RedCan’s headline artists represent the broad styles and backgrounds that enrich the graffiti movement.
A native of Illiana (Illinois-Indiana) now residing in Denver, East graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine & Performing Arts in 1988. This classically trained scholarship recipient and teacher’s apprentice excelled in the arts of Intaglio printmaking and color theory. His love of technical lines and color spilled over into his passion for urban art, and East became a leading influence in the Illinois underground art scene and is a founder of Midwest graffiti styles. With more than 30 years’ experience, East continues to surge forward — through his consistency and perseverance, he has earned the title “Midwest Master.” East is the lead instructor for CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi Lakota Youth Arts & Culture Institute, and he continues to pursue his passion for letters and lettering styles. This will be his fourth visit to RedCan.
Wundr is populating the space we live in with his playful, mischievous and always evolving illustrations. The characters he creates are not meant to represent any specific individual, but are stitched together from pieces of all of us. Wundr is currently producing artwork in multiple mediums, including murals, illustration, toys and fine art. Influenced by traditional graffiti, cartoons and comics, Wundr’s work provides a fresh take on designing characters that are constantly creeping into our known habitat.
Rock Cyfi Martinez is a native to Tucson, Arizona. He is now lives and creates in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pulling from elements of his surroundings in nature and life, Martinez uses these themes throughout his work. He is influenced by his Mexican American heritage and native descent. A self-taught artist born in 1980 with more than 18 years of experience as a freelance muralist, Martinez has produced more than 300 murals throughout his career.
An Oklahoma native, SADAT is an artist of many mediums, though his foundation is rooted in graffiti culture. He began his career as a writer in 1995 in Tulsa as a member of the TMO/BLA graffiti crew, founded in Los Angeles. Later he joined Soul Style Crew, an all elements hip-hop unit from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Sadat is noted for his affinity to style development and letter aesthetics. Over the years, his work has graced public spaces across the country in the form of individual works; he also has contributed to national initiatives with larger artist collectives. One of these initiatives is “Water Writes,” an international mural campaign sponsored by the Estria Foundation to raise awareness for water rights around the world.
Dwayne Manuel, a painter and muralist, was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in July 1984 and grew up in the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. After graduating from high school in 2002, he attended the Scottsdale Community College; earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2004; and ultimately earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Arizona in 2014. Dwayne has taught painting and drawing at the University of Arizona, as well as art classes at Salt River High School. Currently, he is a full-time artist based in Salt River, Arizona. He co-teaches mural arts to at-risk youth in a program called “Labor of Love,” creating murals on highly vandalized reservation properties. He also is a co-organizer of the art collective “Neoglyphix,” featuring 19 Native American graffiti artists from the Southwest, Midwest, California and Mexico.
Hoka Skenandore was born in 1982 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His multicultural roots include the Oneida of Wisconsin, the Oglala Lakota and the La Jolla Band of Luiseño, as well as Chicano heritage. He grew up in a home where he learned to appreciate traditional native art as well as fine art. On his own, he embraced the DIY ethos of punk rock, hip-hop culture and painted graffiti art. He transitioned from painting graffiti to working on murals in the Albuquerque metro area. After a year in AmeriCorps, he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006. He is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Oklahoma. He also has written for First American Art Magazine and Contemporary Native Art Magazine, and he recently contributed his perspectives on the intersection of graffiti, street art and indigenous culture to a chapter written by Matthew Ryan Smith, titled “Indigenous Graffiti and Street Art as Resistance.”
Biafra Inc. (pronounced bahy-ah-fruh or bee-ah-fruh) is an artist residing in the Twin Cities. He took his name in part from Jello Biafra from the band Dead Kennedys, the first band he got into that had content in their lyrics. His work is a visual retelling of stories that are apart of his life; much of it takes a critical look at “white” culture. Biafra is a multifaceted artist who uses a variety of mediums, including spray paint, screen printing, stencils, stickers and posters. As his work spreads across North America, he continues to work tirelessly to get his imagery out to the public.
“My work is a reflection of the culture around me. I retell stories that I have experienced or been told through my illustrations and large-scale murals.”
179 is a muralist and teaching artist in Seattle, and works with the community on public art projects and workshops. Her goal is to create safe and beautiful spaces for community members by engaging them in mindful installations. She loves working with youth and challenging their brilliant minds to think about their roles within the rapid growth of our city. Her work strives to engage the viewer to be a part of their environment through observation, critique, and participation. She believes community engagement is vital to successful art planning, and art should be accessible to all. Her focus is education and leading by example.
Mitakuyapi! Collins Provost-Fields emaciyapi. She is an enrolled member of CRST, and identifies herself as an artist of many different mediums. Her favorite ways to utilize creative energy is by way of beadwork, painting, writing, designing, photography, etc. She feels art is an excellent and natural way of helping oneself and others mend internal wounds while creating an outlet for change. Evolving as an artist has empowered Collins to translate the traditional motifs used in her beadwork designs to walls. She feels this to be a powerful way to carry on traditional Lakota knowledge and storytelling in new forms.
An Oglala Lakota artist based in Rapid City, South Dakota, Chief was born and raised in Northern California. He became a graffiti writer at age 12 and painted illegally for 11 years. During that time, he was convicted of five felonies for vandalism, incarcerated multiple times, shot while painting, almost killed by police, and was homeless — all to paint graffiti illegally. He used graffiti as an emotional outlet to express his pain, anger, frustration, resentment, and feelings of inferiority from growing up fatherless, being bullied, and suffering from racism, systematic oppression, and both current and generational traumas.
After trying to spread awareness of the genocide, oppression, and current state of the Oceti Sakowin and all indigenous Americans through his graffiti and social and online activism, Wakinyan Chief realized that he could not expect others to solve these problems and do nothing but talk about them. So he decided to move his family to his ancestral homelands to try and help however he could. After making this decision, he decided to give up painting illegally because he could not help his people from jail or prison. Today he is a youth mentor with Generations Indigenous Ways, and a board member of the Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative. He uses his artistic abilities to create artwork for these organizations, and in his spare time, he attends graffiti jams, and paints murals in his community, signs for businesses, and canvases that he gives to friends.