JUSTIN BUA- Titled “Old Skool” Hand Colored “unique” Giclee print from the orginal edition of 200. Signed and numbered, this one of a kind Measures 14.5”x18. For over a decade, artist BUA has been making a mark on popular culture with his unique style of Distorted Urban Realism, single-handedly spearheading a new genre of art. Born and raised by a single-mom in NYC’s untamed Upper West Side, BUA was fascinated by the raw, visceral Manhattan street life and found himself absorbing the essence of the burgeoning culture at places like Rock Steady Park and the Douglas Projects. BUA studied visual art at the High School of Music and Performing Arts (“Fame”) and complemented his education on the streets by writing graffiti and performing worldwide with breakdancing crews such as The New York Express and The Dynamic Breakers. At 16, BUA performed with The New York Express in a show created by famous choreographer Julie Arenal (“Hair”). The show toured all over the world including the Spoleto Festivals in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy where he performed with Rudolf Nureyev. After high school, BUA went on to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where he earned a B.F.A in Illustration. There, BUA learned the technical skills that allowed him to unleash his creativity.
BUA started his career doing slick bottom paintings for the skateboard industry. He came out with a line of fine art posters and quickly made his way into the commercial freelance world. He created numerous CD covers for companies such as Warner Bros., Atlantic Records, Sony Music and BMG Music, as well as advertising work for clients like Weiden and Kennedy and The Nike Corporation. In 1999, BUA animated the opening title sequence for MTV’s “The Lyricist Lounge Show”. Then, in a process that took over two years, BUA conceived, created and wrote “Urbania”, an animation series for Comedy Central.
BUA went on to develop the characters and backgrounds for the EA Sports video game, “NBA Street.” He then created the world for Slum Village’s award winning music video, “Tainted”. BUA recently teamed up with EA Sports again as the visual consultant for their new best-selling game, “NFL Street”. BUA’s latest collaboration with PF Flyers brought art onto the streets with his limited edition shoe line released in May 2004. The shoe line sold out within hours of its release and BUA will release his second shoe line and his first apparel line in 2005. BUA’s book, tentatively entitled BUA: The Beat of Urban Art is currently in production. BUA also teaches Figure Drawing in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Southern California (USC).
Hip-Hop has clearly become one of the most prevalent cultural movements of our era as it permeates all facets of global culture from media, music, and fashion to the language we use. BUA’s understanding of the origin and evolution of Hip-Hop makes him the urban art icon he has become. As Crazy Legs says: “BUA’s art is representative of today’s ethnically diverse urban culture. He has a complete grasp of all the elements of Hip-Hop and the inner feeling of its music. BUA truly represents the Hip-Hop movement: the most popular culture of our era.”