. "Price Ranges And Studio Images Of 14 Contemporary Artists". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  2. ^ a b Navarro, Mireya (2007-04-29). "Justin Bua - Artist - Los Angeles". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  3. ^ a b "Justin Bua - Biography". rogallery.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  4. ^ "It's A Black Thang.com - Justin Bua Artwork". It's A Black Thang.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  5. ^ "Justin Bua Art Gallery | The Black Art Depot". www.blackartdepot.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  6. ^ "Justin Bua And The King DMC At LACMA | Los Angeles, I'm Yours". laimyours.com. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  7. ^ Agency, Limelight. "Justin BUA artist Biography". www.limelightagency.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  8. ^ "Toyota of Orangeburg: April 2012". toyotaoforangeburg.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  9. ^ "Learn How To Draw with Justin BUA | ArtistWorks". artistworks.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  10. ^ "Immortal Machine – Protein Shake – I LOVE YOU » Kristen's Raw". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  11. ^ "Street Art Portfolio: Justin BUA". 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  12. ^ Chideya,Farai, "Justin Bua Chronicles 'Beat Of Urban Art", NPR Books,September 19, 2008

External links[edit]