Never Say Die
It all started in a small Staten Island, NY apartment in late 2000. Chris knew that Kevin was into web/graphic design and started to pick his brain about launching a website. It was to feature the work of Chris, as well as a few artists he collaborated with. The name was already chosen, Robots Will Kill. He had come up with it while in the midst of an art fellowship in Vermont the year before. Over the course of the seemingly charged conversations that followed, it became apparent to Chris that this could be something greater than a single Artist’s portfolio. He realized that there was opportunity to be found in the abundance of incredible artwork being overlooked by the mainstream world. The rebellious spirit of Graffiti and Street Art having been such tremendous inspiration for all involved- Chris summed up this move toward inclusion in no uncertain terms: “you wouldn’t give us a space so we built one”.
In March of 2001 Robots Will Kill went live. It was stocked with images from artists that Chris knew personally and also with a collection of Graffiti and Street Art pictures that he had been collecting for years. The site began small and slowly worked to a boil, the audience was growing with every new feature and content update. Emails from artists all over the world started to come in. They wanted in. Messages filled with graffiti pictures, hundreds of pictures, each week started to pour in! With the addition of the Graffiti/Street Art Self Upload feature, visitors were able to upload their own pictures, with complete anonymity, and the site exploded! The rising visitor ship, coupled with the free time that the Self-Upload provided, prompted RWK to design/sell more clothing and stickers that would help promote itself, with the added advantage of bringing in some money for printing and advertising.
Fast forward, and the next few years brought about some roster changes. Veng (USA) originally got involved with Robots Will Kill through painting walls around the New York area. His unique style and wide array of artistic influences have definitely made an impact on RWK as a collective. JesseR (Belgium) was one of the earliest contributors to RWK, and has remained one of the biggest supporters and artistic allies. Jesse’s combination of styles, illustrative and gritty subject matter and his range of media have made him a perfect fit and major influence on the other members. Peeta’s (Italy) foundation in graffiti helps keep RWK in touch with its roots, while his innovative 3D lettering style has elevated the medium to new heights. Flying Fortress (Germany) has used his smooth illustrative lettering and characters to build a cohesive collection of imagery that is unmistakably his in both subject and style. ECB (Germany) mixes lettering and incredible portraiture work to present expressive, technically superb pieces pulling the viewer in to a distorted reality. Kevin’s work, combining street-art stencilling and “free” painting techniques, has evolved over the years into symbol-rich portraiture with content inspired by such varied disciplines as Psychology, Theology/Mythology, Physics and Geometry. Chris has used his cartoon-like style and vocabulary of images to create canvases, wall murals, clothing and stickers that have been sent to 6 out of the 7 continents, gaining attention for RWK from collectors and visitors around the world.
As 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of Robots Will Kill, each of its members are proud of what we’ve accomplished, and more so- filled with hope for what’s still to come.
Chris RWK “Underdog”
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