Rob Larsen

Hi, I'm Rob Larsen. I'm a graffiti artist, professional author, speaker and web technologist from Boston.

Here are five quick facts that might give a sense of who I am:

  1. I've been doing graffiti and graffiti style art since 1984. My art is in collections all around the country and is regularly shown alongside some of the biggest names in graffiti and street art.
  2. I'm an expert front end engineer with a resume that stretches back to the 1990s. I've built over 100 web sites and am experienced making complicated, cutting edge web applications. I'm also an experienced team lead and have built large, global engineering teams from the ground up.
  3. I'm a published writer with three books and freelance credits as diverse as IBM developerWorks, The Weekly Dig, the Boston Metro and Rare Book Review. I've interviewed people like Bernie Wrightson, Jackie Chan, Tony Hawk, Donnie Yen and Darren Aronofsky.
  4. I'm an expert on collectible comic books, with a strong focus on the rarest, most valuable books in the hobby.
  5. I'm available for quotes, articles, teaching and speaking on any of these subjects. If you're looking for someone to talk to or write about any of this stuff, I'm your man.

Art

My life changed in a fundamental way in 1984 when I was fortunate enough to see the Style Wars documentary on PBS. Before the show was even over I was messing around with with letters and I haven't stopped since. The approach shifts and the focus changes but to this day I'm still trying to capture, on walls, canvas and paper the same incredible energy that played out across the subways of New York all those years ago.

I've shown my art regularly over the past decade. I've been fortunate to have my art hang alongside artists like Seen, Cope2, Blade, T-Kid, Rickey Powell, Sever, Tracy 168, Ces, Med, Sever, Kem5, Alert, Vault, Alone, Percy Fortini Wright, Sly and Rath. All you can do when you've got folks like that hanging next to you is hope you don't embarrass yourself.

Here's a full list of shows I've taken part in:

  • Medicine Wheel Vigil for Day Without Art/World Aids Day at Cyclorama 2016
  • On the Line- 2016.2.3 to 2016.4.16 at Spoke Gallery
  • 27th Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery 2016
  • Menino Arts Center, Studio Artists of the MAC, Hyde Park, MA 2015
  • ARTCRANK BOSTON October 18,2014
  • ARTCRANK BOSTON July 13, 2013
  • Mural Fest at Bartlett Yard May 18,2013
  • 24th Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery
  • 23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery
  • Brattle Art House 2011
  • Jamaica Plain Artists Association Annual Group Show August, 4 2011
  • The Hyde presents Typographic Paintings by Rob Larsen September 1, 2011-September 30, 2011.
  • Jamaica Plain Artists Association Exhibit in the State House May 5-July 8th, 2011. My art featured in the very nice coverage of the opening.
  • 22nd Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery April 4-May 15th, 2011. My art was featured in the coverage of the show on Boston.com
  • Art House: A Silent Art Auction to Benefit the Brattle Film Foundation
  • 21st Annual Juried Art Exhibit at the Scollay Square Gallery and the Mayor's Gallery
  • "Paint It Now" March 19 - April 29, 2010
  • FutureArts 2009 @ The Roxy
  • ComNGraf 2 September 27, 2008
  • Future Classic Gallery Sale 2 / June 4, 2008
  • Legends of Style Boston / April 26th, 2008 @ The Boston Center For The Arts
  • FutureArts 2008 April 18 and 19, 2008 @ The Boston Center For The Arts
  • Hit the Deck- Winter Music Conference, 2008.3.28 @ The Catalina Hotel in Miami, FL
  • Hit the Deck- SXSW, 2008.3.13 @ Light Bar in Austin, TX
  • Boston Urban Art Festival Saturday, December 8, 2007
  • Hit the Deck Custom Skateboards November 15, 2007
  • Sneak(er) Peek II
  • Legends of Style Boston 2007: Surreal City
  • Urban Art Experiments Volume 2 (Detroit)
  • Rekloos Rocks your Toy Box (kid robot) show
  • Legends of Style Fall 2006: Future Shock
  • Legends of Style Spring 2006: ICONS
  • Legends of Style Fall 2005
  • Legends of Style Spring 2005
  • Future Classic September 2003

Technology

Here's my professional bio:

Rob is an experienced front end engineer, team lead and manager. Since 1999 (that's Web 1.0, if you're keeping track) been building web sites and applications for some of the world's biggest brands.

