photograph of artist Justin BUA
  Artist Justin BUA visits ECU today

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by Kelley Kirk-Swindell:

Some things - like peanut butter and jelly - just go tegether. But what's the result of combining a street kid with raw, artistic talent and classical techniques in drawing and oainting? Popular poster artist, Justin BUA.

East Carolina University Student Union visual chair Napolean Wright's single biggest goal this year was to bring BUA to ECU. "I really wanted to bring him her," Wright said.

BUA will make an appearance at 7 pm today at Hendrix Theater in Mendenhall Student Center. The event will include drawing and painting demonstrations, a lecture and the release of his latest poster. It's gonna be a whole full day of insanity and greatness. I just want to meet all the people from East Carolina. There's been a lot of cool supporters over the years there,"BUA said from his studio in Los Angeles

BUA, who grew up a latch-key kid in New York City, is influenced by street culture. His art is best described as graffiti-esque realism.

Companies like Nike, EA Sports and Comedy central have employed him to infuse his artistic perspective into their products. New Balance's PF Flyer line of footwear incorporated images of his art on the shoes. he is the visual spokesperson for EA Sports' NFL Street, a video game for Playstation and Xbox, in which he also designed the opening mural.

Justin BUA talked to The Daily Reflector by phone from his studio:

DR: Do you see your style as a new form of art?
: My education started off more on the streets. I was a graffiti writer. I wasn't a very good one. But I really admired graffiti and I did graffiti with some of the best guys out there ... And you know, I really love the energy of that culture.

DR: Your color palette is dark, however there seems to be a distinct source of light in every work.BUA: Yeah, because I think I have a fascination with deception, you know, the extra sense of super drama. Like, I am working on the painting right now called "The Artist" in which the painter is sneaking into the train yard and irreverently kind of looking back at the viewer like, you know, I am going to do this no matter what. If you have one light source on him or direct light with that really strong cast-shadow, it's a very theatrical place.

DR: Are the people in your work caricatures of people you know?

: I think they are more people that exist ... in this urban place that I have created in my imagination ... Although you could argue that some of them look like me but that's because, like Rembrandt (van Rijn), I don't have models all the time so I have to look in the mirror for hands or for expression.

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