about COLOR CARTEL
Color Cartel (Est. 2011) is pair of lovers and graffiti artists who found freedom in painting and adventure. Andrew APSE & Nikki IVA create murals that turn spaces into urban temples that invoke feelings of elegance and grit, individuality and togetherness, peace and explosiveness. Their pieces have large features and details, often with powerful lines and movement. They take inspiration from from each other's playful attitudes, from skate and street racing culture, and from empty walls. They are constantly pushing and critiquing their work together until both confidently approve. Their work sprawls from NYC to Honolulu. They reside in Austin, TX.
They have been Artists in Residence at Texas A&M University, and their work was featured in a solo show at MSC VAC Gallery. They participated in the group show Hops for HOPE (a benefit for HOPE Outdoor Gallery), and Scene Makers for the gallery Art for the People.
Andrew, aka APSE, has been obsessed with letters, speed, and action sports all his life. This translates into a graffiti word style filled with motion, and bold lines and colors. In university, he studied economics by day and graffitied by night– painting words and witty poetry on power boxes and abandoned buildings. Ultimately, this led him to Nikki, a sketch artist who helped him paint a graffiti mural one night.
Nikki, aka IVA, and APSE spent several evenings killing cans of paint on the roof of her building. She picked up the skill quickly. Her attention to detail, good taste, and endless patience complimented APSE's boldness and motion. Together they made a smashing team, calling themselves the Color Cartel. In 2012 they were married in Idaho, near the Grand Tetons.
Every year, Color Cartel donates murals and volunteers mentorship to impactful schools and organizations.
Del Vale Alternative High School
Wooten Elementary School (In assn. with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Winn/KIPP Elementary School (In assn. with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Community First! Village (In assn. with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
Barbara Jordan Elementary School (In assn. with LittleArtist BIG ARTIST)
what's it like working with color cartel?
Having done 100's of murals, we've made this a friendly, entertaining experience.
We understand the expenses that come with making great art safely, so we won't underquote or surprise you.
Examples of art and environments are helpful for inspiration, but we will not copy them nor their style. Please don't ask us to.
This is called biting in our world. If you insist, you'll meet a brick wall of nope.
We don't paint portraits or cartoonify your loved ones or celebrities.
Yes, that includes Oprah and Jesus.
We're open and easy to work with. We'll let you know if certain items or subjects you have asked for will hurt or cheapen the look of your space. Impactful murals are less about the content, & more about the aesthetic.
BTW... what's an "apse?"
I read this book, "the Story of Christianity." I read how gothic Catholic architecture and art were books for the illiterate. The emphasis for design and painting was on the apse. The apse has a different connotation to differnt people: as an architectural term, it was the front inside of the building that ends in a dome, for most it was the part of the building that respresented all of the creativity and art of the whole building tied into one spot. I liked the double roll, and the letters in the word apse.
Furthermore, as the power of the church grew, the larger the churches needed to be. Cathedrals got taller, and then almost completely made of stone, and the walls were too heavy for glass windows. "For this reason, Romanesque churches had very little light, and windows were generally limited to the facade and the apse." I like to think of graffiti as an avenue of light and creativity through the heavy, encompassing "system."
- Andrew aka "APSE"