Tag Archives: arts


What’s Up Los Angeles! Come join us for a Special Opening Reception happening Saturday, April 28, 2018, located at the Fathom Gallery 110 East 9th. Street, #CL002, Los Angeles, California 90079.

It is an honor to see our comrade Karlos “Bumps” Marquez creating the most exquisite masterpieces in both the Los Angeles Graffiti Art Movement and Contemporary Art World. Taking both genres and mixing his unique creative abstract-urban-contemporary styles, you do not want to miss out on this special night as he exhibits the other side of arts, style, technique and influences from the Masters of Abstract Art History Movement

Much Love & Respect,
Monica Smiles Tobon

Please R.S.V.P on the link below:


Press Release

Please join us for the opening night and artist’s reception for Karlos Marquez | The Other Side of Me

Abstract & Nonobjective Art from a Legend in the Graffiti Game.

FATHOM is please to present the first solo exhibition of abstract paintings from Karlos Marquez.

The Art

Working in a limited color palette of mostly blacks, reds, whites and occasional hits of silver and gold, Karlos Marquez has laid down a powerful rhythm for this, a new direction in his artistic output. These are bold masculine paintings that are in fact based on love and acceptance. As he said recently, “…in these new works I’m saying Fear No Love, I’m also showing that I have many sides to my work, that I’m attracted to many styles of expression.”

His inspirations for this new series range from his early teenage influence, the pioneering abstract painter Matsumi Kanemitsu, and later, the black and white work of Franz Kline. Both of those styles have been further informed by Marquez’s deep roots in the Los Angeles graffiti scene. Viewing the paintings you can feel the influence of the mid-century abstract expressionists but there is a sharpness and intensity to the work that is clearly of this time and in some ways unique to this city, Los Angeles.

The Artist:

Karlos “BUMPS” Marquez (American, 1968) born Carlos Ramon Marquez in Honduras and raised in the Pico-Union Central Area of Los Angeles. Writing under the name “Kartoon”, Marquez entered the local graffiti scene in 1983 and in 1985 became one of the founding members of the legendary K2S graffiti crew. Further developing his technique, Karlos studied art at Los Angeles City College in Sherman Oaks where he studied life drawing under Mark Westermoe. In the past 5 years his art has evolved and encompasses a broad range of mixed media pieces including large canvas works and fabric, furniture and metal pieces for CISCO Home. Marquez regularly gives back to the community by contributing to projects with Tempt One ALS foundation, Refoundary Project, the META Foundation and The Ron Finley Project.



Los Angeles Where You At! So excited for this upcoming art show at OG L.A Art Show tonight January 10, 2018. Cartwheel Art is yet to present another exhibit at Booth #7030. Please make sure you come out and support our Los Angeles Based Legendary Artists.

For more Information on these artists and Cartwheel Art, check out the link below:


Much Love & Respect

Monica Smiles Tobon

Chocolate and Art Dallas Edition

Indulge yourself in some of Dallas’ finest up-and-coming artists, photographers and creators! There is something for every body including live body painting, vendors, live music, face-painting, and free chocolate!

This event will be held in DALLAS Art Distric at


816 Montgomery St.

Dallas, TX 75215

**There is street FREE parking
*Both days show begins at 8PM and goes on until 2AM. Also the show is 21+

Facebook Event::



Fawksie1 & Dj Ethos//No Artificial Flavors//Album Release Party

West Up Los Angeles! So proud to announce our girl from the NELA Fawksie One debut a long awaited Album “No Artificial Flavors” Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at the Kaos Network located at 4343 Leimert Blvd. Los Angeles, Califas 90008. Hosted by Abstract Rude and live performances by Vel the Wonder.

Cd’s 20$ (portion of each purchase of the album will be donated to Maternal Mental Health Now an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to Postpartum Depression ♥)

5$ Donation at the door (No one will be turned away due to lack of funds) But we must support this community space!

