Biography

Painter, muralist, sculptor and graffiti artist, Tim Conlon is known for his paintings on canvas, his murals, and large-scale sculptures. His photorealistic work often depicts freight trains covered with graffiti.

The Context of his work is street art. As a young man, he was fascinated by abandoned buildings, scrawled graffiti on the walls of Baltimore's underprivileged neighborhoods and railway warehouses. Baltimore, one of the largest port cities on the east coast of the United States, is a nerve center for commercial transit where cargo arriving on large ships is transferred onto freight trains to reach other major cities. The wagons serve as itinerant art galleries for graffiti lovers. Attracted by the logos, typography, and colours found on these old and new convoys, Tim Conlon quickly moves from observation to practice.

Wishing to reach a larger audience, the artist decided to work with canvas. In his Los Angeles studio, he recreates the weathered appearance of train cars by painting them and focuses on the recovery and representations of symbols associated with major US rail companies. Tim Conlon explains: “In expanding my current body of work, I’ve applied the skills I’ve developed writing with aerosol, creating hybrid pieces that involve typography, abstract elements, and realism onto canvas. From portraits of pop culture figures, realistic illustrations of rust and decay from the urban landscape, to detailed color studies and line work within a graffiti tag, the core medium used in my paintings remains spray paint.” The design, size, colour, signature, and location are just as important to him as the frame and the surroundings--whether it's a wall, a train or an art gallery.

Tim Conlon is an artist living and working between Washington and Los Angeles. He grew up just south of D.C., and is best known for his large-scale murals, graffiti art, sculpture and works on canvas. He was one of two aerosol artists featured in the 2008 Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery exhibition, RECOGNIZE! Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture. In 2011, he was featured in and curated the G-scale train exhibit in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as the Art in The Streets survey of graffiti and street art. Tim Conlon has recently exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., along with shows and projects in New York, Miami, San Francisco, Paris, Bordeaux, and Berlin.