On November 5th and 6th the Complex team steamrolled into Long Beach, California with the first ever ComplexCon. Attendees were treated to two days of performances, panels, and dope art (of course). It was a lot to take on, but the folks at Complex teamed up with a variety of artists and brands to curate an innovative and authentic experience for art and design enthusiasts.
One of the most impressive features of the weekend was the 1800 Tequila Art Zone, where Complex and 1800 Tequila commissioned the likes of Dabs Nyla, Pow!Wow! Hawaii, Paper Work NYC, Ron English/Popaganda, Seventh Letter, and more to show off their collections. The Art Zone featured 11 exhibitions of completed pieces, interactive art, and live mural paintings that caught the attention of legends and influencers like Takashi Murakami, Mike Will Made It, Virgil Abloh, A$AP Mob, and Cam’ron.
There was one guy that caught everyone’s attention while hard at work on a live painting. With a black wall serving as his canvas, Ricardo Gonzalez, worked tirelessly to complete a calligraphic piece within 1800’s own installation. The graphic artist’s goal with his piece, Just Refined Enough, was “to blur the lines between traditional and digital art.” Gonzalez explained that the collaboration with 1800 Tequila came together as result of sharing “the core values of passion, hard work and honesty, which drive this work. The result is elegant, yet raw and genuine – in other words, just refined enough.” Gonzalez joins an illustrious and exclusive list of artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, to have their work adorned on limited edition bottles of 1800 Tequila as a part of the Essential Artist Series.
Along with Gonzalez’s mural, 1800’s installation also included an interactive Quantal Quilt, in which attendees became and manipulated the digital quilt, and napkin portrait paintings by Napkin Killa. 1800’s curation and sponsorship of the Art Zone served as reminder of their commitment to supporting and celebrating upcoming and established artist with similar values.