48 x 30 in
Acrylic on Wood
Jeff Soto was born and raised a California boy, Riverside to be exact. Through time he has developed a poignant and unmistakably his own point of view through both street art and the fine arts. Bouncing between the two, he has found himself growing from each, and is now referred to as the bridge that conjoins pop surrealism and street art — a bridge that is now being crossed many times.
Reminiscent of Nathan Ota, Jeff Soto evolved into something completely different, and his evolution is something to gawk at. His pieces showed a gradual transition with his use of colors and repetitive themes to that point that a piece today would be almost unrecognizable as the same artist. In his newer pieces, it’s hard to see Nathan Ota at all.
Soto, best known for his use of color, uses vivid gem tones to create creatures and stories, some of them speaking to environmental issues and socio-economical issues. The creatures he creates reoccur in numerous pieces, some of them fading through time only to be replaced with something more magnificent.
Jeff Soto uses elements of graffiti in his pieces, sometimes including words and sayings and often applying spray paint to the canvas or to wood panel. When he was young, he and a group of people formed a graffiti crew, inspired by the gritty New York hip hop scene. He “vandalised” walls all over the greater LA area under the name “Kilo” and “Trek”. As Soto aged, and his art developed, however, he lost inspiration from street walls and began to work with acrylics the traditional way. Now, he has created what you see on this blog. Soto, however, recently has found his taste for the streets and is currently working on a mural in Berlin. He no longer calls what he does vandalism, tagging, street art, or graffiti, instead he refers to himself as a muralist. He is perhaps the prime example of the street art movement that is sweeping the world and proof that street art is not only a covert Banksy, but can also be beautiful and equivalent to what you would pay thousands for in a gallery.