Troy Duff Takes His Art to the Streets

“Graffiti comes from the soul and it is a way for an artist to give a piece of themselves to the community.”

Troy Duff is a graffiti and fine artist based out of East Nashville, Tennessee. His passion lies in public art and a spontaneous creative process. Through graffiti, he pays tribute to the lost art of penmanship. It is also how he became the creator of his own font.

When Troy was a kid, he was constantly doodling, drawing and painting. Growing up in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., he was introduced to skateboarding, street art and BMX racing. Troy and his crew started a local graffiti scene by spray-painting every surface in sight.

As a fan of photorealism, painting and typography, Troy discovered that graffiti perfectly combined all three elements. His enthusiasm grew as he learned about subway and spray can art. Over the years, he crafted a clean, legible lettering style and honed his scaling, 3D and blending techniques.

After high school, Troy followed his passion West to Los Angeles, California; where the art form had originally gained popularity. He quickly launched a career airbrushing surfboards and designer clothing. The entrepreneur founded his own brand, Duff Couture, sold in regional boutiques as well as overseas (LINK!). In between acting and modeling, Troy returned home to study at Nossi College of Art. His commercial and graphic design degree began a trajectory of straddling the gallery and graffiti worlds. One day he would rock out a drippy tag on the Venice Beach boardwalk and the next he would showcase at Miami’s Art Basel.

In 2006, he returned home to focus on fine art, but found that Music City craved his grittier styles. Troy began receiving calls from corporations requesting live graffiti demos. The raw, street art canvases he created appealed to Calvin Klein, Converse and the Dish Network. The events made graffiti more approachable and Troy relished employing his background in performance art.

Troy wants graffiti to be a means of connecting with the community. He wants his art to be accessible and assembled like a puzzle. It is a challenge both for himself and the viewer. In the moments Troy is creating art, that is when he feels the most alive.

View the time lapse video from the above mural. Learn more about Troy by visiting his website.

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