Early-airbrush experienced a pivotal moment within the art world during the Pop Art movement, with artists like James Rosenquist, Peter Palombi, Allen Jones, and of course, Andy Warhol. The airbrush’s roots in advertising and graphic illustration seamlessly transitioned into an art movement that drew heavily on commercial and consumer influences.

By the late-1950s and into the 1960s, airbrushing became an essential aesthetic of Southern California’s most distinct feature; the automobile. Through the likes of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and the Kustom Kulture movement, pinstriping and airbrushing cars and motorcycles began to become not just a utilitarian craft but an artistic endeavor. With Los Angeles being the epicenter of the American vision through Hollywood films and the idyllic openness and freedom of the highway, airbrushing was synonymous with individuality and personalization.

BEYOND THE STREETS & CONTROL Gallery will look at this history in EXHIBITION 009: UNDER PRESSURE, a group exploration of contemporary airbrush. Curated by Mister CARTOON–a master of airbrush in a multitude of applications–and featuring a roster of eclectic artists, the featured work expands on the application of airbrush in refreshing and conceptual ways. 

When I started airbrushing there was this huge wave in Southern California with custom vans where people started theming their cars with all these different kinds of murals," CARTOON said. "There was a Battlestar Galactica van, an E.T. van., and many others with Mexican Aztec type of artwork. It was mind-blowing to me. That same feeling is something I wanted to evoke for Under Pressure, to excite a new generation in a similar way I was all those years ago, while appreciating the evolution of this artform that has been so important to my career.”

Featured Artists include: CHITO, Devin Reynolds, Gustavo Zermeño Jr., Hank Reavis, Jamie Muñoz, Javier Ramirez, Jasmine Monsegue, Kristofferson San Pablo, Larissa De Jesús Negrón, Left-E, Mario Ayala, Mia Scarpa, OG Abel, OG Magoo, Polo Cutty, and Ryota Daimon.