John Smalls, a colorblind, creative artist and designer, produces art to represent the diversity and color of life, laying bare his encounters with everyday people on canvas and bringing value through his art to those who are undervalued, shedding light on people who are often ignored or perceived narrowly.
John Smalls, in an artist and designer living in Harlem, New York. Known for creating graphic designs and illustrations for major apparel brands and the mixed martial arts community, Mr. Smalls has worked in the fields of art and design for over 15 years, serving as product designer, illustrator, and art director.
Originally a native of Philadelphia – though early travels also offered him the opportunity to call several states home – Mr. Smalls is in many ways the “physical embodiment of raw urban artistic talent in its purest form”. At an early age, he embraced his innermost creativity and drive and allowed his artistic vision to flow freely. John has lived and traveled throughout the world, allowing him the opportunity to meet and grow with people of vast cultures and races; the perspective this fosters within him becomes more evident in the diversity found within his artistic expressions. After traveling the globe and cultivating a worldly and emotive style, Mr. Smalls has returned to the East Coast to New York City, though his art transcends locale. For Mr. Smalls, art is more than a mere means of earning a living but is instead a medium to express life – a life filled with the very mortal experiences of pain, love, life, death, hope and redemption. Mr. Smalls channels these shared experiences and emotions to paint a picture of the humanity of those we often overlook.
His work has been exhibited in galleries all over the United States and his limited edition prints and sports apparel are widely collected and in-demand. He is a dedicated artist who is continuously exploring the foundations of art while also innovating and seeking out new creative challenges and techniques.
Solo & Group Exhibitions
2014 Journey through Jiu Jitsu, Space Gallery, Long Island City, NY
2007 Visual Slang: The Modern Urban Imagination, Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY
2006 Touch and Feel: Messin’ with the high and low, Red Saw Gallery, Newark, NJ
2006 Enough is Enough, Weston Hall Gallery at the New Jersey School of Architecture, Newark, NJ
2005 Expectations, The Paul Robeson Cultural Center Rutgers University, New Jersey
2005 Arthouse Highland Park Arts Festival, New Brunswick, NJ
2004 Hip Hop Political Convention Art and Resistance Show, Newark, NJ
2004 San Antonio Cultural Arts Huevos Rancheros Gala, San Antonio, TX
2001 Films on I.C.E. Preview 2 San Antonio, TX
2001 Black Out (A Groove Essential Production), Austin, TX
2001 Beat Kitchen Festival of Hip Hop at Bruno’s Art Space, San Antonio, TX
2001 SA Town Poetry Slam, San Antonio, TX
2001 First Friday Art Exhibition at the Ellis Bean Art Space, San Antonio, TX
2001 3rd Annual Mad Media Manifesto Exhibition San Antonio, TX
2000 Eye Con and Will Exhibition at the Art Asylum San Antonio, TX