©2016 by Tyler Z Key.

Aesthetic Vandalism

Artist Statement

To offer a perspective that you would normally not consider; and bring joy to the ordinarily dismal. Transforming areas that are traditionally public eye  sores,  into beautiful pieces of art. To beautify the community.  To inspire the desolate and bring life to the inanimate.
To cause people to think when they wouldn't, or provide a fresh breath of color in a dull, overlooked area.  
To cause your eyes to pause on an area that they subconsciously have been trained to avoid and ignore.


Although his mother was from Germany and his father was from Egypt, Tyler Z Key was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He began drawing at the age of 6, inspired by his older brother's captivating drawings of comic book characters.


He started his own art career by the age of 11, trading  drawings of cartoon fantasy characters  to his classmates for snack money. 


At the challenge of his High School art teacher to try his hand at realism, he discovered a knack for portraits and took advantage of his new skill by creating custom, commissioned graphite and  charcoal portraits. 


Next, Key  attended  the University of Alabama and pursued a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. While completing his final semester in the Business School, he was presented with an option to stay at UA and attend the College of Arts and Sciences for the opportunity to graduate with an additional degree in Art.

Although the Art School was the polar opposite of the Business School, Key seized this chance to hone his creative artistic skills, and create a unique symbiotic relationship with his logical, analytical skills that the business school had taught him.  


It was here that Key digressed from the black and white world of charcoal and found  his passion in painting. He began to expand his medium into Oils, Acrylics, Inks and Digital Media.


After graduating a second time with an Arts and Sciences with a focus on Painting, he decided to move to Nashville, and started performing Live Figure Paintings for local and major musicians, as well as creating digital illustrations for album art, logos, show posters, and apparel.


Upon returning from a trip to the West Coast, Key became  inspired by  meaningful street art, specifically appreciating the aspect  that  anyone who  happens to see the street art can enjoy the piece and be moved, not just the patron who buys it. 


Deciding to expand his medium again, he has spent the last two years creating art using spray-paint. His  murals can be found all over the city; from the Rock Block in West Nashville to staple venues in East Nashville. His art has even been featured on the  National Network Television show "Nashville."  Currently, he is working on several projects locally, including a nationally touring Art Bus; The Greatfull For Cereal Bus  


When Tyler isn't working on commissions or he spends his spare time working in art therapy with adults that have developmental and intellectual disabilities.

With a passion for finding beauty in the overlooked, and a vehemence to  improve the  community, Key's longterm vision is realizing  a  massive project he conceptualized called "Aesthetic Vandalism." 


Key's work ultimately portrays both sides of the brain: creative expression and analytic logic,  depicted by a combination of realism and surrealism alongside psychedelic, free-form, abstract color bursts