Kelly Graval, the multi-talented fine artist, illustrator and graffiti artist known as
RISK has been synonymous with the Los Angeles art community for decades. With a
career spanning over 30 years, Risk has solidified his place in the history books as
a world-renowned graffiti legend. He has come a long way since he pioneered the
painting of freeway overpasses, signs and billboards, dubbed “heavens”. Although Risk
loves aerosol art, he sees it as merely one genre in his life’s work.
From his days as a student at the USC School of Fine Arts to gallery and museum exhibits around the
globe, Risk has transformed from a street artist to a rising star in the contemporary art
world. His work has been shown in top galleries in LA, San Francisco, Toronto, New
York, Miami and London. His work has also been featured in major museum exhibits
and Risk was a featured artist in the hugely successful “Beyond The Streets” exhibits in
Los Angeles and New York.
Risk’s works are a cross-section of color field painting, light and space conceptualism
and finish fetish sensibilities. Experiential methods exploit transparent aspects of Kandy
and pearl paint utilizing hi-tech materials, from California car and surf culture while
staying true to his adaptive graffiti roots, recycling or re purposing materials all the
Risk’s work is a constant juxtaposition of advanced color theory. The work depicts an
ethereal Yin and Yang quality visually and conceptually. Risk applies paint to his
surfaces in multiple layers of various techniques starting with graffiti and ending with
fine sprayed lacquer or resins over vintage candy, metal flake and pearl car paints. The
finished product evokes emotion as the coats of atmospheric colors and gradations are
trapped between the layers of lacquers and pearls. The end result is a dynamic, well-
balanced and organized chaos.
Risk has been compared to the Ferus Gallery movement buy art academia. “Being
called the new generation of the Ferus movement is the biggest compliment anyone
could give me. They have been a huge inspiration to me.” I have had the opportunity to
meet and work with some of the original Ferus Gallery artists, Including his hero Ed Moses.