Amidst the chaotic urban landscape, one artist has emerged, capturing the spirit of the streets and giving voice to the voiceless. Tysen Knight, a resident of Palm Springs, has not only made a name for himself as a renowned street artist but has also ventured into the realms of filmmaking and acting, using his art to bring attention to the talents of homeless artists and their untold stories.
Knight’s artistic journey began at a young age, discovering his natural talent for art between the ages of 10 to 13 while growing up in New Jersey. It was during his countless subway rides through New York City that he found inspiration in the graffiti-covered trains. The vibrant imagery and raw expressions he encountered ignited a passion within him, compelling him to bring that same energy to his own neighborhood. With friends by his side, Knight honed his skills, airbrushing jeans and recreating the captivating artwork that had captured his imagination.
However, it was his exposure to the works of New York City’s legendary street artists that truly shaped Knight’s artistic vision. Icons such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Anthony Lister, and Ben Eine became his role models, as they brought street art into the mainstream and earned it the recognition it deserved. Knight commends these artists for their impact, stating, “Over time, no one cared about it… But now that these guys are able to push the culture into the mainstream, I think it’s actually a beautiful thing.”
Knight’s influence extends beyond the canvas and spills into the realm of filmmaking. His debut street-art documentary, “The Art of Hustle: Street Art Documentary,” received widespread acclaim on the festival circuit. Building on this success, his upcoming project, “The Art of Hustle: Homeless Street Artists Documentary,” aims to shed light on the remarkable talents hidden within the homeless community.
The inspiration for Knight’s second documentary came from a personal encounter with homelessness and a chance meeting with Skratch, a street artist from downtown Palm Springs. Enthralled by Skratch’s abstract art and moved by his story, Knight felt compelled to bring attention to the often overlooked talents of homeless street artists through the power of film. “Although these people are homeless, and you overlook them every day, they’re actually talented and creating beautiful things,” Knight shared.
Witnessing the humility and resilience of Skratch, who would sell his carefully crafted artwork for as little as $5, left an indelible mark on Knight. Despite the relatively small street-art scene in Coachella Valley, Knight recognizes the raw talent that exists within the region and strives to nurture and support it.
Currently, Knight is collaborating with the Tysen knight scholarship Fund , mentoring young boys through an art program. This initiative not only showcases his passion for art but also underscores his commitment to inspire the next generation to explore their own creative talents.
In a world that often marginalizes and overlooks the disenfranchised, Tysen Knight stands as a symbol of hope, breaking barriers and shining a light on the unseen. His work is a testament to the transformative power of art and the indomitable human spirit, exemplifying dedication, empathy, and an unwavering pursuit of passion.
For more information on Tysen Knight and his groundbreaking body of work, please visit www.tysenknight.com.