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K-Guy Interview

Malcom MacClaren once said

“It’s better to be a flamboyant failure than any kind of benign success”

I like that. (k-guy)

We asked K-Guy if he’d share a bit of his world with us. So he did.

Q) Could you describe why London is such a good place/environment for artists?

A) For me it’s an honour and a privilege to live in London, it’s a huge melting pot, diverse and beautiful, it’s got a bit of everything – how could you not get inspiration from that.

Q) What gets you going first thing in the morning?

A) Cheeky…!?

Q) How old were you when you painted your first ‘real’ piece? Where and what was it?

A) It was very early on, no idea exact age as I was always surrounded by creativity and fortunately a wide array of materials. We were always doing stuff, painting with rollers or creating things with clay, making mosaics, you name it we did it. It was easy because my Dad was an art teacher in a tough Comprehensive just outside Portsmouth and used to borrow stuff (on permanent loan he used to say). My Mum was also hugely creative and freelanced as a window dresser, producing displays for a traditional boned corset makers.

Q) Do you still have any of it?

A) I’m sure it’s tucked away somewhere, my Mum keeps everything. It’s waiting there ready for that inappropriate moment to come out and haunt me.

Q) You like to concentrate on subjects that can be seen as controversial. Tell us why you do that/ what do you enjoy about it?

A) To be honest I don’t think I am that controversial and I certainly don’t go out of my way to be so. I do like my art to have a message so if that transcends into shocking a few people then so be it. If you’re relating this question to the LIZLAM piece I did a couple of years back, which was totally about unity and cultural togetherness, though some decided to believe otherwise. It’s kind of now come to fruition in a polar opposite way in France with Sarkozy’s decision to ban the Burka.

Q) Do you have high hopes for this coming general election? What would you do if you were PM?

A) No, it’s just a circus, the real HAUS of GAGA. If I start a conversation about politics, it would mean a thousand more, so I won’t..

Q) Do you have a favourite piece of your own work?

A) It’s always the next piece, the piece I haven’t thought of yet, I get most pleasure when the idea hits the brain. Because I live with my work quite extensively for the period I am creating it, by the end I can barely comment on it, I have huge doubts whether the idea was actually a good one to start with and the process is quite exhausting. Six months down the line, it’s nice to see it and often I will say, yeah, proud of that.

Q) How long does it take for a piece of work to be ‘finished’?

A) It varies massively but too long and I wish I was more prolific.

Q) Do you have an artistic process which you always work by?

A) Firstly, an initial concept or germ of an idea which can take the form of a headline, a lyric, just a word, a situation, whatever. Then it’s a matter of attaching a visual element to it that works on hopefully more than one level which brings the whole thing together as one.

Q) How would you describe your style?

A) I’m an odd one as I use anything that works for a particular piece, no parameters. I guess I’m a bit schizophrenic as I like to mix it up and play around with different types of mediums and executions. I’m as happy using aerosol as I am creating three dimensional installations and sculptures, as long as I’m being creative, that’s the main thing.

Q) Does your style stay the same or has it developed?

A) I would hope that as an artist I have developed over the last couple of years, I definitely feel that I’ve got better and I’m a firm believer in practice makes perfect.

Q) How often do you paint?

A) I’m not sure I paint as much as I should but that’s not totally what I’m about, I’m creative 24/7.

Q) Have you ever collaborated with other artists?

A) Yeah and I love it, I recently got to work with The Prodigy on a piece which was great fun and well received, the combination of two disparate entities colliding always adds some spice. I have also worked with Carrie at the Treatment Rooms on some ceramic pieces, tried hard to hook up with a Tattoo artist to work on some Sugar Skulls with a modern twist and funnily enough I recently contacted Pam Glew to see if she fancied working on a collab.

Q) Who inspires your work?

A) My family are great inspiration, they totally believe in me and support everything I do, without them I wouldn’t be able to continue. I also get massive inspiration when someone takes the time to email me and comment, whether it’s good or bad, it pushes you forward.

Q) How old are you?

A) no spring chicken!

Q) What do you think of legal walls?

A) Aren’t all walls legal, Jesus Christ, you’re starting to worry me now.

Q) Who is on your ipod?

A) Amos Milburn (click to listen on youtube)

Q) Where are your favourite places in London? What do you enjoy doing most when you are in London and not working?

A)Walking along the Southbank at 5.30am with the sun shining with only the street cleaners and joggers as company – beautiful.

Q) What is your daily routine?

A) It’s bizarre because I work really hard, probably 6 days a week but seem to achieve very little, what’s that about?

Q) How do you connect with your audience?

A) I never really think about it, I always do what I want, without compromise and hope that a few people like it. Because my work centres a lot around social and political comment, mixed & mashed into visual rants, I’m figuring and hoping that like me, my audience likes nothing more than to expose societies dysfunction and the things that the majority of people accept as wallpaper.

Q) Do you have any new projects? Could you explain your installation ‘No Blood on Your Hands’.

A) Yeah, I’m very excited about my next project and working hard to bring it all together – Basically I was asked to submit a proposal for a piece of work which if selected would be included for the ‘No Holds Barred’ special project at Art Amsterdam 2010. (click to see more)
The piece I submitted for inclusion was an installation titled “NO BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS” which amazingly, was selected by an esteemed panel of judges to be worthy of inclusion. (click to See more)
With a narrative that explores interweaving concepts of big business, corporate greed, the politics of war, freedom and ‘truth’, NO BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS is set in the environment of a calm but ultimately unnerving retail space.
My only problem with producing this properly and to a high spec is to somehow get some additional funding. If there is anyone out there who has some deep pockets and is willing to sponsor my art project please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I have raised about £2k of my own money but really need an additional £2k to make it super good.

Q) How do you feel about fame, do you think it has a positive effect on street/urban art?

A) It shouldn’t ever really be about the fame/money just about doing good stuff…. fame and money are just a by-product of producing good work, either that or producing work that is coveted by the brainwashed masses. Like most things in life, It’s basically a pay off as what fame/money gives you is options and freedom to pursue bigger projects and opens doors that are normally closed.

Q) What does the future hold for you?

A) Malcom MacClaren once said “It’s better to be a flamboyant failure than any kind of benign success” I like that.

Interview by Minnie Harding for 1LOVEART

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