Studio Tolentino

Proving yourself somewhere notoriously resistant to newcomers can be tough, which is why being a freshman in high school sucks, unless you put out like crazy. Get hep street art from a guy who marked his territory early on, with Studio Tolentino

From a guy named Justin who "took to the streets bombing" at 15 and proved his talent in the St. Louis hip-hop/graffiti scene, Tolentino's an eccentric collection of street art on unique mediums, from old vinyl records to found pieces of wood, none of which are Norwegian, as Jermaine and Tito are still fighting over the rights to that. Claiming to take cues from the worlds of both urban and high art, many pieces feature oversized characters with comic-book-esque features (huge dark eyes, giant teeth, etc), while others go more abstract (some evoking mechanics/technology, others filled with erratic lines & shapes), for a look that combines elements from two artists he notes as inspirations, Basquiat and Rothko, although he skimps noticeably on the suicide. Highlights from the stock include "Yellow Belly", a canary skateboard deck with a freaky-looking bucktooth'd dude exposing his massive gut in a belly shirt, a 12" record painted with a piranha getting ready to attack a guy with similarly sharp teeth, an impressive woodcut (carved wood used as a "stamp") on paper of a wide-mouthed dude with sunken eyes and a pompadour, plus a series of similar subject matter done in watercolor, and if anybody's got Georgia O'Beef with that, you best say it to his face.

In the near future, Justin's planning to debut a small batch of clothing featuring some of his woodcut designs, hopefully including shirts cut low enough to show all those senior boys exactly what you're packing.