Born in 1960, Garrol Gayden was raised in Brooklyn’s historic Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood with his sister and two brothers. Gayden is a highly prolific artist, making densely saturated drawings based on New York City’s seaside amusement park, Coney Island. He first began drawing when he was five years old while watching an episode of Sesame Street. Fixated by the television, he picked up a notepad and pencil and outlined Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo and other favorite characters. Layering over the figures, he wrote down the letters and words he saw on the screen. (For his family, this was the first realization that Gayden could read or write.) From that day forward, he continued to draw, filling notebook after notebook. The use of text interwoven with figurative drawing remains his signature technique to this day.
Celebrated by art enthusiasts and collectors worldwide, Gayden’s drawings are included in many private collections. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art’s Cullman Education Building, numerous Outsider Art Fairs in New York City and in Paris, The Gallery at the Ace Hotel New York, Brooklyn’s Coney Island Museum, the MADmusée in Belgium and the Christian Berst Art Brut Gallery in New York City. His work has also been featured in Time Out New York and Brut Force.