Talking to SLVSTR Before His New Exhibition, “In Search of a Wonderful Place”

It’s a Tuesday afternoon and Brooklyn-based painter SLVSTR is on the phone with me, taking advantage of a brief lull in his schedules. His first New York solo show opens tomorrow night at Whitebox in the Bowery, and he’s got some downtime before his canvases come back from being stretched.

“It’s a body of work that shows where I was when I first moved to New York to where I am now,” SLVSTR tells Green Label. “New York is a really impactful city.”

With its bold brush strokes and kinetic coloring, SLVSTR’s work captures all of the energy of landing feet-first in the big city. The artist’s entire being was shaken up by transplanting from the mellow vibes and sprawling landscapes of his former West Coast home to the East Coast’s gritty megopolis.

But while New York has had a visible impact on his work—being steeped in the finest the street art tradition has to offer has broadened his technique, for sure—he’s not so far from his roots illustrating event posters and freelancing as to have lost sight of the hustle.

“New York is where a lot of artists that I look up to live and work," SLVSTR says. "The energy of the city made me want to step my game up. The other day I was taking my canvases to get stretched and I looked across the street and I saw Ron English was putting up a piece.”

“You feel like you’re in the arena with these artists. Like, Man he’s out there doing that—I better be on my hustle.”

In Search of a Wonderful Place opens April 30 and runs until May 5 at White Box NYC, 329 Broome St. New York, NY 10002

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