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New Wave of Local Art

A new movement in art has forced onlookers to re-think traditional graffiti.

“Now, people have no choice but to recognize it as art,” say local artists Jimmy Morgan and Javier Moreno Jr.

“There is a new movement because the streets are thriving with fresh paint here locally, and around the country. The only thing that makes it new is the fact a younger generation of artists are being creative,” says Morgan.

It has been years in the making, thanks to many graffiti artists who have inspired the next generation artists such as Moreno and Morgan.

“They have forced onlookers to see it over and over again. Not only is graffiti a part of the regular landscape, but is now being requested by companies such as Redbull, Monster, Reebok, Ray Band, Addidas and many more [for their advertising campaigns],” adds Morgan.

Urban art is becoming trendy, adds Moreno, “with that comes tremendous exposure, with exposure the audience tends to soften its stance. It is almost like the old saying, "if you can't beat em', join em'!"

However, Moreno and Morgan, who work both individually and together on pieces for businesses and spaces given to them by cities, say that very few companies or costumers are looking for raw and uncut ‘graffiti’ type of artwork. In order to make the transition into the commercial and secular art world, the artists have stepped away from painting colorful letters and words to painting portraits. This attracts larger crowds who otherwise would not take this type of art seriously, says Morgan, “the idea of a large scale traditional portrait or landscape executed by a spray can, that is appealing in itself.”

“People are amazed spray paint can do that,” Moreno said. “It is a happy medium because it is less wild and easier to read.”

Although, they still incorporate graffiti-type techniques — such as layering and color schemes.

“We do try to mimic graffiti styles both old and current, but our individual styles usually bleed into them,” said Moreno.

Moreno, who has created art since his early teens on computer screens as a graphic designer to painting courtyard murals, says that people have previously had a hard time with graffiti. He hopes that people will open their eyes to new types of mediums and the application of paint besides for a paintbrush.

“There is a negative stigma,” said Morgan. “Some people think graffiti is always gang-related instead of a beautiful masterpiece.”

Both artists enjoy creating aerosol art, but also try mastering other mediums such as oil, and charcoal. The artists are currently working together on projects inside the Ten East Restaurant in Downtown Turlock and will continue the projects well into the spring. Their next venture together will be painting the outside of the trains at the same restaurant.
To check out more on these artists and their work, visit

'There is a negative stigma. Some people think graffiti is always gang-related instead of a beautiful masterpiece.'
graf fi ti


Form of visual communication, usually illegal, involving the unauthorized marking of public space by an individual or group. Technically the term applies to designs scratched through a layer of paint or plaster, but its meaning has been extended to other markings. Graffiti is widely considered a form of antisocial behavior performed in order to gain attention or simply for thrills. But it also can be understood as an expressive art form. Derived from the Italian word graffio (“scratch”), graffiti (“incised inscriptions,” plural but often used as singular) has a long history. It has been found in ancient Roman ruins, in the remains of the Mayan city of Tikal in Central America, on rocks in Spain dating to the 16th century, and in medieval English churches.