I first came across this piece in London (above – left), and I thought to myself, “HOLY **** THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.” Exciting, fresh, different, intriguing… the list goes on and on. And that is when I decided to try and find out who this artist is. Turns out he is not London based, rather he is is based in Brooklyn. I was on a mission to find out more… His name is RAE BK. Read the interview below to see what I learned (and you will too)! VERY COOL.
1. Where are you based? While I found your work in London I see that a lof of your work is in NYC… are you an NYC native? Is this your home? I’m based in Brooklyn, NY. Born and raised. I have recently been out to London and will be back soon.
2. Your style is not typical street style – then again, what does typical street style mean? Your work exudes difference through its almost Picasso meets Basquiat figures… How would you describe your style? Do you prefer to work with spray paint, wheat pastes, or a brush (and wall or canvas)? I guess my work could be considered ‘Urban Folk Art’. But in the end it’s simply about making what I like. Sometimes it involves pounding metal other times it’s pasting up paper. I tend to go off of the materials I’m presented. Found paint or objects dictate what the next piece will be like. I’m influenced by things that are made crudely and for practical use.
3. Which piece of yours is your favourite? Where was it done? Is it still around? A piece I call “Subway Skaters” might be my favorite. Maybe because it was the most tricky to get up. It’s still running in a NYC subway station.
4. Were you trained in the arts or did you feel you had something to bring to the people and this was your means of communication – or both? When I was about 6 my mom’s record player broke. Rather than throw it out she handed me a screw driver and said “go play”. I spent hours taking everything apart creating mini-sculptures and developing a love for discarded things. As far as putting art outside on the streets— It’s one part about trying to get away with it and another part about getting a reaction from people noticing it.
5. If you could collaborate with any other artist – of any form – who would it be and why?! Collaborations are tricky. It’s like trying to get two pizza makers to make one pie. One likes sweeter sauce the other salty. One likes thin crust the other doughy. The end result might taste funny. With that said, most of my art comes from unintended collaborations. Things I find made by others often get incorporated into my work.
WELL FOLKS, THERE YA HAVE IT. If you are in Brooklyn, NYC, or even London, keep those eyes open. I PROMISE you will NOT be disappointed.