Much Love & Respect,

Monica Smiles Tobon

The last project I put out was May 2012 //LOVE SICK// and before that //DON’T TAKE ME LIGHTLY// October 2010. I also have become a Mother in between this period of time suffered and survived a horrible postpartum depression… amongst other setbacks …anyway lol I’m back with mo fiyah! I really want to bring together the Hip-Hop community for this event combining the elements and basking in the beauty of it all as one! So come one come all MC’s, DJ’s, B-Boys & Girls, Pop lockers, Graffiti Writers, Beat makers and creative and conscious minds LET’S GET DOWN and celebrate my blood sweat and tears! FAWKSIE ONE

For more information, check out their Facebook Event Page:








“Broken Beauty” Isaac Pelayo’s First Solo Exhibit

A very special evening awaits us this coming June 18, 2016 7:00pm to 10:00pm. Paul Stewart presents the first solo exhibit of our talented friend Isaac Pelayo at Over the Edge Gallery which is located at 5413 West Adams, Los Angeles, California.

The Arts community has seen this young talented artist grow and his sophisticated yet a brutal reality approach to how he perceives his surroundings has gotten us sitting on the edge awaiting to admire the final product. I enjoy his social media networks because he does not bluntly give you a final art piece; he takes you as the viewer to be a part of his artistic thinking process and flow along with his imagination and skills from the various stages of his masterpiece. He shares with the viewer the satisfaction on the final touch and we can all agree that we also feel proud and satisfied of its final product on every art piece he has been working on over the years. So I must say that I am excited and curious to see his first solo exhibit; to see the timeline of his hard work and most importantly to finally stand in front of the pieces we have all been seeing online.

“Broken Beauty” Isaac Pelayo’s first solo exhibit will be curated by his father Antonio Pelayo; congratulations to the both of you on this great accomplishment. Curating an amazingly talented young Fine Artist and its your very own son! It will also be hosted by legendary Freddie Negrete, so as you can see, this is an evening you do not want to miss. See you all there.

Here are some links to follow his work:



Much Love & Respect,

Monica Smiles Tobon

Bio Statement from the Artist:

Growing up I’ve watched people become depressed and somewhat broken when looking at themselves through a mirror or lens. People tend to believe what’s described and defined in the media. Hidden behind an artificially mixed mask, injected with silicon to reshape what society labels as flaws, imperfections, and ugly, altering the complexion of ones skin, and forgetting that beauty comes from within.

As a child I would stare at myself in the mirror forgetting time even existed. Paying close attention and examining my self being. Sometimes I would not like what I had seen. I started to lose confidence and self-esteem. Slowly correcting what I believed were mistakes and so-called flaws. As I grew up I realized I was wrong and accepted myself for who I am within. Everything around me suddenly became clear and more beautiful than anything I had ever seen on T.V. screens, heard on the radio, or read in vogue magazines. I realized beauty is not defined. Beauty is seen with the heart and mind, not with the eyes.

-Isaac Pelayo



Recap of La Bulla Art Exhibit & Cultural Event

La Bulla executed such an astounding evening this past Saturday, April 11, 2015 at Plaza de la Raza which is located at 3540 North Mission Road, Lincoln Heights, California. I would like to congratulate the entire team behind this successful event and give thanks for a unique cultural experience for us Chicanos/a. What a great way to represent our traditions in Lucha Libre; the art was exquisite as well as the live entertainment and activities throughout the event.

The tickets sold fast and a lot of my friends were participating artists for this show so it was a must for me to show my support and document once more current events within the arts in our communities. And thanks to Natily Gonzalez for allowing me to come in as Press Staff to cover La Bulla, so I was really excited to partake in press coverage. Much love and respects for this hard working lady as well as Antonio Pelayo.

As I approached the location; the line for admission was wrapped around the building! Insane, it was not even time to open the doors yet. Low-rider cars were at the entrance as you walked in just as if they were welcoming you to Lincoln Heights. As I entered the event, the vendors and entertainment was in full effect; which led me straight to the art gallery. I had to take pictures before it got really packed later on that night. The layout of the exhibit was mind blowing, such a great job on design and layout and all the art was so unique and extraordinary! I was so excited to see so many familiar artists under one roof sharing their art for a good cause. There was art work by Shepherd Fairy, Phowl SKA, Roten, my good friend Defer, Raul Orozco, Raul Frame, Jackie Boy, Ezra One, Germ Izm, George Labrada and so many other great artists on display. I think I must have gone inside several times throughout the night just to take in all that art.

