“Graffiti comes from the soul and is a way for an artist to give a piece of themselves to the community.”
Troy Duff is a graffiti and fine artist based out of East Nashville, Tennessee.
His passion lies in public art and a spontaneous creative process. Through graffiti, he pays tribute to the lost art of penmanship. It is how he became the creator of his own font.
When Troy was a kid, he was constantly doodling, drawing and painting. In his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, he was introduced to skateboarding, street art, and BMX racing. He and a tightly knit crew started the local graffiti scene by spray-painting every surface in sight.
As a fan of photorealism, painting and typography, Troy discovered that graffiti perfectly combines all three. His enthusiasm grew as he learned about subway and spray can art. Over the years, he crafted a clean, legible lettering style and honed his scaling, 3-D and blending techniques.
After high school, Troy followed his passion west to Los Angeles, California. It was where the art form had originally became popular, and he quickly launched a career airbrushing surfboards and designer clothing. The entrepreneur founded his own brand, Duff Couture, sold in regional boutiques as well as overseas. In between acting and modeling, Troy returned home to study at Nossi College of Art. His commercial art and graphic design degree began a trajectory of straddling the gallery and graffiti worlds. One day he would rock out a drippy tag on the Venice Beach boardwalk and the next he would showcase at Miami’s Art Basel.
In 2006, he returned to Nashville to focus on fine art, but found that Music City craved his grittier styles. Troy began receiving calls from corporations requesting live graffiti demos. The raw, street art canvases he created appealed to Calvin Klein, Converse and the Dish Network. The events made graffiti more approachable and Troy relished employing his background in performance art.
Troy wants graffiti to be a means of connecting with the community. He wants his art to be accessible and assembled like a puzzle. It is a challenge both for himself and the viewer, and when he creates it, it is the moment when he feels most alive.