Learn How This Philly-Based Graffiti Artist Became an Art Basel Favorite

By Antonia DePace | November 9, 2020 |

Seek One, also known as Rob Dugan, pictured above.

After interviewing contemporary artist Seek One (seekoneart.com), otherwise known as Rob Dugan, one would say that graffiti and skateboarding are at the heart of the 28-year-old’s portfolio. Since launching his business as an independent fine artist in 2016, the young entrepreneur’s pieces have been on view at Art Basel, as well as a multitude of big-name galleries in Philadelphia, Aspen and the Hamptons. Here, we catch up with the young artist.

What got you interested in art?

When I was younger, I would do a lot of graffiti, and eventually I got in trouble for it. That forced me to transition and keep that momentum going, but on canvas. So I was still able to express myself in an artistic way, but it was a more controlled environment. I was into photography and graffiti, and you can see this in my work today.

What’s behind the name ‘Seek One’?

[Graffiti artists] have these abstract names that don’t necessarily have a meaning behind them. It’s more the aesthetics of how you see the letters flowing together. I went through multiple tags when I was younger, just kind of experimenting with type forms and fonts, and I really just liked how the letters flowed with ‘Seek One.’ Because there’s so much urban influence in my art, I wanted to bring that name into my fine art career to tie the past in.

Give me the story behind some of your pieces.

I do a lot of pieces that are influenced by music. I really love The Beatles, and I’ve had a lot of work influenced by them. I also love hip-hop, so I did a Jay-Z piece recently. I did a Kurt Cobain piece. With these pieces, it’s not just a painting of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. I try to tie in pieces of history that relate to the subject I am painting. For instance, if I am working on a Rolling Stones piece, I will source vintage Rolling Stones articles to mix into the piece. It makes it a little more authentic.

When did you realize that this could be something big?

It was about six months into starting my Instagram and really getting into art when Quavo from the Migos messaged me. I had already made a portrait of the Migos, and Quavo saw it on Instagram and loved it. He messaged me and we had the art sent to his home in Atlanta. Getting recognition from someone like him was sort of a pivotal moment. What is your goal for 2021? To keep growing and expanding. At the end of the day, I want everyone to own a piece of my art. Especially if you’re from Philadelphia; I want it to be that you’re from Philadelphia and that to have a Seek One is really a testament to the city and the place that you live. The main goal is to expand to more markets throughout the United States. Just this year, I had partnerships with galleries in Aspen, Jupiter and Palm Beach. So the goal would be expanding into different, specific markets where my art will sell.

Photography by: Phil Kramer