Erik DeBat lives and works in Chicago, where his studio practice concentrates on contemporary art and site-specific mural commissions. Composing work of objects and images, his visual ideas are formed with the use of color, symmetry, and empathic energy of the life around him. DeBat remixes new translations on popular culture, and applies the use of abstract painting and a deconstruction in his art making process.

A respected contributor to the 1980s cultural movement of b-boy and graffiti art in Chicago, Erik was influenced by the subway train painting movement of New York City and the art & music scene of the Lower East Side. DeBat’s graffiti murals could be found across the streets, rooftops and tunnels of Chicago’s transit system.

Erik’s early studio graffiti work of the mid 80s transitioned him into private art collections and interior design houses of Chicago. In 1989, as one of Keith’s Kids he worked with Keith Haring assisting the artist on a mural project in conjunction with The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Soon thereafter, DeBat began to exhibit his work in galleries and art exhibitions.

While studying art and design at The School of The Art Institute in Chicago, Erik created and manufactured two international street-wear lines sold exclusively in Japan. In 1992, DeBat participated in “The Degenerates”, an exhibition merging outsider artists and skateboard culture. This exhibition in part helped forge the American street movement, combining the emerging artists from the skateboarding, graffiti, and fashion worlds. 

DeBat’s career as professional artist and designer spans over 30 years. He has exhibited work at Lollapalooza, The Chicago Cultural Center, Maison des Metallos, Paris, France, The Swope Museum and Indiana University Northwest’s Savannah Gallery. His Chicago studio continues to consult for production companies, restaurants, advertising agencies, and design firms on interior & graphic design, typography, marketing and product branding strategies.