Visionary Artist
Justin Bua is an artist making a mark on popular culture with his unique style of distorted urban realism, single-handedly spearheading a new genre of art.

Born and raised by a single mom in New York City’s untamed Upper West Side, BUA, as he is known, was fascinated by the raw, visceral Manhattan street life. He began absorbing the essence of this burgeoning culture at

  Justin Bua's art on the cover of Vision Magazine
places like Rock Steady Park and the Douglas Projects. Having studied visual art at the High School of Music and Performing Arts, he complemented his education on the streets by writing graffiti and performing worldwide with break dancing crews such as The New York Express and The Dynamic Breakers.

“All through my life I continued with my art, and even though I became intensely absorbed in the hip-hop culture, with rap, breaking and graffiti, art was always the one constant,” he says. “Those activities actually inspired my paintings throughout my life.”

At 16, BUA performed with The New York Express in a show created by choreographer Julie Arenal of Hair. The show toured world-wide and included the Spoleto Festivals in Charleston, South Carolina and Spoleto, Italy where he performed with Rudolf Nureyev. After high school, BUA went on to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where he earned a B.F.A in Illustration and learned the technical skills that allowed him to unleash his creativity.

  Justin Bua
BUA started his career doing slick bottom paintings for the skateboard industry. He came out with a line of fine art posters and quickly made his way into the commercial freelance world. He created numerous CD covers for companies such as Warner Bros., Atlantic Records, Sony Music and BMG Music, as well as advertising work for clients Weiden, Kennedy and The Nike Corporation. In 1999, BUA animated the opening title sequence for MTV’s The Lyricist Lounge Show.

BUA also conceived, created and wrote Urbania, an animation series for Comedy Central. He went on to develop the characters and backgrounds for the EA Sports video game, NBA Street. He then created the world for Slum Village’s award-winning music video Tainted. BUA recently teamed up with EA Sports again as the visual consultant for their new best-selling game NFL Street.

BUA’s latest collaboration with PF Flyers brought art onto the streets with his limited edition shoe line released in May 2004. The shoe line sold out within hours of its release. BUA released his second shoe line and his first apparel line in 2005. BUA’s book, tentatively entitled BUA: The Beat of Urban Art was published in March 2007. He teaches Figure Drawing in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Southern California (USC).

  Justin Bua Pool Hall

BUA’s understanding of the origin and evolution of hip-hop makes him the urban art icon he has become. Crazy Legs, well-renowned break-dancer and graffiti artist, says of BUA: “His art is representative of today’s ethnically diverse urban culture. He has a complete grasp of all the elements of hip-hop and the inner feeling of its music. BUA truly represents the hip-hop movement, the most popular culture of our era.”


  Bua with Spray
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Venice Magazine
Vision Magazine
Santa Cruz Sentinel
New York Times
Daily Reflector
Daily Trojan
Denver Post
East Bay Express
Art Business News
Goodtimes magazine
.ISM Magazine
Jointz Magazine
Kult Magazine
Defrag Magazine

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