All Weather Artist | Graffiti Manchester | Multi-media Graffiti Design

HISTORY

All Weather Artist is the Portfolio of Rik "ALTO" Cheetham. A member of several Manchester graffiti production crews over the years including Gameover, FTL (For The Love) and MSC, But always under the name "ALTO" or "ALTONE".

 

Having always been creative, Hip hop gave ALTO that same opportunity for acceptance and the credibility for being artistic that it provided for many a young man that had previously lacked globally and especially in the U.K's working classes. That path is not always one which leads to a positive end, Graffiti has negative outcomes for many young people and there is a fine line between being labelled a vandal or otherwise fulfilling the potential of what you can achieve. ALTO credits his own decisions with the early influences he had.

"I used to hang around the Skate Park in Stockport and there was a guy who used to paint there every now and again called MES TCS. He used to created the best productions and I used to see his work and want to be able to paint like that. So although I did my time like many a young graffiti artist causing chaos and I got in trouble with the police but I knew that all I wanted to do was to be able to create something beautiful that would inspire other people. I always painted with the best intentions but the scene is what it is and many peope don't have the courage to step away and do something overtly positive, but that is what Hip Hop was always about, being the best you can be."

 

This attitude towards producing high quality Graffiti and  Art is what came to separate ALTO from the crowd in the Manchester Scene.  Later enabling him to work with high profile clients and on large commissions. Including EA Games featuring ALTO on the "Big in The Game Tour", New Balance Featuring ALTO in the REGION exhibition in Manchester, painting for Hip Hop Legends Public Enemy and original Manchester Hip Hop DJ, Greg Wilson.  A chance meeting lead ALTO to meet GECKO in Manchester, an old-skool b-boy who shared the principles of positivity through graffiti and Hip Hop and who became an influence, not so much on ALTO's work, but on ALTO's work ethic.

 

"I feel GECKO was also shunned by the graffiti scene which believed in creating damage as a fundamental part of the culture, we just wanted to create art.  As GECKO would always say - "It's a waste of paint".

 

For his positive endeavours ALTO was made Ambassador for the Arts by the Youth Charter for Sport, Arts and Cultural Development , A UN accredited N.G.O. Now, years down the line ALTO can boast of clients such as NIKE and Manchester Arena, Manchester City Council to name but a few.

However ALTO was never purely an Aerosol Artist, he is as comfortable creating digital artwork as he is with a pen or a spray can. His graphic design accomplishments are as impressive as his painting career. As an Illustrator, animator and graphic artist he has created illustrated portraits for the likes of Muhammed Ali, created branding and artwork for Meat Katie's record label LOT49 and many high profile acts and businesses. For this reason ALTO knew that the skills and knowledge that fundamentally he learnt through graffiti, were not restricted to graffiti. This was essentially the basis for the series if essays which when collated created his book project "What's in a name?...".

 

 

"What's in a name?... Documents art as graffiti throughout human history and in particular, the point at which graffiti came full circle and started to influence art. It is a simple formula of culture + technology - Culture influences the content, technology influences how the image is produced and hence the common features we associate with graffiti globally.

 

However despite the global popularity of graffiti art and hip hop culture, the positive impact it has had in reconnecting people with creativity the negative connotations and associations are still promoted in the mainstream and held firmly over what is a very positive culture which has changed how art and music have been produced and more importantly, who it is produced by."

 

ALTO believes art and design, whether personal or commercial should retain the excitement and individuality that hip hop inspired and continue to stay true to the principles of originality of self expression that is celebrated through hip hop in its purest forms.

 

This is something that All Weather Artist, Rik "ALTO" Cheetham maintains through his work from spray to screen.

 

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All images, concepts and properties are copyright of Rik Cheetham or the respective clients of AllWeatherArtist.com