March 23, 2011
James “Reka” has been an artist at the forefront of Melbourne’s street art scene over the past 8 or so years. I was lucky enough to conduct a brief interview with the artist recently about his beginnings, influences, his upcoming show DOWN LOW TOO SLOW, and where Melbourne street art is headed. Enjoy.
Likes: Beers in the shower, Cheese toasties, Tagging with fat caps, Coopers Pale Ale Longnecks, Chipping paint off fingernails, eating at Don Dons, Daytime bombing, Daydreaming, Watching cartoons when it rains…. um.
Dislikes: Artificial Banana flavouring, Punctured tyres, spraypaint changing colour halfway through a piece, Strings of celery caught between teeth, Fucking 9-5 douche-bag suits, cold takeaway chinese food, Fake friends that talk shit…
It says on your website you studied at Vis Comm and Design at RMIT, was studying art in a formal sense beneficial or counter productive to your work?
I dont think you can be taught style. you either have it, or you don’t. simple. I think it’s very important to know your history. This applies to Graff, Street Art and Fine Art in general. KNOW YOUR HISTORY.
What are your influences? And what has influenced your latest exhibition DOWN LOW TOO SLOW?
See my like section! This show specifically I have been influenced by suits acting like douche-bags when they’re drunk. I go out and study them every Friday night in the city.
You have played a big part of the “Melbourne Street Art explosion”, what do you think about that term and what actually makes a street artist? And where do you see Melbourne’s street art scene in say 5 or 10 years?
To put it simply, I think street art is just art that is on the street. Once it leaves the street context, its not street art. I think anything can be street art. Most choose to use traditional ways they apply their work to the street. Spray, poster, sticker, ink etc. Just to make this more confusing, Graffiti is street art but street art isn’t graffiti. you get it?
Any other major projects coming up for Everfresh and Reka?
I plan to paint big walls and hopefully have an exhibition in London later this year. If I have money I will travel and couch-hop my way round Europe. Hook me up people! As a whole, Everfresh will keep painting walls together and also start curating some local and international exhibitions and projects. Fun times ahead…
You can catch DOWN LOW TOO SLOW at Backwoods Gallery in Collingwood (VIC) from this Friday 25 March and it runs til April 4.
Interview by Stuart Daulman.