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Festival Art and Culture: Meet the Graffiti Master, Mastro

Originally from the The Bronx, NY, the talented and charismatic graffiti master, appropriately known as Mastro, graciously hosted a seminar at Nightmare Festival in which participants learned the basics of tagging and had a chance to practice using spray paint and stretched saran wrap as a canvas.


For Mastro, the rave/edm scene offers many drawing factors as a means of showcasing his work, “I’ve been going to raves, specifically D&B events since back in the day,” says Mastro, “The draw is more of the core crowd that makes up this scene in its entirety. It will take the time out to look, photograph, and interact with an art installation, rather than just walk by it. They appreciate it more than just ‘regular people’ … also the rave booty, rave booty is the best.”

Mastro, who has been painting since 1992, has showcased his art an array of events such as Starscape, Mysteryland, Camp Bisco, Bonnaroo, NY Hempfest, Brooklyn Hip Hop, and Big Dubstep Festival 2015. Likewise, Mastro’s portfolio includes work with major companies such as Rockstar Video Games, Ralph Lauren, Mac Cosmetics, and Adidas, “Each job varies from on site customization, to large scale mural work, to painting live and on specific mediums.” Stated Mastro in an interview, “I’ve been hired for a lot of obscure events, body painting on dancers at strip clubs, painting live on runway models, trade shows, NASCAR events… those stick out a little more than a corporate gig.”


A true salt of the Earth kind of guy, Mastro’s personality is as vibrant and captivating as his artwork. In truth, his art directly reflects his own personality, “I like people to know me [through my art],” Says Mastro. Likewise, Mastro utilizes humor and cartoonish aspects into his design, emphasizing the not so serious side of his art and character. While his hometown, The Bronx, his current home in Brooklyn, as well as fellow street artists play an influential role on Mastro’s work, Mastro personally prefers to, “Find inspiration organically; designing from animal print, textures found in nature, patterns from tessellations, and line definition from shapes.” Says the artist.

Additionally, Mastro’s clean and recognizable aesthetic also demonstrates his background in Architecture. While Mastro has been painting long before obtaining his BA in Architecture from Pratt University, architectonics has influenced him in “every way possible,” Says Mastro, “… [It] gave me a better understanding of designing space around space, building pieces around the space you are given, linework, lineweight, creating perspective, shading… Taking one craft and applying it to another will give it more variants of style. ”

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Be sure to catch Mastro at the Dreamscape 2016 coming up in the spring, and Big Dub 2016 in the summer. Mastro can usually be found doing body paintings, graffiti, apparel designs, or just vibing out, telling stories, and cracking jokes with the rest of the crowd. To view more of Mastro’s outstanding work, follow him on Instagram @mastronyc and follow him on Twitter @Mastro_.