i am; A Beautiful, Powerful, Creative Free Man.
Daskarone is my chosen name and moniker I use to create graffiti art, a childhood nickname given to me by my mother. Having my public moniker established in childhood was fitting as that is when my interest in art began. A highchair, box of crayons and a sketchpad were the only things needed to keep me occupied for hours. This early interest was influenced by many things during childhood but was transformed in 1984 when I saw “Style Wars”. This documentary and graffiti art shifted what was an avenue of escape for me into a passion I have nurtured over four decades.
“Style Wars” highlighted the Hip Hop culture in New York City. This culture of names, colors, energy, artists’ stories, and personal characters spoke to me on a spiritual level. I knew it was something I needed to be a part of. It was not until years later, I realized my desire to be a part of what I had seen drove me to become the first “graffiti artist” in Minneapolis/St. Paul, creating multiple graffiti murals around the region during the summer of 1984 and ’85. Tagging was common, but scaled, mural-styled graffiti was not.
Connecting with others who shared my interests resulted in the first graffiti crews in 1985/86. Crews that quickly became known for painted jean jackets and large-scale, underground mural productions.
By the mid 1990’s, I had graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; opened my first gallery, My House Gallery; House of Daskarone; and founded Juxtaposition Arts, the first arts organization in Minneapolis to interweave graffiti with fine arts instruction. Over 30 years later, I am still a practicing and teaching artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. More importantly, I am a father of two children.
Much of my youth and early adult years as an artist were spent trying to express an interest and love for a genre largely seen as glorified vandalism. A genre in which I have thrived and continued to succeed. My current arts organization, SPRAYFiNGER®, is dedicated to graffiti arts education. Through SPRAYFiNGER® and my personal artistic practice, my mission is to increase awareness and deepen the understanding of graffiti as a teachable fine art.