As one of Memphis’ pioneer graffiti artists, Marshall’s work is primal and practical. Under the alias “Nosey,” he spread his moniker throughout Memphis in the form of stylized, spraypainted text you might see underneath bridges and on the side of railroad cars.
Back in the mid-2000s, it was tough to find a corner without his stamp on it somewhere. For Marshall, a canvas was earned through backwoods shortcuts and long treks through ditches.
Or that’s how it used to be, anyways. Nosey stepped out of the shadows in 2010 when Marshall Applied for the Memphis’ UrbanArt Commission community mural program. It wasn’t from Marshall’s first public art piece, but by far the most visible. This project would eventually end in the now iconic “I Love Memphis” mural at the corner of Central Avenue and Cooper Street. Through Marshall’s work alongside other artists like Michael Roy and Jamond Bullock, murals that were once viewed as blight have become a source of civic pride. “I had worked on a piece that large before, but never with permission,” he says.
There’s no greater message or profound social commentary here. Marshall’s work deals in free expression and legitimizing an art form that requires no membership fees or traditional gallery trappings to appreciate.
And while he’s still Nosey, Marshall’s body of work has grown and style has developed over the years, from the abstract expressionist style on the side of Pavo Salon in Midtown Memphis to his vibrant, colorful HIV awareness mural at the 1600 Block of Bellevue.
“It’s kind of crippling because my attention gets pulled in so many ways: I like text, I like the cartoon look, I like the sharper graphic design style,” he says.
In a word: Versatile
Wherever he goes, Brandon Marshall just can’t seem toescape paint. It latches to his clothes in streaks and clings to the soles of his shoes. The stuff has even creeped onto the back end of his pickup truck.