© Red Bull Arts New York

As one of the fixtures of New York City‘s influential graffiti scene of the 1970s, artist RAMMΣLLZΣΣ (1960-2010) helped to shape the visual codes of his era with a creative output that’s based on his self-invented theory of Gothic Futurism, a battle between letters and their symbolic warfare against any standardisations enforced by the rules of the Latin alphabet. And to this very day, RAMMΣLLZΣΣ‘s influence continues as it’s evident in the work of many of today’s stars. At the height of his career, the artist rejected the art world and withdrew from society to his loft in Tribeca, called The Battlestation.

Here, he’d complete his total work, including two iconic bodies of work that would cement his place in urban art history. The first, his Letter Racers, combine the dynamic formalism of Italian Futurism with the dumpster-diving accumulation of plastic pop culture. These assemblages, mounted on skateboards or the chassis of remote-controlled cars, are both futuristic and derelict. The second, his pantheon of Garbage Gods, is a virtuosic army of techno-mythic figures, created from the detritus found strewn in the streets of New York City.

Launched a few days ago at Red Bull Arts New York, an experimental gallery space in Chelsea, the Racing For Thunder exhibition explores the evolution of RAMMΣLLZΣΣ‘s diverse body of work. Curated by Max Wolf and Carlo McCormick, the show presents seminal post-graffiti works, various pieces from the 1980s, and important artworks and sculptural series created primarily in The Battlestation over the last 20 years of his life. It’s a must-see show that puts on display archival materials and artworks from RAMMΣLLZΣΣ’s estate, collections from across the planet, and oral histories recently commissioned by Red Bull Arts New York (on through Aug 26). Location: Red Bull Arts New York, 220 West 18th Street (Chelsea).

© Red Bull Arts New York