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Days before he was to mount a solo exhibition at Galerie Addict in Paris, France, legendary Puerto Rican graffiti artist John “Crash” Matos, spoke to GlobalGrind at the launch of his TUMI TAG collection, a limited edition travel line he designed. Since the 1980s, CRASH has become known for adding 3D, comic characters, bubbles and controlled drips to his paintings. He has successfully transitioned graffiti from the streets, to canvas and art galleries around the world.

Crash’s collection includes suitcases, carry-ons, and an iPhone case, each showing a different portion of one of Crash’s original works of art. These hardside travel cases function as pieces of a colorful puzzle which, together, reveal a gorgeous vista.

Only 1,000 pieces of each style were produced for the collection, each with an original, numbered drawing by Crash tucked inside its interior.

The event was held last night at Industria, the renowned photo studio in New York’s Greenwich Village.

“It took about 9 months,” Crash told GlobalGrind, “They contacted me last April or May and I did the painting in June. I had it photographed in October and by November I saw the prelims.”

The art for the collection was inspired by the Bronx artists time in New York City.

“I wanted to stay close to graff,” Crash explained, “rather than do a painting for painting sakes. I put elements of subways, of tags. I even did the Tumi name in a very abstract, throw up style. There are little elements from traditional painting and art, like brush strokes.”

The TUMI TAG collection has an iPhone cover which retails for $45, as well as two International Carry-On suitcases (either a 2-wheeled or a 4-wheeled model) for $445 each. There’s the Medium Trip Packing Case, which measures 28″ x 17.5″ x 11.5″ and goes for $545 and the Extended Trip Packing Case, a large number for longer voyages that’s priced at $595.

See images of the collection and who else attended the launch after the jump. Above: Crash photographed by Boudicon.

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CRASH’s TUMI TAG.

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A CRASH TAG masterpiece.

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Don Julio was the tequila of choice for the night.

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Designer Anna Sui was there, chillin’ like a villain.

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A live drummer bangs on CRASH’s TUMI TAG Line.