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Matt Grote's Street Art at 464 Gallery

"Ogre, Canogre." Both pieces pictured by Matt Grote, whose exhibit at 464 Gallery opens Friday, August 26.
"Marker Close."

Ogre Hungry!

As traditional ideas of high and low art have been redefined, art forms such as crafting (including such extensions of craft as yarn bombing), video art, digital art, street art, and graffiti have made their way into national and local galleries. Instead of diminishing classical standards for art, the emergence of these art forms has created a wider acceptance for new media and methods of expression. Marcus Wise, the owner of 464 Gallery on Amherst Street, welcomes this wave of new art styles. “Street art has the power to bring art to a broader audience,” he says. “It is a gateway for the public to get involved in the artistic process by proving that art is and can be accessible and dynamic.”

One local artist working with an energetic street art style is Matt Grote. Grote studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati and now lives and works in Buffalo as a toy designer. Underground street cultures, graffiti, and artists such as Blu, Os Gemeos, Roa, and Retna have inspired him. “Art that speaks to me the most acknowledges tradition and history, but ultimately follows in no ones footsteps” Grote says.

Grote’s alter ego, Ogre, has a biography that reads like the Hulk’s stammer: “Ogre born, grow big and get bored…Ogre trade paper for money to eat and rent real nice cave in town of nikel. Ogre come out his new cave for first time to show his junk.”

Grote makes use of Ogre as a way to create a character that has the potential to grow larger than life and as a way to remove himself from the bigger picture, similar to the way street artists use tag names to create public personae. What Ogre lacks in eloquence he makes up for with an in-your-face personality that comes through in bold and bright street art that speaks for itself.

Paintings, drawings, and a new outdoor mural at the gallery will be featured in Ogre’s solo exhibition at 464 Gallery, titled Ogre Hungry! Each of Ogre’s artworks has a recognizable style made up of purposefully drafted outlines, adventurous streaks of spray painted color, and cheeky phrases such as “Ogre smash rules.”

464 Gallery has made its mission to provide a unique space for local and emerging artists, musicians, and authors. “It is 464 Gallery’s goal to continue making art accessible and approachable not only to the public but to new artists as well,” Wise says. “Exhibits such as Ogre Hungry! are vibrant proof of that.”

Ogre Hungry! will be on view at 464 Gallery (464 Amherst Street) through September 8. The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, August 26, 6-11pm. Complimentary refreshments will be served and music will be provided by DJ Projex. Follow Ogre at and stay updated on doings at 464 Gallery at

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