Culture » Visual Arts

FuseOne AWR takes his art indoors

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PHOTO BY NATHAN DUDDLES
  • Photo by Nathan Duddles
An art show named Perilous has to be pretty damn edgy. Veteran graffiti artist FuseOne AWR indeed takes his street art savvy into a whole different realm with his latest offering, which opened June 1 at The Machine Shop. More accurately, Fuse, a 45-year-old home restoration and interior professional named Larry Masters, decided to merge both of his worlds: The show features furniture and wall art as well as glass pieces, all of it adorned with his world-class graffiti.

“I really wanted people to step into my world and kind of see what I want to see and what I like,” he says. “It’s an expression of who I am and what I grew up with.”

Fuse grew up in Los Angeles. During the mid-’80s, he saw his first graffiti and decided he wanted to be part of that world. Painting in abandoned and rundown areas, he soon became one of the founding members of a crew called AWR (Angels Will Rise, Art Work Rebels,) one of the top-caliber graffiti crews in the world.

“When I was growing up, [graffiti] was purely negative. But that was also part of the allure for me. We’d go into these decrepit areas and make it better by creating art. In a way, it felt like a Robin Hood mission,” he says, noting he loves to get his hands dirty and really get into the creation process. 
With the pieces in Perilous highlighting broken glass, for example, he says, “It’s really exciting, because I never know how the pieces are going to turn out ... it’s not total control ... there’s a lot of tension, and energy, and I’m really trying to recapture that feeling I get when I’m outside, painting a wall in a big space.”

Fuse created a piece on-site in the courtyard of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center as just one part of the 2015 Aerosol Exalted exhibit, which showcased the work of friends and fellow artists El Mac and Retna. Perilous is not that, he says, as it’s not in a formal building dedicated largely to fine art. The Machine Shop’s the perfect venue, he feels, because of its industrial design. Beyond the glass elements, he notes steel frames around some of his works, materials that are similar to the building’s structure.

“I’m trying to really do something that’s unique and different than anything I’ve seen,” he says. “I’m sure there’s someone out there somewhere doing it, but I’m trying to get off the beaten path and go down a trail that hasn’t been blazed.”

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