Kelly "RISK" Graval has been synonymous with the Los Angeles art community for over 30 Years. From his early days as a founder of the West Coast Graffiti movement to gallery and museum exhibits around the globe, including the 2012 "Art In The Streets" at the LA MoCA and the hugely successful “Beyond The Streets” exhibits in Los Angeles and New York. His work is shown at top galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, New York, Miami, and London.
10 Things to Know About Risk
1. He was knighted by the Medici Family
2. He was the first artist invited to paint in Michaelangelo's studio in over 400 years
3. He was the first West Coast artist to paint the N.Y. Subway Trains. During summer break from high school in 1987, he hitchhiked to New York to paint Subway trains. He spent a few weeks painting trains, tunnels, and streets. He gained attention and met many of his inspirations including Lee Quinones, and Henry Chaflant
4. He was the first to paint freight trains on the West Coast and started the freight train movement. He was also the first to paint a top to bottom freight.
5. He was the first to paint freeway overpasses and signs. This later became dubbed heavens by his crewmates Wisk and Ser who went on to dominate freeway signs throughout Los Angeles.
6. He was the the first to paint full-color pieces and productions on the freeway creating the Los Angeles freeway movement
7. He won the world Graffiti Championship with partner Slick in England held in 1989
8. After winning the National Scholastics Arts Award in High School, he received scholarships to Savannah School of Arts and Design, as well as Pasadena Arts Center. He was very active in the streets and struggled to commit to school. He was arrested multiple times and spent a short stint in Los Angeles County Jail. He ended up attending the University Of Southern California Fine Arts. Risk finished art at USC despite being kicked out for painting a mural on the roof of the Fine Arts Department. He was later reinstated with a scholarship. The University went on to make a post of the mural and sent it to every High School in the United States.
9. Risk worked with too many Hollywood personalities, bands, and artist peers to mention, including Ice Cube, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Janes Addiction, Guns and Roses, Michael Jackson, and many more. Aerosmith quotes, "Risk is to graffiti what Aerosmith is to Rock and Roll." Collaborated with Ed Moses, Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Blade, Lee, Futura, Robbie Conal
10. Risk helped pioneer streetwear with his iconic Third Rail Streetwear line. The brand was incredibly successful and lasted 18 years until Risk walked away from it and sold it on his daughter's 1st Birthday. Risk wanted to be a stay-at-home Dad; he became a full-time gallery artist, and the transition was not smooth. He could not support the lifestyle he was sustaining during the Third Rail days. He lost property and houses, and his house went into foreclosure. Risk gave up his Los Angles studio and built a small studio on his property. 14 years later he created, what people call, the West Coast Fun Factory after Warhol's Factory in New York. The compound now consists of adjacent properties as well. It has a print shop, digital media room, workshop, gallery, and studio. There is a parade of the who's who of today visiting and creating daily at the compound...As Risk says, "KEEP ON KEEPIN ON"
When we set out to do 10 things you didn't know about Risk we came up with over 20 things and the list kept going. We felt these particular 10 things tell the story of the iconic artists who will never know completion...