Jeff Soto

United States 1975

Street Art, Graffiti, Pop Surrealism, Illustration

Jeff Soto
Jeff Soto
United States
November 24, 2014
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

The art practice of Jeff Soto occurs in the period of almost two decades and is rounded media experimentation and establishment of artist’s authentic style. The affinity for fantastical narratives makes his work hard to categorize. Whether he is producing the paintings inside of his studio or outside on the walls, the core of the process seems to be deliberation of artist’s internal fears, hopes and humor mixed with his social and environmental respectively political attitudes. By not limiting his imagination and employing spontaneity Soto is creating distinct compositions rendered by graffiti art and traditional painting in most innovative manner.

as a seeker for magical, Soto's Carcrash print on blog depicts friends in the night
Jeff Soto is an American artist concentrated on transferring his magical visions in the variety of media from street art to digital design.

The Artistic Development of Jeff Soto

Jeff Soto was born in 1975, in Fullerton, California. Growing up in the multimember family with parents occupied with outdoor activities such are gardening, fishing and camping provided the artist with awareness about his environment and gave the perfect setting for spurring the creativity. According to that Soto’s interest in art was natural and he began to experiment with various genres and art techniques while in high school. After finished high school, in 1993 he started studying Riverside City College in a pursue of Associate Degree in Arts. Soto extended his studies by transferring to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he specialized in Illustration.

Surreal and almost magical beings are represented on Soto’s works

Stormcloudz is an apparel blog project active from 2007 based on Jeff Soto’s paintings, murals and prints.
Jeff Soto – Installation for Outside In group exhibit at Artcenter College of Design, 2015, image courtesy of the artist

Expressing His Fancy with Street Art

The artist’s distinct color palette and technique are largely connected to his affiliation with street art. Soto’s fascination with graffiti culture started at the end of 80’s when he discovered the book Street Art. Soon he started stenciling alone and even formed a crew with his friends named Criminally Insane Artists while still in high school. Soto later named himself with a moniker KILO, TREK and Sotofish. In 1991 started painting with the artist Maxx242 and together in 1995 they formed Bashers Crew. A couple of years later he decided to take a break and dedicate to other means of art but returned to graffiti roots around 2009.

Somewhere in between street art and traditional painting

Together in contact with his seeker friends the artist painted walls and realized some print
Jeff Soto – Le Chat Terrible, mural in Lyon, 2015, image courtesy of the artist

Embracing The Influences

The apparent inspiration that Soto draws from nature is related to his background but is upgraded to a higher level. Those are not just mere depictions of animals or plants, rather the figures that he paints are a product of his influences spanning from science fiction, fantasy movies and overall atmosphere of the 80’s. On the other hand, from the standpoint of art history, Soto is very much enchanted with works of Max Ernst, Amedeo Modigliani, and Andy Warhol. Although Soto’s works may seem a bit intimidating, dark and surreal, the compositions are the reflection of his immense imagination and are thriving stories from another world.

Soto’s works are exhibited in galleries and on the walls from New York, London to Paris

Soto’s seeker friend helped him with prints on the wood and they were done during night
Jeff Soto -The Cat, 2016, image via

Captivating Compositions of Jeff Soto

The year 2002 can be marked as the crucial year for further development of Soto’s growing career since he started exhibiting in gallery spaces and freelance illustrator specializing in editorial work. From that point onwards his activity can be described as fully heterogeneous so the term crossover can be attached to his work. In 2007 after the show in New York, he decided to establish a apparel project Stormcloudz, the same name as the exhibition was, in order to promote his work globally.From street art roots, Soto due to the course of time has developed the authentic personal style which grows and now is nearer to Pop Surrealism then usual graffiti aesthetics. Aside from his commercial success as an illustrator and designer of both large companies and famous bands, the artist’s huge effort, experience and particular style led him to become recognized and established on American soil, as well as internationally.

Jeff Soto lives and works in Riverside, California.


  1. (2014): An Interview with Jeff Soto, Dirty Laundry Mag, [November 30, 2016]

