Bisco Smith x Soundwall

Responsive Canvasses That Emit Sound Bring New Exhibition to Life

California-based Bisco Smith is one of those people who seems to seamlessly straddle disciplines. A DJ and an Emcee, a graffiti and a fine artist. These categories are almost useless with people like Bisco. His latest project 12, a collaboration with new company Soundwall, you could say combines all of these elements, making for very visual artworks that have a musical aspect, whilst oozing a distinctive street style.

“12 is an art and sound exhibit showcasing 12 works I created using the Soundwall platform and is intended to express human energy and capture moments in time,” Bisco tells us.

The project features canvasses which are embedded with technology allowing the paintings to have an auditory component, these are known as Soundwalls. “Soundwall is an art and sound platform created to bring the viewer/listener into a new experience,” Bisco explains.

The pieces in 12 have all the vibrancy of a freshly-pressed graffiti tag but are altogether more refined. Bisco composes his own music to paint to and thanks to Soundwall, the audience is brought closer to this unique process.


12 is currently showing in New York’s iconic Tribeca area. We caught up with Bisco to find out more:

The Plus: How did the collaboration with Soundwall work?
Bisco Smith:
Soundwall reached out to me about creating a piece of work and that conversation led to a residency, which then led to the 12 collection and show. They have been super supportive and open throughout the whole process. Basically I made the music and art, they crafted the soundwalls and put on some amazing events.

TP: How long have you been working across both sound and visual art? What first made you want to create sound and visual pieces combined?
I have been doing both back and forth for a long time. From painting, to Djing, to emceeing, back to painting. I also spent a long time making record art for other artists throughout my career. So as long as I have been visual I have been audio too. The platform Soundwall has created really opened up the doors to me making this body of work. I have done some combination projects in the past, but this one is by far the most seamless and mature.

TP: The work has a very hip hop/graffiti aesthetic. Has that been a big influence on your work?
Yes. Very much so. I have been a fan and active in the culture for a long time.

TP: Your favourite artist right now? Musical and/or visual?
Visually, I would say I stay checking older works from artists like Cy Twombly and Franz Kline. My friends and colleagues like Bishop203, John Felix Arnold III, BK the artist, UR New York, and Sek3 keep me sharp are really making awesome work right now. On the music side I have really been into beat makers like Dfalt, Teebs, and XXYYXX.

TP: What’s been your proudest moment?
Hmm. That’s a really tough one. I won’t choose one, but I will say that when people come to me and say they are inspired by the work or the ideas those are moments when I feel good and maybe proud knowing the energy has been exchanged.

TP: Sum up your life’s work in less than 10 words.
I’ll look back when I’m done.

TP: Anything we should look out for coming up?
Keep an eye out for new works, the best place is on Instagram or my website. I have some fresh projects about to move ahead over the summer and a few aligned for the fall. All in all there is always something in the works.

Top four images courtesy of Micahel Vidoli.

Below are the rest of the 12.