Last night marked the premiere of Street Art Throwdown, the latest competitive art reality show. While we at first lamented the lack of celebrity judges à la the show’s theoretical predecessor Work of Art, it looks like the producers at Oxygen are planning on throwing in some big-name guests in order to make amends.
Last night’s special guest judge was Meres One, the street artist originally behind the now-demolished graffiti megasite 5Pointz. Born Jonathan Cohen and known in the art world as Meres One, he began acting as a sort of curator for the 5Pointz building painting on it in 2002. Since then, he has worked as a freelance artist for clients including Def Jam Recordings, Coors, Heineken, and Deutsche Bank, according to a biography on the 5Pointz website.
In response to Grimnasty’s winning portrait of his mother, who was a makeup artist, Meres One said: “My mother was an artist. I think that’s why I’m an artist, so I appreciate that.”
Meres One’s involvement with the show certainly gives it a much-needed boost of street cred.
According to Variety, Oxygen also threw some celebrity power behind the show during the Super Bowl, when actor Kellan Lutz and Olympian Shawn Johnson were featured in an advertising segment for the show that aired during NBC’s pre-game show. We’re not sure what, exactly, their affiliation with street art is, but why not?
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