Caution: Man One’s Contagious Art Could Be the Antidote to Your Pandemic Blues

Caution: Man One’s Contagious Art Could Be the Antidote to Your Pandemic Blues

Sometimes, despite the chorus of coughing around you, there’s nothing more contagious than appreciating good artwork. That’s the hope behind graffiti artist Man One’s new solo show, Chance of Infection, on view at Division 9 Gallery in Riverside, CA through July.

“For the last few years, many of us have been collectively feeling an overpowering sense of fear and doom in our personal as well as interconnected lives,” says Man One on the idea behind the show. “There was always this looming thing above your head, like there's always a chance of infection,” he continues.

Man One is known for large-scale works that straddle the line between traditional art and graffiti.

A longtime fixture of the graffiti movement, Man One is known for striking, large-scale works that lure viewers in with bright candy colors—wander around LA long enough and you’re bound to stumble across one of his rainbow-hued murals.

This time around the artist is taking things indoors with smaller-scale works. Chance of Infection promises a fresh batch of spray-painted goodies, numbered in double digits, and spanning four distinct series. While they may be contagious, these works are ultimately about processing the “rough journey we’ve been on and the necessity of getting past the ugliness and sorrow to a more happy, positive and beautiful place.”

Culled from found materials and studio odds and ends, the works in Chance of Infection are characteristically inventive and appealingly DIY. “I always like to repurpose objects in my art,” Man One explains. “I've been doing these drawings where I put them in these shadow boxes. And I fill them up with what I call dead caps, which are basically my nozzles that get clogged up from using spray paint.”

As for the rest of the show? That will have to remain a surprise until opening day. (Psst! Get a quick sneak peek below.) Man One is optimistic the work will be worth the wait: “I'm hoping people can walk away after viewing the art and be infected by it in a good way.”

Chance of Infection runs July 7 through July 29, 2022 at Division 9 Gallery, 3850 Lemon St., Riverside, CA. An artist’s reception is scheduled for July 15 from 8 pm – midnight. For more information, please visit the gallery’s Facebook page.

‘Death Becomes Him’
‘Chains of Freedom’

Man One: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

All photos published with permission of the artist(s). Headshot photo credit: Andrea Czarnota

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Morgan  Laurens 

Morgan Laurens (she/her/hers) is NOT REAL ART’s editor in chief. Morgan is an arts writer from the Midwest who enjoys saying “excuse me” when no actual pardon is needed. She specializes in grant writing and narrative-based storytelling for mission-driven artists and arts organizations. With a background in printmaking, pop culture, and classic literature, Morgan believes a girl’s best friend is the pile of books on her bedside table.