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Norm: From Graffiti Art to Body Art

  • 3 min read

At artrepublic we are always on the lookout for new artists and new talent from all over the world. Los Angeles is currently a hotbed for new and established artists working within the graffiti art genre as it makes its move from street walls to gallery walls.

One such artist that has caught our attention is Norm. On the graffiti scene since the late nineties Norm has a distinctive style inspired by the likes of RETNA, Saber and REVOK. His involvement with the AWR/MSK family has supported his rise to fame within the graffiti world turning his love of urban culture into a fine art. And now NORM has turned his talents from graffiti writing to body decoration as tattooing has taken over his passion.

Judging from his paintings of beautiful women altered by hand, miniature constructs of ghetto city scenes, and his drive to never stop tattooing, failure is definitely not an option for this artist. His patience and drive keep him moving, learning, and progressing as an artist. He produces his own unique style; a body of work that ranges in all forms, but keeps its own identity.

“Always” was produced for a recent show at a LA gallery where he showcased the fusion of his work with prints of tattooed women. He often works with photos, painting over them, covering them with decorative work and calligraphy. Printed in four colour ways, we currently have the blue version in the Brighton gallery demonstrating the clear crossover between graffiti and body art, his prints echo some of the intricate designs used by tattoo artists.

Norm’s main influences lay in the very foundation of his art; the streets. In his youth, he was obsessed with graffiti, everything he did revolved around painting. Previous to that, the artist states “ my obsessions ran a much darker course, and writing graffiti kept my demons at bay, so I threw myself into it entirely”. As with many artists from LA, street art was a vehicle for avoiding the trouble that the other side of the streets had to offer.

Norm has a very fresh outlook on his work combined with a relaxed approach, making work that he likes to look at. “I thought I would do graffiti always and forever, until I started tattooing...Tattooing has taken me across the country and around the world and turned into something I hadn't come close to imagining...I've focused all my attention on the space in between the two things I love, graffiti and making tattoos. Beyond that, there is no more thought or context in my work but making the kind of art I want to make and that I want to see by any means available to me. The stuff I make is for me and whoever else likes it.”

A true precisionist, Norm has also ventured into tattoo machine building; creating intricate tools of the trade used the world over by renowned tattoo artists. Now located in Los Angeles, California, Norm owns and operates WILL RISE TATTOO with his amazingly talented team of tattoo artists.

If you would like further information of available works or to enquire about other works and artist’s we have in the gallery please call +44 (0)1273 724829 or email brighton@artrepublic.com

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Find our more about Norm and the graffiti art movement in our artist biography and art term definition sections. These sections offer a fascinating insight into the art world and we are adding to them all the time.

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