Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ESPO's work and my Artist Series Nike Air Force 2 ESPO



Steve Powers is a New York City artist who at one time wrote graffiti in Philadelphia and New York under the name ESPO ("Exterior Surface Painting Outreach"). His work blurred the not-so-fine line between illegal and legal. His work sometimes looked as if it was an actual advertisement and in many cases the owners of the properties proudly kept the pieces up. He would paint in broad daylight, dressed in street clothes and would tell authorities and passersby that he was with the "Exterior Surface Painting Outreach."

After a politically motivated arrest in 1999, he quit illegal graffiti and started painting merchant's signs and store fronts for free in Coney Island. The group was the Dreamland Artist Club and eventually took notice from major magazines and online publications. This lead to Powers becoming a full time studio artist. He lead many mural projects across the U.S. and even has released many of his own books. To this day, he is actively painting, large scale and legal.

Through out all of this, he was raising money for various organizations including "God's Love We Deliver." GLWD is an organization that provides delicious, life sustaining meals to men, women and children suffering from AIDS/HIV, cancer and other serious illnesses. In 2004 Nike released the Espo Nike Air Force II (2) Low, a limited edition shoe designed with Powers. His interpretation of the classic design had blue 3m, an icee outsole and most importantly, clear panels, which was a first for Nike. Espo placed various doodles showing "wants" and "needs" of the American public and signs that depicted how quickly money changes hands.

There were 1050 made...... and I finally got mine.

Check the pics below to see ESPOs evolution and my pics of my newest pair....

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2 comments:

  1. its crazy he def did cover all of west philly in art. Its dope tho its something positive my city needs and its fun to look at every morning when i go to work.

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  2. Mad respect to my favorite graffiti man causing havoc with negative space!

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