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

Tristan Eaton White Collar Power detail

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

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

  1. Is heavy metal a pro anti American publication now? American is love for all nationality, all color just be American. Its pretty clear the Trump/pinoccio depiction is showing an anger towards americans who voted for a restoration of law and order in the US and the capitalist system HM thrives on. The tired racist comments are stale. We don’t own Mexican nationals anything and we love all people, Lame art, no clear message, just confuse the confused even more. Sad day for Heavy Metal. Love for all Colors, love for all religions. Lets all be American in the US. Character binds us. For Others in the world who have a different way liver your way and we live ours.

  2. Can I order a copy of the Heavy Metal issue with Tristan Eaton work on the cover?

    It would be a birthday gift for my son!

  3. now I know which issue NOT TO BUY
    Dear Heavy Metal
    I’m buying your magazines and stuff since 1996
    Please! Stay away from politics! There’s a lot of other publishers for that bulls#it like “street artist”

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