I'm Rob Larsen and Java+++ is my blog for all things not related to my day job. Everything here on the blog is authored by me in one way or another. If you're curious who I am, continue reading for an in-depth view into who I am and what I've been up to for the past few decades.
The path to this point in my creative life is surprisingly direct. Bits grow on top of bits and styles evolve, but everything I am now as an artist can be accurately traced back to the kid who’d been a regular at the MFA since before he could walk, started drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil and immersed himself in the energy and urban chaos of graffiti in the 1980s. Currently all of that stuff (and the intervening 25+ years) is funneled into work that tries to distill the energy of the city and the freestyle typography of graffiti onto canvas. My process tries to replicate the layering of city walls and the random, energetic way that the environment and man conspire to transform the city’s surfaces.
I've shown my art regularly over the past several years. I've been fortunate to have my art hang alongside artists like Seen, Cope2, Blade, T-Kid, Rickey Powell, Sever, Tracy 168, Ces, Med, Sever, Kem5, Alert, Vault, Alone, Percy Fortini Wright, Sly and Rath. Here's a full list of shows I've taken part in:
- ARTCRANK BOSTON July 13, 2013
- Mural Fest at Bartlett Yard May 18,2013
- 24th Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery
- 23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery
- Brattle Art House 2011
- Jamaica Plain Artists Association Annual Group Show August, 4 2011
- The Hyde presents Typographic Paintings by Rob Larsen September 1, 2011-September 30, 2011.
- Jamaica Plain Artists Association Exhibit in the State House May 5-July 8th, 2011. My art featured in the very nice coverage of the opening.
- 22nd Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery April 4-May 15th, 2011. My art was featured in the coverage of the show on Boston.com
- Art House: A Silent Art Auction to Benefit the Brattle Film Foundation
- 21st Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery
- "Paint It Now" March 19 - April 29, 2010
- FutureArts 2009 @ The Roxy
- ComNGraf 2 September 27, 2008
- Future Classic Gallery Sale 2 / June 4, 2008
- Legends of Style Boston / April 26th, 2008 @ The Boston Center For The Arts
- FutureArts 2008 April 18 and 19, 2008 @ The Boston Center For The Arts
- Hit the Deck- Winter Music Conference, 2008.3.28 @ The Catalina Hotel in Miami, FL
- Hit the Deck- SXSW, 2008.3.13 @ Light Bar in Austin, TX
- Boston Urban Art Festival Saturday, December 8, 2007
- Hit the Deck Custom Skateboards November 15, 2007
- Sneak(er) Peek II
- Legends of Style Boston 2007: Surreal City
- Urban Art Experiments Volume 2 (Detroit)
- Rekloos Rocks your Toy Box (kid robot) show
- Legends of Style Fall 2006: Future Shock
- Legends of Style Spring 2006: ICONS
- Legends of Style Fall 2005
- Legends of Style Spring 2005
- Future Classic September 2003
I've been interviewed dozens of times for everything from school papers to web sites, books and newspapers about the subject of graffiti art. My comments on the subject have appeared in several places including the the Weekly Dig, local arts website Big, Red and Shiny and in The History of American Graffiti.
I've also done some illustration, both black and white and color, for several local publications; most notably a cover for the Weekly Dig's graffiti issue.
WritingI've written professionally, on and off, for more than 20 years now. These days I mostly write about technology. Here's a list of what I've been up to from a technology writing perspective.
- Professional jQuery
- Beginning HTML and CSS
Articles for IBM DeveloperWorks
- Introduction to Sandboxed Natives and FuseJS
- HTML5 Boilerplate: Kick Start Your Web Development
- Introduction to Ajax
- HTML5, CSS3 and Related Technologies: A Handy Atlas to the New World of Web Standards
Articles for Amazon's tech.book(store)
- Keeping Up with the World of HTML5
- Recommended HTML5 and Open Web Platform Books
- The Modern State of Web Browsers
I wrote about cinema for several years for Boston's Weekly Dig (where I also served as Film Editor), Shovel Magazine and The Boston Metro. My movies archive contains my (almost) complete film writing archive. I was fortunate to interview some very cool people, including Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, and Darren Aronofsky
When I was younger I also co-wrote and co-produced a play called Black Cats and White Lies that played at the C. Walsh Theater at Suffolk University.
Here's my fancy web developer bio
Teaching/SpeakingI teach and speak regularly. Again I spend a lot of time talking about technology, but I so spend some time teaching and talking about graffiti and street art.
- “Data Visualization in the Browser" Boston Front end Developers May 18, 2012
- HTML5 Developer Conference Spring 2013 1st–3rd April 2013
- “jQuery: Two New Features That Really Matter” Boston Front End Developers April 25, 2012
- Redefining Perspectives, New Delhi, India April 4, 2012
- “HTML5 From the Front Lines: What to Embrace Today (and What to Avoid)” HTML5 Live in New York 2011 November 1, 2011 at the New World Stages
- Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston, MA 20th – 23rd June 2011
- Boston PHP: Learn CSS October 13 2010 Bocoup
- Design Camp Boston: Learn CSS November 6 Microsoft New England Research & Development Center
- Front End Performance for the Common Man: Practical Strategies to Speed Up Your Site May 19, 2010 Bocoup
- "The Future is Now: Theming Wordpress with HMTL5" WordCamp Boston. Microsoft New England Research Division
- Appeared on the panel MITX panel "Building Social Applications & Widgets for Top Platforms" with Matthew Adkisson, (CEO, FreeCause.com); Norris Boyd (Engineering Manager, Google); C.C. Chapman (Partner, The Advance Guard); and Ann Glenn (Senior Web Producer, Sony Pictures Imageworks Interactive.) Moderated by Chris Brogan.
- In 2011-12 I taught a class at Boston Center for Adult Education on Graffiti/Street Art.
- 4/2010 I did a presentation for grades 5-8 at Sacred Heart Academy in Hyde Park, Ma
- 3/2010 I taught a class on graffiti lettering at the Phoenix Academy in Chelsea, MA.
- In 2009 I taught a class on graffiti/street art at the Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park with the Citizens Schools program
- I also taught a one day class on graffiti at Northeastern University’s Stetson West dormitory
I worked as an inker in the traditional collaborative process for several years. My credits in that regard include:
- Cadre #3 from Nifty Comics: inks on an 18 page story
- Across the Pond Presents #2 from Across the Pond Comics: inks on a 7 page story
- Shakti Warriors #3: inks on an 8 page story
- Shakti Warriors #2: inks on an 8 page story
- Futurius: Tales from the Plex inks on a 10 page story
- Commercial Suicide vol. 3 inks on 2 pages of a 6 page story
Not art-related, but definitely comics related, I maintain a general comics blog at itsalljustcomics.com called "It's All Just Comics" that deals with everything from the world's most valuable collectible comics to the latest/greatest Comics/Manga/BD on the shelves.