Tag Archives: Tristan Eaton

Tristan Eaton and Shepard Fairey to paint at sea

Tristan Eaton | Art-Pie
Tristan Eaton

Tristan Eaton and Shepard Fairey and other artists are working with Designersbloc on Painted Oceans, a project to preserve and celebrate sea forts off the Kent coast. The Red Sand Sea Forts, which are located just off the east coast of England are the lucky winners for this project.

The sea forts are located in a cluster eight miles north of Whitstable off the Kent coast and were built in 1943 after the Blitz as a strategic defense post to help defend against any similar attacks.

This project is nuts in terms of feasibility but exciting at the same time hence we wanted to publish something on the site and ask you to support it. A crowdfunding campaign is underway to raise money for the project and an accompanying documentary.

Red Sand Sea Forts | Art-Pie

“Painting at sea – are you crazy?”

According to Designersblock director Piers Roberts, Painted Oceans is set to be “one of the most dangerous and exciting mural projects in history”.

He says the motivation for the undertaking, is three-fold – “To preserve them and promote their value,  “to investigate their history “and to stimulate the economy of the coast.”

“There are two types of these forts, the army ones and the navy ones; the Redsand ones we’re working with are the army ones and were once connected by bridges,” adds Roberts, who is working with the Project Redsand Trust, which is able to grant access for the project.

A month at sea

Engineering consultancy Burro Happold has already looked at the structural integrity of the site, which was once home to pirate radio station Radio City in the 1960s.

Tristan Eaton – who is behind the idea for the project – specialises in large scale environmental work. He has already drafted in Shepard Fairey, Futura, How & Nosm and The London Police, who are all planning their murals now. All of the artists will live at sea for a month to complete the project.

Night mural for POW! WOW! in Hawaii by Tristan Eaton | Art-Pie
Night mural for POW! WOW! in Hawaii by Tristan Eaton

The logistics…

Roberts, who is project lead, says there is still a long way to go. “We need to think about how we get onto the forts, how will we link them, how we get gantries onto them, how we paint them…The murals won’t be painted straight onto the rusted steel, we need to get undercoats on there and use marine quality paint. It’s really about preservation.”

Chairman of the Project Redsand Trust Robin Adcroft says the project is still in review. As yet no agreement has been reached between Project Redsand and Painted Oceans to carry out the mural paintwork,” says Adcroft.

For the project to go ahead “much detail would need to be clarified and agreed upon,” says Adcroft who wants Project Oceans work to contribute to the long-term conservation of the site.

He adds: “Further public consultation would be required before  any go-ahead can be granted.”

If the project gets the go-ahead it is expected to be completed this summer and after that boat trips will take visitors out to see the work, according to Roberts who says it is too early to say whether people will be able to access a landing platform.

A crowdfunding campaign is underway to raise money for the project and an accompanying documentary.

First seen on Design Week

Meet Tristan Eaton, an artist from Los Angeles

Tristan Eaton | Art-PieTristan Eaton is an American artist from Los Angeles. He is a graffiti artist, illustrator, toy designer and also a street art muralist.

Eaton was born in 1978, in Los Angeles, California.

Going from places to places

When he was 8 years old, his family moved to London, England. At age 16, they moved back to the United States but this time to Detroit, Michigan. While Eaton loved the city of Detroit, he always wanted to live in a big city and thus, moved to New York when he was 20 years old.

During his teenage years, Eaton painted everything, from dumpsters to billboards, wherever he lived. He had a troubled childhood and was arrested many times for shoplifting and making graffiti.

He used art as an escape from reality and also to escape from legal authorities by providing artistic evidence to judges, principles and police officers.

Tristan Eaton | Art-Pie

“I am not a graffiti artist”

Eaton became interested in graffiti when he was in London and upon moving to Detroit he started doing a lot of graffiti, mainly due to lack of police regulation. He doesn’t consider himself a graffiti artist but more of a muralist.

His graffiti work does not consist of letters but mostly characters. For his graffiti work, he never focused on using just spray paint but painted with whatever he could get his hands on. According to him, good graffiti is painting something big and beautiful but illegally. Everything else is mural work for him.

Tristan Eaton | Art-Pie

A keen interest in comic books

His interest in comic books also peaked during his time in London. He was inspired by the 2000AD Magazine by British illustrators. He would draw characters from comic books, such as Jack Kirby, early X-Men, Silver Surfer and even the anime film, Akira. At 18, he made his first toy for Fisher Price, which was the beginning of many to come. His creativity led him to becoming a leader in advertising.

He was a regular consultant for many clients, such as Hasbro, Pepsi and Nike.

Tristan Eaton | Art-PieEaton was approached by Kidrobot designer, Paul Budnitz, who offered him to work as an art director on an animated film called Kidrobot. Kidrobot became so popular they stopped working on it and started producing designer toys, mainly action figures.

The action figures were made on a limited edition basis and were inspired by the work of famous graffiti artists and hip-hop culture. Eaton believed these toys allowed people to purchase something which tied fine art with consumerism, because fine art is extremely expensive while consumerism is affordable and available to the masses.

This idea gave birth to these limited edition designer toys that led Eaton to become internationally famous with a huge fan base.

Eaton wanted to showcase his art to the lower-class of the urban cities he visited. He believed everybody had the right to have access to fine art and they did not just had to see gray buildings and big billboards. With this intention, he created remarkable murals all over the country.

Inspirations and where to see Tristan’s works

Eaton claims his artwork is inspired from Os Gemeos, Mode 2, Takishi Murikami and many others. His creations can be viewed at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and some of his collection at the Museum of Modern Art is permanent. On his website, Eaton states “outdoor, public art is the most important to me. Public art has the ability to inspire and transform our communities.” It is obvious how important it is for Eaton to share his art with the rest of the world.

Tristan Eaton | Art-Pie

Currently, Eaton is the President and Creative Director at Thunderdog Studios Inc. Thunderdog is a prominent brand for designer toys and a creative agency based in New York. Thunderdog is the backbone of all of Eaton’s work. His team at Thunderdog helps him put together big projects, such as toys and video collaborations. Tristan Eaton happily resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

More on Tristan Eaton’s website