Contemporary American Painter, Muralist, and Designer
Xavi Panneton, born 1977, is an artist with an evolving aesthetic where abstract, graffiti, and visionary art meets modern design. He approaches his craft with a unique perspective made possible by his history of creating works across many genres. He is presently utilizing experimental processes that embrace both technology and mixed media to advance abstract expressionism for the 21st century.
First immersed in the Washington DC graffiti and skateboarding scene of the early 90s, Xavi moved to California at the age of 19 to become an in-house fashion designer and graffiti artist for JNCO Jeans. He is among the originators of the West Coast world of Visionary Art. At this time, his work is focused primarily on abstract modernism and architectural murals.
With his passion for artistic expression in many forms, including fashion and sculpture, Xavi’s work can best be described as colorful, graphic, and emotional. His mesmerizing patterns and alternating use of hard and soft lines generate a sense of vibration and have been known to evoke meditative states. Through masterfully-executed compositions of novel shapes, patterns, and symmetries, Xavi aims to connect with viewers in a world of simple beauty, light, and harmony.
Xavi takes his inspiration from many sources and is particularly drawn to the biomorphic aesthetic: “Nature is the source and teacher of all design and is what I turn to for inspiration and guidance.” Ancestral influences of indigenous cultures are also pervasive in his work, and his artistic visions are fueled by music and dance as well as glimpses into the world of spirit. Using formal design techniques, he creates a dynamic tension by incorporating the old and the new, the seen and the unseen, building a unique visual language straddling cultures and epochs. While committed to the timeless tenets of design theory, Xavi also brings a certain playfulness to his practice, and while his work remains sophisticated, there also exists a refreshing accessibility to everything he produces.
Xavi is best known for his immersive architectural murals, which he has created in an impressive range of settings, from high-end hotels and corporate campuses to schools in underprivileged neighborhoods to culturally-relevant nightclubs, music festivals, and retail shops. He is in demand internationally, having created installations in Portugal, Australia, the UK, Costa Rica, Canada, and Ecuador. He was commissioned by the Quito Museum of Contemporary Art to create a mural for the “Arte en la Calle Festival” in Quito, Ecuador. He has created collaborative stage designs and large scale installations for for the Boom Festival in Portugal, Lightning in a Bottle Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Rainbow Serpent Festival and Symbiosis, to name a few. His sculptural installations, paintings, and immersive art experiences have appeared in many major cities for clients such as Google, EA Sports, Patagonia, Insomniac and Do Lab.
Xavi has a passion for creating art that positively impacts communities. He sees his work in underserved neighborhoods as a form of art therapy and social activism. As an example, he spent eleven months from 2019 to 2020 transforming the educational complex of Kids Unlimited, a charter school in Medford, Oregon, that is dedicated to creating accessible opportunities to empower all children regardless of their backgrounds and economic limitations. The exterior of each school building, painted using the hard-edge technique, in the superflat style, contains bright intersecting patterns reminiscent of clouds, plants, and flowers. A 3,200 square foot mural on the main building is constructed of large curving forms designed to emphasize scale and invite viewers into a grand experience of modern architecture that is otherwise not available in that city. The immersive environment is designed to feel comforting and uplifting, universal and timeless. The CEO of Kids Unlimited, Tom Cole, writes: “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate and enjoy the murals that Xavi designed that brighten our campus. It’s truly helped to create prominence for our work with children who deserve the best. Xavi’s contributions are meaningful every day to our entire KU community of children, parents and staff.”
As an internationally-recognized artist, Xavi has left a transformational mark on every community into which he has been welcomed.