Mural Art: Graphic Graffiti Style
Did you know there are little jewels hidden in plain sight in most communities? Murals, stickers and tags on the sides of buildings, in alleys and on light poles, all with a story and a purpose.
Hamilton Glass, known in art circles as Ham?, has been dropping these jewels all over Richmond, Va. and the East Coast. His colorful graphic style is unmistakable, influenced by the streetart of his childhood.
Ham has created art using other, smaller mediums, but his big, sweeping pieces that often mix graphic, abstract elements with portraits and animals really catch the eye of passersby.
Don’t believe me? Follow his work on Instagram (@hamglass) and Twitter (@hamiltonglass). But in the meantime, here are some of his thoughts about community art and creativity.
JANELLE ELAINE: HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN ART (PAINTING, SKETCHING, ETC.)?
Ham: I got started in art at a young age just because it was something that felt really good to me. I didn’t go public with my work until I was an adult and even then it was just something to do.
JE: WHY MURALS? WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY ADD TO COMMUNITIES?
H: Murals are what really made me fall in love with my place in art. My second mural was known as controversial, which I had no intention for it for it to be. The attention it received made me aware of the voice I had through my art/murals. Murals, in my opinion, are windows to inspiration in communities. There is something about walking up to a large piece of artwork that captivates people.
JE: WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES – OF YOURS AND OTHER ARTISTS?
H: It’s hard to name a favorite piece of mine as my feelings about my work fluctuate more than the wind. I’m a big fan of Gaia, who is based in Baltimore. His work always makes you think and has a message beyond the aesthetics.
JE: WHAT ADVICE TO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO INTEGRATE ART INTO THEIR COMMUNITIES/NEIGHBORHOODS?
H: My advice for those who are interested in making art for their community would be to go out and listen to the people of the community. You don’t have to take their actual advice, but let your experience with the community shape and mold your expression.
JE: WHAT DOES CREATIVITY MEAN TO YOU?
H: Creativity to me is the discovering the undisclosed. The refreshing feeling of looking at things in a new, unexplored way.