Tristan Eaton’s ‘Uprise:’ A Street Artist’s Fist to the Face of Powers That Be

Tristan Eaton White Collar Power detail

Detail of Tristan Eaton’s “White Collar Power”

Street artist and muralist Tristan Eaton’s work blows us away — that’s why we put his piece “Los Anger” on the cover of Heavy Metal 296, the Street Art Special. In the issue, his story “Graffiti Pulp: 100% True Stories of Art Crime” recounts the moment (or one of them) when he fell in love with the thrills and chills of the guerrilla street art experience.

Eaton’s work uses a faux-collage style to give us busy, complex images that surround a subject and, often, reflect its own complexity. One thing becomes a containing shape filled with other things, layers cut away or torn off reveal messages beneath the surface. Familiar logos and mascots clash with maps, abstract patterns and other visual cultural fragments. It’s a mess — a beautiful and meticulously composed mess that you can’t take in on the first or second view.

• IN THE SHOP: Heavy Metal 296 cover A by Tristan Eaton

With his 2017 series “Uprise,” Eaton unleashed his aesthetic and energy on canvas (as opposed to the side of a building). The subject is resistance and protest, with each painting a time capsule or scrapbook of a moment and place where people spoke up and took action against an entrenched power structure — be it the Arab Spring, Gandhi’s Salt March, the L.A. riots of 1992 or the Haitian Revolution. It’s radical stuff, in the best way. Below is some more art from the series — you can see the whole thing at tristaneaton.com. And make sure to pick up Heavy Metal 296 to read Tristan’s story.

"The Arab Spring" by Tristan Eaton

“The Arab Spring” by Tristan Eaton

"The Salt March" by Tristan Eaton

“The Salt March” by Tristan Eaton

"White Collar Power" by Tristan Eaton

“White Collar Power” by Tristan Eaton

"Black Napoleon" by Tristan Eaton

“Black Napoleon” by Tristan Eaton

"Black Panthers" by Tristan Eaton

“Black Panthers” by Tristan Eaton

"Los Anger" by Tristan Eaton

“Los Anger” by Tristan Eaton

"Nat Turner's Rebellion" by Tristan Eaton

“Nat Turner’s Rebellion” by Tristan Eaton

"Palestinian Resistance" by Tristan Eaton

“Palestinian Resistance” by Tristan Eaton

"Peace vs. the Vietnam War" by Tristan Eaton

“Peace vs. the Vietnam War” by Tristan Eaton

"Spartacus" by Tristan Eaton

“Spartacus” by Tristan Eaton

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