BOOK SIGNING and ARTIST TALK with Q&A
W.K. Interact will be in attendance for this special speaking engagement with an exclusive presentation about his new exhibition of work. WK will be available for Q&A and will also sign copies of his newly released book, published by DRAGO.
The publishing house and trend bureau known as Drago is a portal into the international mindset that is fueled by the ideas and values of the current generation. The worldwide creative evolution that Drago has sparked is based on the thoughts and actions of these avant-garde thinkers. It acts as the gatekeeper of a new youth movement that Drago has coined, “S.I.C: System of Independent Culture” in contrast to the “System of Official Culture.” As a cultural symposium, Drago creates and presents forums for exchange by remixing pop culture and undiscovered trends. It is from these creative platforms the that the lifestyle revolution that began on the street and over the internet will continue to expand and evolve. Drago represents the mainstream of minorities, where under is over and over is under.
Drago’s current project is the 36 Chambers Series. Within the next three years Drago is to produce thirty-six books that are dedicated to the work of thirty-six artists. The title of the project is inspired by the martial arts classic Enter the 36 Chambers of Shaolin. Like the 36 Chambers of Shaolin’s monastery, each of the thirty-six books represents a room for each artist to exhibit his or her artistic strength. The artists are confined to the use of only black, white, and a single color of their choice, yet this limited palette also serves as tool for creative liberation. The images that result are a pure impression, a powerful image without distraction, that mixes tradition and innovation.
The first twelve books have already been published and together they are known as the Bronze Series, including artists like Ivory Serra, Mike Giant, Pax Paloscia, and TV Boy. The thirteenth book 2.5 New York Street Life is the first of the Silver Series and is dedicated to the work of WK Interact. Other artists from the second collection include Logan Hicks and Nick Walker and an upcoming edition for the New York and Paris based artists JonOne and his wife and photographer Mai Lucas.
Drago is working in association with the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York who will inaugurate an exhibition of WK Interact in June 2009. Jonathan LeVine opened his gallery in Chelsea in 2005 after four years of operating as the Tin Man Alley Gallery in Philadelphia and New Hope, Pennsylvania. Jonathan LeVine acts as proprietor and curator of the gallery and focuses on a genre of work that is influenced by illustration, graffiti art, and pop culture images and exhibits a variety of celebrated, controversial, and unknown artists.
WK Interact is a French born artist who now lives and works in New York City. He made his first trip to the United States when he was eighteen and was instantly struck with an affinity for New York. Within only a few short years WK made the decision to leave his Provencal village and return to the City at the age of twenty-one. From there he began to grace New York’s urban landscape with his ferociously innovative, hand-painted, black and white figures.
WK’s creation of the figure in motion serves as a synonym to the haste and frenzied pace of the New Yorker lifestyle. His images are as forceful and energetic as a tornado and just like a force majeure these figures leave a lasting impression on anyone who have happened across their paths. The subjects are vigorous and unyielding in their action, yet despite their powerful motion and strength of presence there remains something eerie, an ephemeral quality, that is almost ghost-like.
WK demonstrates the ability to capture the most pertinent moment of the figures’ gesture and it is that specific aptitude which translates for the viewer what logically is a transient moment into an interminable memory.
The “canvas” for each image is carefully chosen with the intention to optimize the synergy between the location, the artwork, and the passersby. Each figure is life size or larger, not only to interact with its viewers, but to engage the given location, generate a response, and make an impact. These flash moments in time are from the perspective of someone who sees life from 360 degrees at all time and now WK has given New Yorkers the opportunity to see more, from more angles, even if we can’t slow down.
WK’s figures have their own stories to tell, but nuances of the narratives are added, subtracted, and transformed by the tales told by the streets and walls on which they now live. Each space has been molded by those who have walked down those streets and touched those walls. Each location contributes another level of vitality to the subject and just as the space’s history redefines the image, the image in turn redefines the space.
WK Interact has shown extensively in galleries and his work can be seen on the streets of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. While he has received great public renown and worked with some of today’s greatest street artists, he continues to place public pieces that are socially provoking and visually magnificent.
Jonathan LeVine Gallery
529 West 20th street, 9th fl