As the night progressed, enjoyed cumbias sabrosas and some ska music as well. La Lucia Libre wrestling was hilarious (in its adult humor content) other than that, they held a good show and kept the crows pumped; which is so important because we all feed off of each others good vibes. Now aside to meeting paths with old friends, Graffiti artists and colleagues; I was on a personal quest to finally meet the mysterious artist and talented make up artist Susie Cue. Now, I have known her for over three years over social media, have even linked in gigs together but I had never met her in person! I kept on asking for her where the area for face painting was at. And when I almost gave up and went back to the gallery; there she was, really cool and humble in person. No worries Susie Cue, we will collaborate on something soon. I also was able to hang out with dear friend Eriberto Oriol and his beautiful wife Angelica as well as Nuke UTI, Wendy Random Chavez, Chee UTI, and the SKA Crew family whom I love so much. Shout out to Jez, Neer, Kause, Dras, Phowl, Roten, Vert and all the lovely ladies that were on the dance floor with me all night.

Anuh was my dancing and partner in crime throughout the entire event. We drank a few Jimador shots of tequila which made it smoother to get on that dance floor like pros. Great times are spent with extraordinary people. And I think this was the best way to end our night, on the dance floor! The DJ Gargamel played some good music, from Old School & Hip Hop to Cumbias and Punta; the characters on the dance floor made it all worthwhile to see.

I must say; it was a “Mas Firme Que Wow” night! Live music, tequila, Lucha Libre and great art; this is a classic Lincoln Heights night. What best way to represent ourselves, our low riders, our Art and being of Mexican decent to those outside our culture. We take pride in who we are and I was glad I was able to be a part of that at La Bulla.

So much Love & Respect,

Monica Smiles Tobon




Women’s History Month- Petal & Blosm-Graffiti Art Legends

PETAL AND BLOSMWhat an honor to present these amazingly talented and Legendary Mujeres for Women’s Herstory Month! For those of us that know the true essence of what it takes to be a part of this Los Angeles Graffiti Art Movement, we know and appreciate the contribution both Blosm and Petal have given to the Arts for over two decades.

 Petal and Blosm are both Los Angeles based graffiti artists, muralist and environmental activists. Petal LOD or Peligro Abejas (Danger Beez) has been writing graffiti art since the early 1990s. She is known for her iconic Bees symbols which brings awareness to her “Save the Beez” Foundation, which educates the public the dangers of environmental pollution killing the existence of bees.

Blosm LOD MTA WCA is a Los Angeles-based graffiti artist and muralist. She has been writing graffiti art since the late 1980s. She is one of the few Los Angeles-based graffiti artists that have made a strong impact as a leading Graffiti writer in a male dominant graffiti art movement. Petal and Blosm were two of the only women graffiti artists that took part on the LA Liber Aminicorum, which is also known as The Getty Graffiti Black Book. GETTY BLACK BOOK

Both Petal and Blosm have established their names and notable works in art shows such as the ESMOA; Las Amazonas-LA Graffiti Women which was held on Saturday August 9, 2014 at the ESMoA museum in conjunction with the previous Scratch Art Show which was held on June 8, which was an important lecture discussing the women in the Getty Black Book, as well as discussing issues of art, culture and most importantly feminism. This discussion panel brought these women back together and we owe it all to the efforts of Petal & Blosm. It is important to recognize these women sacrificed their lives for years for the sake of getting up and being a part of history. If it weren’t for these courageous L.A. Graffiti Writers; a lot of these newer generations of artists, “street artists” wouldn’t have the acceptance of society to paint just like “the boys”. My respect and admiration is given to all these Mujeres as well.


One of the recent works Petal and Blosm have been a part of was at the Los Angeles Art Show 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, as part of the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles exhibition. The Danger Beez’s along with the assistance of Los Angeles based muralist Sonji did live art painting for the public, taking the opportunity of bringing awareness of police brutality, social injustice and consciousness awareness. Please check the gallery below for pictures on this awesome event.

And in most recent news; Petal has recently been added to the family of the Mural conservancy of Los Angeles and we are all excited to see her grow more as an artist and muralist but most importantly; representing for us Mujeres in this movement.

For this and more than 20 years of non stop contributions; You ladies deserve to be on this list of Women making Herstory heard! We are all proud of your hard work and dedication to both Graffiti and our Arts communities!

