Jupiter, FL

Jupiter artist Big Bear is coming out of hibernation with his first solo exhibit featuring graffiti emboldened work

Best of South Florida

Jupiter-based artist Big Bear at his Tequesta studio.The Official Big Bear

Local artist Big Bear is coming out of hibernation this week with his first solo art exhibit showcasing his most recent and progressive works yet.

The one-night show will exclusively highlight the works of the Jupiter-based artist, who is taking over the Artlantic Fine Art Gallery in Harbourside Place. The exhibit will be on display on Friday, February 25 from 6-10 p.m. at 109 N. Coastal Way in Jupiter.

During the one-night only event, expect an underground-1980's-NYC-warehouse vibe, adds Big Bear, complete with complimentary tiki cocktails and live beats by West Palm Beach-based DJ TheReazin.

“Up until recently, I really tried to stay out of the public eye," Big Bear tells News Break. "I never pushed my art in a professional way. I had to force myself to start growing. Today, I feel blessed to have pieces that have been sold in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles."

Later this week, more than a dozen works will be on display, showcasing Big Bear’s unique marriage of bold, neon-hued graffiti and richly-textured oils. Close inspection of his works shows the minute detail of dripping spray paint, often combined with alternating layers of oil and paint.

One piece, in particular, took almost three years to create. A total of four separate panels offer a modernist take on water lilies, inspired by the iconic works of impressionist artist Claude Monet. A show-stopping highlight, it is one of the few remaining pieces reminiscent of the artist's earlier works.

Water Lilies by Big BearThe Official Big Bear

The artist said he has been drawing and painting since early childhood, and today presents a subject matter that speaks to his own passions and interests. Specializing in large format work, he explains the process.

"It's the idea of taking what was once a shameful, discouraged, highly underground artform that is only now coming into the public eye and finding a legitimate space in the art world," says Big Bear. "My work is evocative of what was happening in the NYC graffiti scene of the late 80's and early 90's. When I was younger, I would see these incredible murals outside and wished I could have them on the wall in my home. Now, anyone can take that street art aesthetic and have it in their home, office, wherever.”

Expounding on his recent evolution, Big Bear — who began pursuing art in earnest in 2018 — has been dedicating more time to exploring ways to marry various mediums.

A mixed media piece by Big Bear.The Official Big Bear

As such, the show will also highlight several alternative mixed-media works that include graffiti emboldened items like vintage leather-wrapped chests, crocodile-skin suitcases, and a tiger sculpture.

“These more recent pieces represent the idea of using whatever you can to create art — painting on whatever you can find, be it a raw canvas or discarded objects,” said Big Bear. “It’s a way of upcycling and repurposing everyday objects, and it’s just another way people can bring street art to life.”

If you’re interested in going, the invite-only, those who share the phrase “coming out of hibernation” at the door will be granted complimentary access.

Big Bear has previously shown work at a handful of exclusive events in West Palm Beach, Nashville, and his gallery/studio in Tequesta. You can find Big Bear on FirstDibs.com, where a rotating selection of select pieces are posted for sale. For more information follow @OfficialBigBear on Instagram.

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