b. 1978; St. Louis, MO
St. Louis-based artist Justin Tolentino continues to make his art known to the ever-evolving city, and has expanded to exhibiting nationally and internationally. He has been a part of the hip-hop and graffiti scene since the early age of 15 when he took to the streets bombing.
Earning a scholarship to Memphis College of Art right out of high school, he studied traditional techniques, minoring in printmaking and receiving a degree in illustration. After graduating, he decided to pursue his dream of being a true artist, one that paints for himself. He works in various media, can paint just about anything on almost everything, and does so with great ease. Because of this, he has won several awards and has been in shows too numerous to count. His work can be found in almost every aspect of society - from murals, to prints, shoes, fine art, bottles, cars, clothing, and live demos.
His art employs characters to express a multi-faceted self-portrait of what is true, what is comforting, and what is good. These paintings convey humor and the irony of being human. He laughs back at life. He sends in the clowns when others would remain in quiet despair. The art he creates is constantly evolving and changing. Taking from both high and low art worlds, he translates his experiences into a style with the feeling and power of the underground. There is one thing for sure: he will always be creating, painting, and pushing the envelope to achieve a different look, style, allowing him to be himself.