Luggage Tags

Graffiti artist John Matos, aka Crash, tries out a new medium: Tumi luggage.


Graffiti artist John Matos, aka Crash, was 13 and living in the South Bronx when he stole a can of spray paint and tagged his first subway car. Eventually he made the switch from public property to canvas, creating work that has been exhibited around the world, including in the upcoming “Art in the Streets” show at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Now, at 49, he’s trying out a new medium: luggage. “It’s all things that relate to me,” Matos says of the original motifs he created for Tumi’s spring collection. “There’s a subway train; the word ‘Tumi’ in a bubbly, old-school style; and a woman’s eye, like she’s watching you.” Though the artist is plenty busy these days (he also has a project with Vespa in the works), he does reminisce sometimes about his vandalizing youth. “But I’m too old for that now,” he says with a laugh. “I can’t even run down the block anymore” (; luggage $445 to $595, iPhone case, $45).