With Much Love & Respect,

Monica Smiles Tobon

You can find out more about their Danger Beez Foundation at the link below:





NELA Kids Art Show @ Mi Vida

On August 10, 2013, Mi Vida Boutique showcased such a heart-felt and original art show for the local kids in the Northeast Los Angeles. Ages that range from 2 to 18 years of age. And I am very happy to share with you all how very special this evening was, not only because of its originality and exposure to great little artists in such an exclusive way, sharing their Arte at the NELA Art Walk but also because it was my daughter’s First Art Show! Go Lil Frida ❤

For those of you who are not familiar with the NELA art walk is an Art event that takes place on the 2nd. Saturday of the month.  On York Blvd from Avenue 50 down to Avenue 54 in Highland Park, CA. The majority of the local businesses open and throw art shows, sell arts and crafts allowing residents and visitors enjoy the night-life with open bars, fine dining and of course music. I remember a few years back while visiting one of my favorite places in the NELA, Mi Vida Boutique Shop which is located in 5159 York Blvd.  Highland Park, California 90042, the NELA Art walk was just beginning and there was not as much traffic as there is now and it is very exciting to see how much it has grown and how much support this city is receiving from the public.

The gorgeous ladies from Mi Vida, ladies who I love and support in any possible way I can, have been sharing their space with great artists from different genres, and this night they decided to bring something to the masses which will conclude the summer for most kids and what way to end it then by throwing their own Art show before going back to school.

The little ones were so cute and professional about their work; I was amazed at some of the painting’s subject matters, from politics, to nature, anime comics and scary creatures like the one Frida did. It just proves to us all that our children are sponges and they are strongly influenced by their surroundings, and their parent’s teaching also. When a child paints, their creativity has no limit and we are all blessed to witness what crosses their minds. Whether it is an elaborate art piece or not; it has an ingredient that most of us as adults can lose at times due to the rat race and routines we are accustomed. And it is the pureness of doing something as daring as presenting to the world what they like or feel without any fears of judgment, rejection or failure; the freedom to be themselves and enjoying every minute of it. And I think this is why this little show was so special because being able to witness how proud they were of their art as well as seeing their families and friend being so supportive, it was very refreshing and promising to see what the future will look like for these young generation of artists.

With all that being said please enjoy the picture gallery of the NELA Art Walk and I encourage all of you to influence your children with Art every day! Pay attention to their interests and support them!

 I am very proud of our Lil Frida for taking part of this special evening, as she became an Official Artist at the NELA Art Walk by selling her First Piece….the world is your momma. We love you!  

Thank you Primas from Mi Vida for doing something so special and to everybody that made it happen.

With love always,

Monica Smiles Tobon

Silver True Blue Graffiti Battle Recap: Aloy SKA, MSK Takes it all!

