Deconstructing the notion that graffiti is not legitimate art, Percy Fortini-Wright plays with the illusion of classical painting but tags into it and roughs up the edges to inject a dualistic principle. A mathematically-inclined painter drawn to portraiture and anatomy, he speaks of himself as a scientist sculpting form and light. Rhythm and pattern are pierced by chaotic elements that build on the lines that objects take on. Early in his career Fortini-Wright became accustomed to his graffiti work being painted over by other artists; now he doesn’t think twice about doing a loosely rendered realistic portrait, then taking a roller, painting over half it, and letting the paint drip. Merging highbrow and lowbrow aesthetics, he generates a wide bandwidth for viewers to experience his work.
Percy on Open Studio With Jared Bowen, PBS television (at 5:56)
November 20, 2015
Percy Fortini-Wright is a Boston based artist who received both his BFA and MFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. While in his youth he wrote graffiti, becoming most active during the late 1990’s, and becoming a technician of wild style graffiti letters, tags and bubble letters simultaneously as he evolved as a traditional painter of scenes, abstraction, classical portraiture to his characters from Beyond which become an alter ego of sorts . In graduate school he studied with artists Paul Rahilly, Ken Beck, Paul Goodnight, Vanessa Platacis, and Dike Blair. His inspirations range from painters like Anders Zorn to John Singer Sargent, to wild-style grafitti pieces and tags with drippy markers. Exhibiting within both the public and private spheres and creating large and small-scale pieces, Percy has participated many graffiti events including Meeting of Styles in the Bronx, and Under Pressure in Montreal. He was juried into the Copley Art Society and was honored with a recent solo show at Milton Academy’s Nesto Gallery in 2013, and he has been selected in a juried exhibition by Jonathan LeVine at Parlor Gallery, Nj in 2013 and in 2014 a group exhibit at the Copley Society juried by Paul HA and a solo shot at Lot F gallery in May 2014. His work and has appeared in a number of art publications including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Juxtapoz, ArtScope, American Art Collector and the centerfold of the Improper Bostonian magazine. Recently his work was commissioned by Adidas for the Boston Marathon which was featured in Hypebeast and Sports Illustrated. Future projects include an upcoming solo shows in the fall of 2015 at Babson College, The Copley Society of Art and Exact Science Gallery in LA for spring 2016.