Born in 1979, James Carey, aka O. Two, is a London based aerosol and abstract artist. Since childhood Carey has been drawn to creating artwork, however it wasn’t until discovering the graffiti movement in the 1990’s that the artist fully realized the path his career would take. O. Two cites skateboarding and heavy metal as two primary influences in his artistic development. In addition to his solo work, the artist was recently inducted into Transcend Collective, which includes Joker, Poesia and SheOne in its membership. He also is a co-partner of the art and design collective, rockGroup, with SheOne.
O. Two’s influences resonate on different levels in each piece he paints. Some are apparent while others are symbolic. The artist describes his paintings as “urgent and precise motions, drawing together traditional typography, a hopeless addiction to Black Sabbath, and shattered interpretations of New York graffiti in rapid, abstract gestures amongst mists of ambient colour.” Many of the things that define O. Two’s gestural paintings are interests that he developed as a teen in London. When speaking of these influences, O. Two says, “the canvas works are intricate, refined adaptations of teenage delinquency - they offer glimpses of a guilty rhythm, snap-shots of fractured typography, hooded themes, and veiled motives.”
Of all his teenage influences, the most apparent of these are the skateboards that the artist covers with his signature abstractions and accompanying text. Until the artist injured his knee at the age of 19, he was constantly skateboarding. While he says he will always own one and use it occasionally, his boards will never get the wear and tear they saw in his younger days. Instead, they appear in his art, emblazoned with phrases such as “Heart & Soul / Silver & Gold.”
His passion for metal comes through in stylistic elements. The most apparent place that this influence appears is through his use of parodies in the titles of his series. O. Two comedically twists the names of bands that he admires into his work, coding it so that only those who are familiar with metal music will understand his jabs. O. Two’s humor is most apparent in the series “Mega Def,” which mimics the band Megadeth’s name.
2010: Metal Lourd, CNAR, Niort. France. 2009: Megadef, Out Of Step Gallery, London, England; No Comply, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. 2008: All Right Pal, Recoat Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland. 2007: Calibrating Delinquency, Highbury Studios, London, England; Nude, Covent Garden, London, England. 2006: Artistic Vandals Part II, Sartorial Contemporary Art, London, England; Lucid Union, Kingly Court, London, England; Artistic Vandals Part I, No More Grey, London, England; Matsuri, 93feetEast, London, England. 2005: Talking Walls, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, England. 2004: Gra[ff]ite, Crewest Gallery, Los Angeles, USA; One/Two: Black Letter, Best, London, England. 2003: Streetwise 2, Kunsthoff Gallery, Berlin, Germany; 5eme Edition Festival, Art et Hip-Hop: Cultural Centre du Arts, Niort. France; Urban Dreams 2, Palais Des Beax Arts, Charleroi, Belgium.
Sources: Information and texts compiled by Rhiannon Platt from the artist’s website, (fadetogloss.com) and an article on Graffuturism.com from March 25, 2010.