Thursday evening, 111 Minna in San Francisco hosted the opening for Nathan Ota and Risk’s collaborative exhibition, That Was Then, This Is Now. The two respected graffiti artists first collaborated over 25 years in high school, but had lost contact ever since. It was not until last year, when Greg Simkins and Jeff Soto worked on murals with Risk (and knew about the two’s previous history), that it was suggested that they reconnect again. This lead to a collaborative mural at Hurley Space last October (here) that worked out so well, that they decided to take it up a notch and do an entire exhibition together. A few months of bouncing around sketches/ideas via email and swapping partially done artwork led to a series of small and large scale pieces that featured Risk’s letter formation and plays with color and texture, which provided the environment for Ota’s tightly rendered paintings (often featuring creatures who blend with elements of the forest, usually wearing a striped birthday hat).

COOZ aka Nathan Ota

Check out at photos of the opening taken for us by Patrick Kawahara after the jump…

Discuss this show here.
Discuss Nathan Ota here. Discuss Risk here.