Artists behind some of Louisville's most well-known murals preparing to launch studio show

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In every corner of the city, vibrant works of art stretch stories into the sky bringing new life to old landscapes.

The larger-than-life murals are the signature of "Often Seen, Rarely Spoken," a group of muralists who work together on the bold pieces.

"Often Seen Rarely Spoken, we thought that was a good way to describe public art, because you're seeing it out in your daily life all the time, but you might not notice it. You're not talking about it, but it's still there," said Ian, one of the artists.

He, along with the other artists Max, Jacob and Jeremy, don't want their last names revealed. The four artists are working to bring large scale murals to Louisville, something they felt the city lacked.

"I think murals and art can breathe so much energy into the physical landscape, and it can just add to people's days subconsciously without them even knowing," said Max.

From Portland to NuLu to Smoketown, OSRS is taking art directly to the people.

"If you can drive past this thing on your way to work, or on the way to the store or on the way to pick up your kids it really changes your mood for a little bit of time," said Max.

The guys have painted together for more than a decade, but it wasn't until last year that they decided to do it full time, quitting their day jobs to paint. In their first year, they've created 35 colorful creative collaborations. Beginning with a blank wall, the four put their heads together to transform the canvas into a masterpiece. "You don't have writer's block or designer's block when you have four minds," said Max.

Now they're getting paid to do something they did as kids, often in the shadows. "People have a view of what street artists look like and act like and it's wrong," said Max.

The four started doing graffiti in high school, making a name for themselves first in Louisville, then the Midwest, and are now known around the country for their body of work. "You want to produce this work and you don't know where to do it as a child, so you go out and you do bad stuff because you're a kid in high school and you mature," said Max.

Over the years their art has evolved. Now it's a business venture. With each mural they finish, they're connecting the world of underground art to the community at large. "That's how culture progresses. It goes from the underground and then becomes popular," said Max.

Now they're taking their talent inside with a studio show featuring their own original pieces. It's unknown territory for artists used to working on the extreme. "Painting big is something we've always done, but painting small is a whole new learning process," said Max.

They spent the winter working on nearly 30 original pieces that will fill Tim Faulkner Gallery, and give them a chance to reach a new audience. "This is a way to have a piece by us in your home or mini mural in your home you might say," said Ian.

The show "Never Not Working" opens April 6 at Tim Faulkner Gallery.

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