Featured image: Portrait of the artist in front of his work, photo credits by Prints On Wood
All images for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015NightgardensMerry Karnowsky Gallery/KP Projects, Los Angeles CASolo
2015OutsideInAlyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena CA
2015Pow Wow Taiwanmural festival, TaipeiGroup
2015Vitality and VerveLong Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach CA
2015 The Art of ToysMuseum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA
201520 years Under the Influence of JuxtapozLos angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2015Pow Wow Long Beachmural festival, Long Beach CAGroup
2015Murals in the Market mural festival, DetroitGroup
2014EgregoreGalerie Yves Laroche, Montreal, Canada
2014Paper Party 2Richard & Le Feuvre Galerie, Geneva Group
2014Greetings From New York CityUrban Nation, BerlinGroup
2014Greetings From New York CityUrban Nation, BerlinGroup
201420 years Art X MagsGiantRobot, Los Angeles
2014Through The Looking GlassRiverside Art Museum,Riverside, CAGroup
2014 Art TruancyJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY Group
2013 "Fire Within", two person show with Maxx242 Bunsen Goetz Gallery, Nuremberg, GermanySolo
2013BDX-LA: Faraway So Close, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles CAGroup
2013Pow Wow Oahu, HawaiGroup
2013Pow Wow Oahu, HawaiGroup
2013Monopol 2 Luxembourg City iGroup
2012Decay and Overgrowth, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2012RVA Street Art Festival, Richmond, VAGroup
2012Sea No Evil Riverside, CAGroup
2012Space and Form Breeze Block Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2012Green Dorothy Circus Gallery, Rome Group
2011Les Enfants Terribles Lyon, FranceGroup
2011HEY Musee de Halle Saint Pierre, Paris, FranceGroup
2011The Emmergence of the Pop Imagist Venice, ItalyGroup
2011On Every Street Samuel Owen Gallery, Greenwich, CTGroup
2011La Luz de Jesus 25 La Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles, CA Group
2011Underbelly Miami, FLGroup
2010Lifecycle, Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2010Street Smart Affirmation Arts, New York, NYGroup
2010JLG 5 Year Anniversary Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2010Fecal Face 10 Year Anniversary show Luggage Factory Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2010Zac Pac Tokyo JapanGroup
2009 "The Inland Empire" Stolenspace, London Solo
2009“Giant Robot Biennale” Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA Group
2009Chimera Curated by David Hunt SCOPE, Miami, FLGroup
2009Primary Flight South Miami Art Center and mural in Wynwood, Miami FLGroup
2009“The Whammy Show” RVCA Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2009Self Portraits Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009The Blab Show Copro Nason Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Group
200915 Years of New Image Art New Image Art, Hollywood, CAGroup
2008 "Turning in Circles" Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CASolo
2008“In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz School” Laguna Museum of Art, CAGroup
2008“Fairfax + Haight” RVCA Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2008“Robots- Evolution of a Cultural Icon” San Jose Art Museum, San Jose, CA (traveling)Group
2008“Balls Out” Grass Hut Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2008“The Sublime Landscape” Project4 Gallery, Washington DCGroup
2007 "Storm Clouds" Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, NY Solo
2007BLK/MRKT at Red Dot Miami, FLGroup
2007Generalized Anxiety Disorder Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Group
2007GREEN Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2007The Beast Within Showroom, New York, NY Group
2007Those Damn Yanks Leonard Street Gallery, LondonGroup
2007Scion Installation 4 Travelling exhibit, various citiesGroup
2007Fighting 4 Dreams 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA Group
2007BMG Artists Annual BLK/MRKT Gallery, Culver City, CAGroup
2007Elevation Limited Addiction Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2007One Up Art Prostitute Gallery, Dallas, TXGroup
2006 "Cold Ice Age" BLK/MRKT Gallery, Culver City, CASolo
2006Supernova Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY Solo
2006Natural and Unnatural: Imagining Landscapes Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJGroup
2006Electric Wasteland: Urban Art from LA Montseratt College of Art, Beverly, MAGroup
2006It's All Wood Renowned Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2006“Post-Deux” GR2, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006“Drawn to Expression” Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CAGroup
2006“The Juxtapoz Show” SOO Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2006“Typewriters” Redletter1, Tampa, FLGroup
2005Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CAGroup
2005“All Star Hustlaz” Whitewalls Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004 "Jeff Soto" BLKMRKT Gallery, Culver City, CASolo
2004Supercalligraphic” Fuse Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004Spinning Yarn Riviera gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2004Tall Stories Wignall Museum, Rancho Cucamonga, CAGroup
2004The Russian Doll Show 65 Hope Street, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2004“Pop Pluralism" Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2003Complete Domination OX-OP Gallery Minneapolis, MNSolo
2003Three for Fall La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2003The Hello Show Tree House Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Group
2003Looking Up Ghetto Gloss, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2003Subspecies Recon Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2003Sexhibition 1300 Gallery, Cleveland OHGroup
2003Feathered Friends Motel Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2003Crazy Bastard New Image Art, Hollywood, CAGroup
2003Robots have feelings too Culture Cache Gallery, San Francisco, CA (curator)
2003Assembly Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2003Tres Flores Compound Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2003Bomb Pop C-Pop Gallery, Detroit, MIGroup
2003Big Bang OX-OP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN Group
2003Electric Wonderland Forbidden Gallery, Dallas TXGroup
2003Uncommercial Art by Commercial Artists La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Hollywood, CAGroup
2003Sci-Fi/ Western 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2002The Giant Electric New Image Art, Hollywood, CAGroup
2002The Uncertainty Principle Tin Man Alley, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2002Long Drive South Los Angeles, CAGroup
2002Namenlosen Anno Domini Gallery, San Jose, CAGroup
2002Gods and Monsters Roq La Rue Gallery, Seattle WAGroup
2002Keep A Breast Art auction at Triple Five Soul Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2002Curb Feelers 1911 Gallery, Fort Wayne, INGroup
2002Superhero New Image Art, Hollywood, CAGroup
2002Four Your Eyes Only La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Hollywood, CAGroup
2002Decipher Eighth Floor Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2002New Image Art at the Stockholm Artfair, SwedenGroup
2002Uncommercial Art by Commercial Artists La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Hollywood, CAGroup
2002Bulls Eye Tin Man Alley, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2002LA's Fab Five Culture Cache, San Francisco, CAGroup
2001 "Potato Stamp Dreams" New Image Art, Los Angeles, CASolo
2001E= William Turner Gallery, Venice, CAGroup
2001No Purchase Necessary RCAA Gallery, Riverside, CAGroup
2001The Society of Illustrators New York, NYGroup
2001Students and Mentors: An Invitational Riverside CC Art Gallery, Riverside, CAGroup
2001Paintaholics New Image Art, Hollywood, CAGroup
2001Eye Candy 3 Deuces Gallery, Riverside, CAGroup
2001Uncommercial Art by Commercial Artists La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Hollywood, CAGroup
2001Illustration West 39 California State University Northridge, CAGroup