Watch Kre8, Tim Yanke, and Lebo Talk Contemporary Art with Park West Gallery
What do artists talk about when they get together? Park West’s Senior Gallery Director Morris Shapiro wanted to share that experience with our collectors, so, at a recent event, he gathered together three of today’s most popular contemporary artists to discuss all things art.
The artists talked about their influences, social media, the digital revolution, inspiring new artists, and a whole lot more. You can watch the full video here:
Their wide-reaching conversation covered many topics and here are a few excerpts from that discussion:
What influences you as an artist?
David “Lebo” Le Batard: I’m very influenced by improvisational jazz, especially stuff from the 50s, blue note stuff. What I’m inspired by is that it’s very rooted in discipline. A lot of people don’t think that art has discipline to it, and I disagree with that. I think it needs to be very steeped in discipline in order to create a flow state. As artists, through this discipline and through this mindful action and consistency, we can create fluidity within our expression. Then within that, we can let go, and that leads to improvisation. That’s the balance I try to keep.
What do you find the subject matter for your art?
Kre8: I use life as my content. If we use life as a content, you’ll never run out of material… We live in a world of perception. People perceive these things, and visually who I am now is… how I look is not who I am. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a heavily tattooed, stretched ears… I don’t see that. What I see is no tattoos, and I think that’s a part of my journey is to show people to perceive that I’m going to show you the material that you need to see versus what you automatically see.
Which other artists have inspired your art style?
Tim Yanke: I may incorporate some symbolism and imagery in [my art], but I rely more on color and I rely on music more than anything. Outside of improv and spontaneity, my biggest brush is music. I think that totally gets me in the zone of the painting, in regards to artists that I’m referencing at the time. I approach every canvas as if… I try to forget everything I’ve ever learned. I got that from Georgia O’Keeffe. She was so upset and frustrated with academia, that’s when she really got into these surreal kind of approaches with mix-matching, the skull above the landscape or whatever. She was so frustrated she tries to forget everything. I do the same. I want to release and relinquish myself to that painting and go along for the ride and have a marriage with it.
What makes you courageous as an artist?
Kre8: The courageous is to expose yourself. Like I say, with the social commentary, we’re exposing things in such a wrong way. Artists are there to expose the truth. We’re supposed to agitate, that’s what… we are supposed to provoke. My whole movement is to show people that it’s okay to think. We have to start thinking again. Everything has become a device, you actually don’t have to leave your house to eat, you actually don’t have to do anything. Everything actually comes to you. We need to start going back to the root of why we do what we do.
How do you see art evolving over the next 100 years?
David “Lebo” Le Batard: Now, more than ever as individual artists, we have the power to reach the most people with whatever our message is. The people will either support our message and encourage us to do so, just verbally or by collecting our work, or they don’t. It’s up to us if we’re going to keep moving forward. I don’t want to speak for these two gentlemen here, but I think that having an audience, to me, inspires me to work harder. It makes me want to try to do my best to be able to deliver the messages that I think is going to hopefully bring the most hope and joy into the world.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Tim Yanke: I just say, “Paint like nobody’s ever going to see it. Throw it under the bed, roll it up in a tube or do whatever because then you’re true unadulterated, true organic creativity will come out to the canvas and that will be you. That’s your fingerprint. You didn’t let the society or the community or neighbors or your family and friends that you’re going to show… they didn’t dictate what you painted. You relinquished yourself to color, you put it on canvas, and you separated yourself from the herd.” I think there lies the key, just paint who you are, know who you are.