Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Show Opening: WK Interact – “WK 360 A 25 Year Survey” @ Jonathan Levine Gallery Pop-up NYC, March 8 2013

Show card

“In a fine art universe where the sum of pictures all comes down to a kind of nature morte, WK is about the life still unfolding rather than the still life. Considered in relation to his studio work, where violence, sexuality, fetish, terror and the devolutionary descent of dehumanization lurk in passages of brutal irony that edge towards sarcasm, the benevolence so evident in WK’s public art must be viewed as coming from a position where creativity constitutes a kind of critique. WK’s romance with the city is not the abiding comfort of an old lover but the frisson of new flirtation constructed of a constantly rejuvenating sense of discovery.” — Carlo McCormick

Show card inside
Last Friday New York‘s long time French representative, artist WK Interact, opened his latest show in conjunction with Jonathan Levine Gallery at a pop-up location on 557 West 23rd street. Simply titled WK 360 the show acts as a mid-career survey of WK's work, celebrating the last 25 years of the artist's dynamic career.  Included in the show are a series of works on cardboard, paper and panels, canvases, large multi-paneled collages, wheat pasted doors, skate boards, classic WK espionage gear and even pillows that are all rendered in WK's signature stark palette. Memorabilia and photographs are also on display and serve to document his early years and evolution as a street artist.

WK Installation outside the pop-up location

Often with artists who are associated with the street art movement gallery shows can lose something in the move to a clean and crisp gallery environment, I’m happy to say that while WK’s work is so successful because of the way it is presented on the streets and interacts with the urban environment, it is equally captivating and full of motion in this setting. This is in part because  the collection is quite impressive when housed in one large location and has been put together with much love and attention to detail.  As a long-time fan of WK’s work the show satisfied my senses beyond any expectations, and expectations were indeed high. 

NY fans wait in line, in the snow,  to be able to get a limited edition signed print.

Always the first-class person that he is WK gifted the first 100 attendees with one of three limited and signed edition screen prints and was more than happy to discuss his work with anyone who approached him or asked to take a photo.

Make sure to make it over to get a look at the work first-hand if you are in NY anytime from now till March 30th when the show closes. WK himself is often at the location snapping photos of  people enjoying the show just as enthusiastically as those shooting his work, who knows maybe you might get lucky and be immortalized in one of the artist’s wheat pastes in the future!

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