Street artist Amuse 126 refers to one word to describe his work as a graffiti writer: “addictive.” Bold, vibrant, and visually intoxicating, his pieces recall traditional elements made modern by arresting color and effortless movement. He’s no newbie, yet he’s far from stale… after 15 years on the scene, his art is as fresh and impactful as ever. We’ve got the proof: armed with spray paint, Amuse 126 showed up at Threadless last month, setting a once bare warehouse wall on visual fire. Eager to learn about Amuse 126 see more of his work? Lucky for you, you’re in the right spot.
Looking to escape the bore of the everyday, Amuse 126 picked up graffiti writing as a kid growing up in Chicago. “I wanted to try something new and exciting… that I wasn’t supposed to be practicing,” he says. Today, he finds himself transitioning from the art form solely as creative expression to profitable work by way of large scale murals, illustrations, and computer designs.
Amuse 126 refers to his approach of letter application as a “very strong, old recipe formula” of graffiti. “It covers the bases of a well-crafted, traditional piece, but with bits of ‘special effects’ and ‘eye candy’,” he says. “I always intend to keep fun in mind, hoping the viewer will embrace what they see and take away some form of visual happiness.”
Though Amuse 126 stumbled on graffiti writing initially as a hobby, the art form has grown to become an innate and influential part of his life. “We all want the chance to express ourselves creatively; it’s human nature to do so,” he says. “Those of us who decide that graffiti writing is for them find all the reasons why they chose this form of expression along the way.”
Amuse 126 refined and perfected his Threadless mural over several days. “The creative workspace is an artist’s dream,” he says. “The freedom to be who you are and let creativity flourish made the approach much more fun.”
This piece also has a very personal meaning to Amuse 126, which he dedicates to fellow Seattle graffiti artist Merlot. “She’s made a wonderful impact in recent time, and I painted this piece as a small gesture of appreciation for all that we share together.” Check out more of Merlot’s work here.
A close friend of Amuse 126’s since 2014, editor and videographer Matt Lawton of Matt Lawton Media joined him at Threadless and captured the creation of the street artist’s mural. “It’s not really work with the graffiti writers I film; we’re all friends, so it feels more like hanging out,” says Lawton. “A lot times we put ourselves in a situation that requires trust, so you develop a bond through those experiences.” Amuse 126 couldn’t agree more. “Having Matt at Threadless made the overall experience that much more fun,” he adds. “We had a wonderful time at Threadless, and Matt’s video only proves it!”
Have you spotted any of Amuse 126’s work around Chicago or elsewhere? If so, let us know where we can find it!