On January 19, 2013, the event that will mark new beginnings for 2013 for many Graffiti Writers in the Los Angeles area took place at the Graffiti House LA presented by Inkstains. Judging this battle were Shandu LABS, Risk WCA AWR, Tempt STN and Dcypher CBS.
The morning of this event, I made Pryer and Aloy a beautiful breakfast for champions, while Pryer and he were getting ready; Aloy was working on the final fixes of his sketch as he kept on saying “Ima take this shit”. While we were cracking jokes about which one of them was going to win; I kept telling them that I knew that either one of them was going to make us all proud and bring the victory home or sure enough Aloy takes first place.
The contestants began setting up for their battle at around 10:00am, which gave them plenty of time to complete their piece before 6:00pm. which was the time they would announce the winner. This battle’s concept was genius because they were only able to use two different tones of colors, Silvers and Blues, no characters, no futuristic details or animation, these types of colors go way back in history for many OG players in the game. As Ukai SKA, mentioned to me that these were the basic tones they would use because when they hit bombs in either the freeways or alley ways; they were easy to see because of the flare and reflection of the silvers. It was all about the letters when you use these colors and now I understand why Besk had this concept in mind; to bring out the true essence of what Graffiti is all about and take it back to focusing only on letters as the main subject matter; this event was Graffiti at its best. The Graffiti House LA hosted their first 2013 event and Mel, Besk, Vyal our Birthday Boy Host and the rest of the staff did an outstanding job at executing this event in the most organized and professional manner. The site was divided into two different spaces; in one side they had the bar, art gallery and DJ which by the way rocked great music from beginning to the end. For sure I took his business card to book him for any future events. The vendors were also in this room, in which for the first time I took part of this vending, I set up my own little booth which was a blessing because artists like Aloy, Pryer, Zender, Roosk gave me art work and merchandise to sell and not to brag but my booth was a hit, you were able to buy anything with price ranges of .25 cents to 35.00. I had a variety of slappies, black books, signed spray cans by Aloy & Pryer, mini canvases of their work as well. And for the first time I introduced the photography by the one and only Pryer One WCA, SKA, UTI which were in black and whites with silver deco throw ups and quotes. They were a hit and sold out on the first hour. Mute the World Shop hooked it up with some gear, stickers and pieced up hats as well. So , I think I will be doing more if this vending, I must admit that it was much fun to have next to me Pesky Oner, as she helped out so much and I couldn’t have done it without her, must say it again, Thanks for all your help homegirl!.. it was very productive to support my fellow artists and sell their works while they painted on the other side of the venue, which was a bigger space, all black in its walls, with every contestant with enough elbow room space to concentrate and execute the best they could bring.
Back to the Graff, it was fun and thrilling from the moment it started till the last minutes we stood there closing shop. The crowd was extremely happy according to the feedback we received as the show was progressing, but the outreach for this show was not only for the public that came to support but was also on live stream! People from all over were able to enjoy from the comfort of their homes and computer desktops, our lovely host and friend Delany and the Huskey Radio team made sure the public at home or anywhere else in the world had the best footage of this amazing Graffiti Battle.
Within the crowd there were writers from many crews in the Los Angeles area, SKA, UTI, CBS, OTR, LOD, WCA, AWR, K4P, DCV, and many others among them, also the presence of some of the top magazines and press media coverage one can think of, such as LA Weekly, Juxtapox Magazine, La Taco, Piece Magazine and many other photographers documenting for the books. I also got to hang out with the one and only Eriberto Oriol, the legendary photographer and got to takes photos together although I must admit that one of the most embarrassing moments happened when he asked to use my camera and take a picture of me standing by Zuco’s K4P piece. My cheap little camera was not functioning and he was a great sport as he attempted to take a snap shot with my camera which push button did not work. Later, he advised that because there were too many silvers and reflections of light in the shots; my camera was not cooperating so not to feel bad about it, and he was able to take a shot!. It is now my priority to get a good camera. In the crowd was also Steve Grody best known for the photographer that began to document graffiti walls such as the Belmont Tunnel and many other yards. He’s got an amazing collection of many of the early works of graffiti writers who are now legends. Anyways, as I mentioned there were many key players of the graffiti scene supporting the contestants and of course the SKA Mob made its strong presence, they were deep and supporting Aloy and Pryer from the early beginning to its ending glory; that is what family is all about.
As the event progressed, more and more people were showing up and our booth was always surrounded by fans and Graff members signing books and putting their role calls on the wall that was behind us. We were joined by great company such as Anger from CBS and The Crewest Gallery sign and I Wuz There selling their merchandise next to our booth. Thank you Anger for all the laughs! And for scaring the shit out of me a couple of times.

I must say that the only way to give the battle justice on how it all went down is not by words but by actually being there but if you were not able to be there, photos will. So please take the time to view all the pictures in this post so you can get an idea of how the battle progressed. I cannot speak for all of them, but it was great to see them all exercising their skills with only two colors, this was their opportunity to show off their skills as true writers and for the OG’s we had in this battle. There are many different styles out there but it all comes down to letters and it was a privilege to see how it all developed. As the time to announce the winner, I was so anxious and wanted it to be over already, this was my first time watching a battle in which my man Pryer One and his closest friend Aloy did something like this, so I felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest, as I anxiously tried to be patient and not let the guys knows how overwhelmed and excited I was over this; they needed full focus on this. Which I know can be hard to do because although they had their ears plugged to concentrate, they couldn’t avoid friends, fans and journalists and media to interrupt them to either get a few words of encouragements, to the endless Hello’s, them signing black books or taking pictures. Who said guys cannot multitask?…they were doing it all, so I don’t want to hear any more the excuse that men cannot multitask because I saw it at first hand that they are capable of doing this so..lol!
So the time was 5:30pm. The writers had to stop doing their piece and we were all trying to gather around to find out the finale of this battle; that is going to take it all because honestly there were great pieces done that night. My top favorites of course were Pryer; his piece was so clean, Aloy, which if you didn’t know my favorite are his Greas pieces. Besk, the only way I can describe his piece is with one word: Sexy. The curves and concept were great; it was really pleasant for the eye. Fearo and Zucos were pretty fresh too. All the pieces were great but there was only one winner.