Rob is an active writer and speaker on web technology with a special focus on emerging standards like HTML5, CSS3 and the ongoing evolution of the JavaScript programming language. He is co-author of Professional jQuery, the author of Beginning HTML and CSS and the author of The Uncertain Web, from O'Reilly. He's also active in the open source community.

In his career Rob has spent time at Sapient Global Markets, Isobar, The Brand Experience, Cramer and as an independent consultant. Over the course of his career Rob has solved unique problems for clients like Samsung, Motorola, Philips, Gillette, Boston’s Museum of Science, and Harvard Kennedy School.

Here's a list of technical articles I've written

I regularly present on technical subjects. Here's the full list of presentations I've done over the past few years.

  • Wild World Web: Web Development in a World of Ever-Changing Browsers, Platforms & Compatibilities November 11, 2014
  • "Data Visualization in the Browser" jQuery Conference, San Diego February 13, 2014
  • "Fun with the Angular Basics" Lightning Talks & Demos Boston Angular.js Meetup September 4, 2013
  • "Data Visualization in the Browser" Boston Front End Developers May 18, 2013
  • "Data Visualization in the Browser" HTML5 Developer Conference Spring 2013, San Francisco, April 1st-3rd 2013
  • "jQuery: Two New Features That Really Matter" Boston Front End Developers April 25, 2012
  • Redefining Perspectives, New Delhi, India April 4, 2012
  • "HTML5 From the Front Lines: What to Embrace Today (and What to Avoid)" HTML5 Live, New York, November 1, 2011
  • Enterprise 2.0 Conference June 23, 2011
  • "Boston PHP: Learn CSS" October 13, 2010 Bocoup
  • "Learn CSS" Design Camp Boston November 6, 2010 Microsoft NERD
  • "Front End Performance for the Common Man: Practical Strategies to Speed Up Your Site" May 19, 2010 Bocoup
  • "JavaScript 101: Using JavaScript to Add Interactivity to Your Web Site" Boston JavaScript Meetup Microsoft NERD
  • "The Future is Now: Theming Wordpress with HMTL5" WordCamp Boston Microsoft NERD
  • "JavaScript Library Comparisons" Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University
  • "JavaScript Library Comparisons" Boston JavaScript Meetup Microsoft NERD
  • Appeared on the panel MITX panel "Building Social Applications & Widgets for Top Platforms" with Matthew Adkisson, (CEO, FreeCause.com); Norris Boyd (Engineering Manager, Google); C.C. Chapman (Partner, The Advance Guard); and Ann Glenn (Senior Web Producer, Sony Pictures Imageworks Interactive.) Moderated by Chris Brogan.

Other Writing

I wrote about cinema for several years for Boston's Weekly Dig (where I also served as Film Editor), Shovel Magazine and The Boston Metro. My movies archive contains my (almost) complete film writing archive. I was fortunate to interview some very cool people, including Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, and Darren Aronofsky

When I was younger I also co-wrote and co-produced a play called Black Cats and White Lies that played at the C. Walsh Theater at Suffolk University.

I also wrote a cover article about collectible comics for Rare Book Review.

Teaching

  • In 2011-12 I taught a class at Boston Center for Adult Education on Graffiti/Street Art.
  • In April, 2010 I did a presentation for grades 5-8 at Sacred Heart Academy in Hyde Park, Ma
  • In March, 2010 I taught a class on graffiti lettering at the Phoenix Academy in Chelsea, MA.
  • In 2009 I taught a class on graffiti/street art at the Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park with the Citizens Schools program
  • I taught a one day class on graffiti at Northeastern University's Stetson West dormitory

Comics

I worked as an inker in the traditional collaborative process for several years. My credits in that regard include:

  • Cadre #3 from Nifty Comics: inks on an 18 page story
  • Across the Pond Presents #2 from Across the Pond Comics: inks on a 7 page story
  • Shakti Warriors #3: inks on an 8 page story
  • Shakti Warriors #2: inks on an 8 page story
  • Futurius: Tales from the Plex inks on a 10 page story
  • Commercial Suicide vol. 3 inks on 2 pages of a 6 page story

I also write about collectible comics at my blog It's All Just Comics, which includes the $100,000 Club, a list of the world's most valuable comics, and a running tally of comic book sales greater than $100,000.