Gene Pendon

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Work and lives in Montreal. Also known as Gene Starship.

First inspired by his father, a portrait artist and calligrapher, Gene Pendon started drawing and painting at a young age, influenced by hip hop, urban and pop culture. His early career included work as an art director for film and video, along with graphic arts, fine art and mural work. Much of the work from the last 10 years involved collaborative work, with collective projects and creative partnerships with curators, musicians and music producers, filmmakers and art-minded street brands to create live art installations, exhibitions and studio work.

 Influences include graffiti, album cover art, street graphics, pop and urban culture, afro – latin – asian cultural movements and influences, wanderlust and avant-garde design, beat music movements, jazz music, abstract hip hop, modernism, futurism, performance art and automatism, Fluxus movement. Also included are art activism and protest. 

1998 – Co-founded Heavyweight Production House (HVW8) with Tyler Gibney in Montreal, Canada, as a creative company that incorporates Art, Music, Events and client work, operating out of Montreal and Los Angeles.

 1999 – Co-creator and creative partner of the Heavyweight Art Installation, a live painting performance project, collaborating with artists Tyler Gibney and Dan Buller to create music and urban culture inspired canvases and art installations before live audiences.

The Heavyweight Art Installation has toured internationally, through out Canada and the US, Germany, England, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Holland, and Puerto Rico, creating live art pieces at music shows and festivals, performing alongside such musical talents as Jazzanova, Antibalas, Afrika Bambaataa, Roots Manuva, The Herbaliser, Osunlade, Wajeed, DJ Craze, Dj Z-Trip, Jurrasic 5, Masters at Work, Kid Koala, Prince Paul, Smith and Mighty, DJ Spinna, MetroArea and Amon Tobin, Dj Bobbito, Pete Rock, Roberto Roena and Y Su Apollo Sound. The Heavyweight Art Installation has performed at festivals such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Winter Music Conference (Miami), Bonnaroo Music Festival (Nashville, TN), CMJ Music Festival (NYC), Coachella Music and Art Festival (Indio, CA), Osheaga Music and Art Festival (Montreal), and Manifesto Festival (Toronto).

Heavyweight Art Installation has also presented alongside established street and graffiti-influenced artists such as The Barnstormers collective, Doze Green, Fafi,  Dave Kinsey, David Choe, Sheppard Fairey, Date Farmers, Maya Hayuk, Fafi,  El Mac and the London Police, and prominent Canadian artists such as Labrona, Roadsworth, Other, Turf One, Elicser, and Evoke.

Heavyweight Art Installation has presented exhibitions and live installations in galleries such as The Parco Gallery in Tokyo, Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA) in Toronto, Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, The Illustration Gallery in Stoud, UK, the Apart Gallery in London UK, Royal Ontario Museum, Manifest Hope Exhibition for Obama in Denver, Colorado.

Gene Pendon’s artwork can be seen on album artwork for DJ Bobbito, Earth, Wind and Fire, Ghislain Poirier, Gift of the Gab, IG Culture, Georgia Anne Muldrow and DJ Fred Everything, and for Adidas Orginals City Series jackets and the Adidas/Muhammed Ali Value series. Clients also include, Nike (US), Cirque du Soleil( CAN), And I Basketball(US), Sony Music Group(US), Gravis Footwear(US), Goods of Desire (Hong Kong), Futurisica Music (UK), Ninja Tune (UK).

Gene Pendon’s artwork has been exhibited at the Aqua venue at Art Basel Miami 2009 with Gallery Yves LaRoche (Montreal), “HousePaint” group exhibition in 2009 at Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), Manifesto Arts and Culture Festival 2009 (Toronto).

Recent (2011) projects and commissions include artwork for a dedication album to the late American jazz drummer, Steve Reid, released on Gilles Peterson’s (BBC One) label, Brownswood recordings; a three story mural  in honor of  Canadian Jazz Pianist, Oscar Peterson, commissioned by the City of Montreal and the Peterson Family, and collaborations with the Montreal-based, En Masse, for the Big Bang exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Selected publications featuring the Heavyweight Art Installation have included: Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents (Nicholas Ganz), Vapors Magazine, The Art of Rebellion 2: World of Art Activism (Christian Hundertmark, aka C100), Scrawl too: more dirt, Scrawl Collective (Booth-Clibborn Editions Limited), Proud 2be a Flyer (Happy Books s.r.l. Italy), A Face A Name (Well & Good Gallery Publications, Toronto)

Selected film/video documentaries featuring Hvw8 include: The Run Up DVD (Upperplayground, San Francisco 2006), Next: A Primer on Urban Painting Documentary (Pablo Aravena/Agnes b – Love Streams Production 2005).

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