Son of a painter and grandson of a jazz singer, popular culture isn’t just nostalgia for Lance Pilgrim. It’s family history.

Growing up, this Queens born artist was heavily influenced by New York’s pop cultural past, and dove into the vinyl and VHS tapes that surrounded him. From martial arts to blaxploitation, classic jazz to funk and soul, and from arthouse to grindhouse–he grew up in a library of deep-cuts, curated over decades by his culturally immersed family.

Always an eager student, his first public showing was an opportunity to dive further in. As part of “Behind the Green Door,” he was the youngest amongst a well-established West Village collective of artists. He used this as yet another an opportunity to absorb the knowledge of the OGs.

Pilgrim went on to further honor the past when he co-created and hosted the nostalgic experiences, Hot Peas & Butta and Bullies & Brothels event series, which revived the cinematic aesthetic and sound of blaxploitation, martial arts, and 70s B-Movies. The international acclaim of these events allotted Pilgrim the opportunity to showcase his own work and curate exhibitions in The Netherlands.

In 2014, Pilgrim co-founded Passion & Poison Studio, a branding and creative agency in New York City.

Since then he’s focused on furthering the cultural conversation, with collaborations with fellow artist and author Dave Cicirelli on several guerrilla art happenings—including the “Fake Banksy Sells Out” piece, a widely covered response to Banksy’s famous central park art sale.

His latest work explores the relationship between nostalgia and identity by both celebrating and questioning the value of mass-produced experience.