Artist Statement

Broken Crow is a stencil-based artistic collaboration between Mike Fitzsimmons and John Grider. The two artists began creating and showing art together in 2003. Since then, Broken Crow has attained global recognition for their pioneering use of large-scale stencils in the increasingly established arena of street art.

A shared studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota provided fertile ground for what would become a dynamic and intensely collaborative practice. Mike and John have similar inspirations, professional goals, and work ethic. Through persistence and hard work, they wanted to show their children they could be and do whatever they want when they become adults.

Broken Crow strives to be groundbreaking and prolific. Their mission is to paint giants, as fast as humanly possible.

While painting their first large mural, they realized that the scale of this type of work allowed the opportunity to live “within” the painting rather than controlling a smaller canvass. This was an idea that both artists embraced. Working “within” a painting, together as a team, gave them a forum to learn from each other while being innovative at the same time. Broken Crow developed a unique style that combined the creation of intricate, large-scale stencils with the speed and spontaneity of street art. Together they seek to paint as much of this world as possible, spreading a message of inspiration and beauty while using the largest stencils known to man and womankind.

The two artist’s creative identities and painting styles have merged to make a cohesive vision and original aesthetic. Many years of collaboration have allowed Mike and John to remove personal ego from Broken Crow’s art making process. They share ideas, artistic process, and act more like family than partners. The two artists are committed to revolutionizing their medium by pushing each other’s artistic limitations until they are limitless.

Through painting, Broken Crow seeks to reintroduce wild animals back into the urban habitats that we humans live in, writing their own mythology as they go. Broken Crow’s aggressive style of painting, combined with their hyper-detailed stencils, is both playful and sophisticated. Their art features various animals and anthropomorphic humanoids in crazy colors and, of course, extraordinarily large size.

Currently, Broken Crow is exploring the idea of duality in their work. This comes naturally, due to the fact that there are two members of Broken Crow. By working simple themes and different points of view into their iconic animal imagery, Broken Crow is able to make larger statements with an intriguing and subtle social commentary. Predator versus prey, parenthood versus childhood, male and female, and family are some of the themes that are being explored in this new body of work.

The effects of their efforts live somewhere in the vast gray area between street art and public art. As such, Broken Crow has contributed to countless exhibitions. To date, they have painted 92 murals around the world. Their mural art can be seen in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Milwaukee, Chicago, Baltimore, Reno, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Mexico, New York, Paris, London and Africa.



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