About the Artist
As a thirteen-year-old in February of 1990, Caleb Neelon visited family friends in small-town Germany with his mother and took a side trip to Berlin. For Neelon, the sight of the newly opened Berlin Wall, covered in graffiti and murals was a revelation. By the mid-1990s, Neelon was immersed in the global graffiti scene under the name SONIK. He traveled constantly and developed a vivid, homespun and raw style of mixed media painting. He freely crossed boundaries between graffiti, murals and what would soon be referred to as street art. At the same time, he wrote in-depth articles for graffiti fanzines. As years passed, these publications evolved into art and popular culture magazines, trade books and feature films.
Caleb Neelon's bright, folksy works, frequently incorporating nautical and quilting motifs, can be seen in gallery and museum exhibitions and on walls around the world. In addition to visiting artist talks and programs, Neelon's work ranges from cultural diplomacy projects through the US State Department; curatorial advisory work at museums, projects bringing artwork to hospitals and public artwork projects in over thirty countries around the globe. Neelon regularly writes for national magazines and has authored over a dozen books, among them the landmark 2011 HarperCollins release The History of American Graffiti, which he co-authored with Roger Gastman. He lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife Ellen, daughter ZZ and French bulldog Ferdinand.
A selection of Neelon's recent projects include a pair of murals in Turkey through the US State Department, another at Children's Hospital Boston, several gallery projects and curatorial work on Pump Me Up: DC Subculture in the 1980s, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. A pair of documentary films he produced, including The Legend of Cool "Disco" Dan, the Henry Rollins-narrated story of Washington D.C.'s troubled 1980s years, and Wall Writers, the John Waters-narrated story of the early years of graffiti writing in New York and Philadelphia premiered in 2013. Since 2001, Neelon's projects have been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Life, Berliner Zeitung, Folha de Sao Paulo, PBS Newshour, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Phoenix, Wall Street Journal, Reason, City Journal, Paper, Artlog, The Economist and Yale University Press' 2013 release the World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti.
For more information visit http://calebneelon.com.