WK Interact in “360”, A Survey of Conflict in Degrees

“If his work on the street is an indication, it has been a constant state of war. Look at these images and themes that reappear in WK’s work since he first came to New York; Ever-present fear, violence, anxiety, overheated sex-play, fishnets & firearms, contorted figures racing, martial arts kicks to the head, hand-to-hand combat, boxers swinging, prisoners tied and bound, hooded figures snapping heads of bound businessmen, terrifying escapes in progress, maniacal twined and twisted forms and faces, propaganda, undercover spies, official seals, gun assembly diagrams, digitized labels, ID fingerprints, cameras, surveillance, camouflage, radioactive symbols, streaming codes and bureaucratic text passages, black military choppers hovering overhead, contorted soldiers screaming “bring me back”, a permanent state of survivalism…” – to quote ourselves from our 2 part series on WK Interact a few years ago.

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now in 2013 Jonathan Levine Gallery plays host to a survey of the Street Artist that blew our minds when we traipsed through Soho in the 1980s and 90s, when Manhattan was still cool and had the authentic atmosphere of a vibrant arts “scene”.  As we look at the new display that spans his career from street to gallery so far, the cultural explosions of that time and their dancing reflection as captured by WK in his large scale street installations of black and white, we realize it was an accurate depiction, and a prophetic one.

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As a result, a brand new visitor will be just as taken by this collection as one twenty years ago. Given the increasingly militarized aspects of the modern day, what might have seemed like a paranoid future vision by WK now looks like contemporary society. What keeps all of it immediate and alive is how WK infuses the most static piece with the movement, the speed, the rush of the street.

“My work is very black, it’s very bold, it’s very graphic, it’s very strong.  There is nothing really friendly like a little bird flying around or a pink piglet… it’s totally not that.  But I live in New York City and I am responding to that kind of contrast.” ~ WK on BSA

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)

WK Interact “360 A 25 Year Survey” is currently on view at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery Pop-Up at 557 W 23 Street, NYC. Click here for more details.

Click here to read our interview with WK “The 25 Year War: WK Interact in New York. Part I

Click here to read our interview with WK “The 25 Year War: WK Interact in New York. Part II

 

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