Artist Chris Rini
All illustrations on woodwork
A scattering of pieces
Cavan Valance wearing East Coast MMA t-shirt
Diaz vs. Cerrone
Fight in action
Calvin Dutton wearing East Coast MMA t-shirt
Cavan with tats, graffiti and Gracie shirt
Purchase a Chris Rini limited edition poster and t-shirt:
Last summer artist and columnist Chris Rini sent me a message on Facebook complimenting my blog and introducing me to his work. As a fine artist, his focus is on illustrations on woodwork featuring the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, while as a columnist he contributes regularly to The Fightland division of Vice magazine (http://fightland.vice.com/author/chris-rini) writing about the historical moments in mixed martial arts. Our correspondence lead him to invite me over to his studio to take pictures of his work and the space where he creates. Meeting someone who has a keen interest in MMA and who merged it to his work as a visual artist was quite interesting and seems very fitting since MMA is a mix of fighting disciplines and styles. Viewing Chris’ work I was struck at how poetic and fluid he made the tough sport seem through his drawings and use of color. Hearing him describe his pieces was fascinating as there was so much back story behind each one and the way he illustrated each piece gave such a visceral effect since he employs several techniques to bring his work to life.
Chris is a native New Yorker from Ridgewood Queens who studied at F.I.T who to earn his Bachelor’s degree at Hunter College in Fine Art. Most of his time was devoted to doing figurative work and he also studied sculpture. A meditation retreat lead him to an epiphany about marrying his love of MMA with his skill at drawing as an artist. It’s work that he passionately draws and writes about, so much so, he fortuitously wrote some posts on the site Reddit.com, where Vice magazine reached out to do a feature on him, which in turn led to an invite to write a bi-weekly column for Fightland at Vice. When Chris informed me that a t-shirt of one of his illustrations of legendary fighter Renzo Gracie was being produced by East Coast MMA I knew it was a perfect tie in to my blog. Him being a Manhattanite, his great art featuring masculinity, and a t-shirt styled from his work is yet another great mix.
Follow Chris: Twitter: @Chris_Rini, Instagram: @Rinimma