Article by: Tara Leigh Rose
We all have something that drives us, something that keeps us from giving up when the going gets tough; that’s the art of the chase. For John Andrew Perello, also known as JonOne, he’s all about taking his street art roots and showcasing expressions of raw energy – and it can be felt in his body of work. The street artist turned art world phenomenon is constantly pushing the envelope and it comes as no surprise that this year’s Limited Edition bottle is designed in collaboration with him.
JonOne’s journey started in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood by tagging trains at night. While the graffiti art form is often described as raw, grunge and informal, there’s something quite poetic about the way he got started. Like his means of expression was constantly moving throughout the city.
Toronto, September 22, 2017
Summer in Toronto, 351 King Street East. When the elevator opens on the 17th floor, party-goers step into the world of JonOne. A select body of the artist’s work is set up in art gallery form. The “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” piece, inspired by Eugène Delacroix’ “La liberté guidant le peuple” reflects the Parisian influence on the American-born, Parisian-living artist.
Live Art Performance
“Toronto, you’re the most beautiful people in the world,” shouts the artist. JonOne has the ability to connect with a crowd immediately. While Toronto has the reputation of being the ‘Screwface’ capital of Canada, there’s also no shortage of young, hungry artists and creatives that embody the mantra of ‘Art of the Chase’. One look at the audience eagerly anticipating the appearance of JonOne, made it clear that Toronto appreciates and believes in the raw talent of his work. For many artists, his path is one to follow – and yet the fame has not changed JonOne.
Watching him paint live, one can understand the complexity and physical effort that’s taken to complete a piece. He paints in layers, using variances of colours. He splatters paint à la Jackson Pollock and, as a node to his tagging beginnings, includes signature graffiti-esque wording.
Through humble Harlem beginnings, this street artist has shown the international art world that with enough hustle and resilience, you can have an impact on an art form, and maybe even redefine it. His story embodies the chase.