So the time was finally here, we all gather around the judges; SHANDU LABS, RISK WCA AWR, TEMPT STN & DSCYPHER CBS. Mel and Vyal One, the Birthday Boy who did us the honor to announce the winner for the SILVER TRUE BLUE GRAFFITI BATTLE OF 2013, We were all by the entrance of the venue, all the SKA’s awaited together to hear it too, Vyal One shouted: AND THE WINNER IS : ALOY!!!!!! we all cheered and yelled and rushed Aloy to congratulate him for this success, as he stood there with this humble smile; I don’t think it had registered to his head that he was the winner, everybody was shouting SKA MOB along with Aloy, we were all so very proud. I remember when they said his name, I cut across the crowd with tears of joy and excitement to take pictures of him along with his brothers and sisters from SKA, as Risk, Vyal, Besk and the other judges came across the crowd to award him his gigantic $1,000 check and congratulate him. I must say that everybody was proud of him especially his crew members, as the hugs and shout outs across the venue paid their respects to the winner of the night, which he very well deserves for all his hard work and mad skills. As he gave shout out to his family SKA MOB, THE SEVENTH LETTER AND MSK. The judges mentioned afterwards that it was a close tide between him and PRYER which makes it more exciting to know that SKA was in the house and that night belonged to them. As many gathered around him and shared stories about him, Steve Grody also mentioned to me that he was very proud of him and he was glad that he was one of the first to document Aloy’s work during his early stages in the Graff Life. We were all able to see Pryer & Risk all smiles to see him take 1st. place. But in reality we all knew he would bring it home. The night ended with him and his fellow artists and friends drinking with cheers, taking pictures and going over every detail of the win

Much love and respect to you ALOY SKA, MSK, FTL. Great way to start off 2013!

-Monica Smiles Tobon



First of all I want to congratulate you in a very successful show. it was pretty organized and all the artists and staff were taken care of, so thank you Besk.


Thank you for your support.


We all really love the concept of writers only using two tone colors. Is there a reason why you chose those colors? What was your vision for this battle?


I think with the tones of colors available to artist now a days , we’ve lost a lot of the letter structure that was necessary when I started painting, so I wanted to do a show where you had to come with dope letter structure or go home. No hidding behind colors or characters; just letters.


That is true. What was the conversation like when you starting brainstorming this? Was it an idea that just came to mind or was this something that you have been wanting to do to bring back the essence of what graffiti is all about; which is doing dope letters?


It all started like everything else in this world, over some cold beers. Im a true believer that Graff is and has always been about letters and I love what the next generation is doing, but I think weve lost A LOT of what Graffiti is, it’s turned really artsy and a ton of color and background, where at times the letters are not even the main focus, but only an after thought.


I think your battle was very well executed; how do you feel about the results? The pieces that were executed? If there is anything that you would like for everybody to know or learn; what would it be?


Overall, I think the battle as an event was excellent. We had the old, the in between and the future of graffiti under one roof and I cant think of another event that has done that in a very long time. As far as the pieces, I was hopping for a little more creativity from the fellas, but I think everyone did a dope piece and I can imagine how difficult it must of been for the judges.


Anything you could have done different?


No, I think at the end of the night, the walls spoke and my lil bro Aloy came with it and became the first winner of our first battle!


Very well said Besk, we are all proud of him too.




I know you are a real busy man so I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I appreciate that and looking forwards more events from the one and only Besk One. Any final words before we wrap it up?


YES, thanks to all the artists, the judges, EVERYONE at INKSTAINZ and at Graffiti House LA for all your help and support and thanks to everyone that came thru and showed us all love, the Silver and True Blue Battle wouldnt have been a succes with out all of you..

Much love to my UCA and LOD family, you guys give me the energy to keep on rocking it, year after year!


Thanks Besk….Pryer says AMEN to everything you said