EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: With Kid Acne “Stand and Deliver”

By | July 2, 2012 at 8:43 am | No comments | ART, Featured Post, Street Art | Tags: , , ,

Kid Acne Interview by Erin Leigh

Kid Acne opens his solo show Stand and Deliver this Saturday at C.A.V.E. Gallery(Venice Beach) and we couldn’t be happier to have him here. Acne is an internationally acclaimed artist and his amazing work can be seen in and out of galleries throughout the world. He’s worked on various projects including customizing spray cans for Montana Colors, creating a comic book in 2001 Zebra Face and designing a T-shirt collection for Prada. Besides doing art, he is also a hip hop musician and has released a number of records and videos throughout the decade releasing his first single in 1997 ‘Slingshots’ under the name ‘Mongrels’. He is obviously a huge creative force, Stand and Deliver will no doubt be proof of his insane talent. We had a chance to talk with Acne as he prepares for the opening night.

Thank you so much for taking time out to talk with us! We’re huge fans, super excited for your show and it’s only a few days away! How’s it all going?

It’s going well thanks. It’s always a last minute rush, but as they say – fresher under pressure. I’m really enjoying being in LA so everything’s cool.

From the previews it looks like you used a variety of mediums, I’m loving all of it! What mediums are you using and how did this collection develop?

When I first got into painting graffiti as an adolescent, the most important thing for me was to have my own style. So 20 years later, I’m constantly looking for new ways and means to present that style. Through making fanzines and DIY records over the years, I’ve become more and more interested in process and finding materials that compliment my style. I like raw aesthetics with a graphic sensibility – so in this show, I’ve celebrated a number of processes I’ve used in self-publishing and print-making, such as monoprints, risographs, screenprints, xerox etc. It’s a whole mix really.

I saw you produced a limited edition fanzine, can you tell us more about that and more about Stabby Women, where did they come from?

I began painting female warriors just over 10 years ago as a way of presenting an alternative to whatever characters I was seeing painted in the graf scene at the time. I’d generally paint them in abandoned building and desolate wastelands – the idea being that they’d look like as though they were there to haunt / protect these forgotten spaces. Over the years, the characters have evolved through many guises, but the sentiment remains the same.

So, a little about you, born, raised, residing, art history, life in general?

I was born in Malwai, Africa and moved to the UK when I was very young. I grew up in the East Midlands and moved to Sheffield to study Fine Art. I’ve been there for the past 15 years. It’s a great place.

Can you tell us about ‘Your Hands, Your Feet, Your Voice’?

I was recently invited to paint a mural on St Thomas’ Boys & Girls Club in Wincobank, Sheffield. The building is an old church hall and has been a spit and sawdust boxing club since the mid sixties. The place is run by a guy named Brendan Ingle, who’s a notorious trainer and has turned out more boxing champions than anyone else in the world. He’s a real inspiration and working at the club has been an amazing experience. I collaborated on the painting with Florence Blanchard, a French artist known for painting ‘Drop Men’. Her characters translated perfecting into a speed ball punching bag, while I painting a couple of my animal-headed characters in victorian boxing poses.

OK, I’d actually love to hear more about your music history! I believe your brother is in a band, are you still playing and if yes where can we find your music and when are you guys playing in Los Angeles!?

I started making music as a teenager and put out my first vinyl 7″ when I was 17. I designed the record sleeve and screen printed the covers by hand. For the following 10 years, I put out a string of 7″s, 12″s and LPs, which resulting in me landing a deal with EMI in 2006. After putting out an album with them, touring round Europe and supporting some of our favourite artists, I decided to get back on track with my artwork. After a 6 year hiatus, we went back in the studio last month and recorded a couple of songs. I reckon we’ll put out some DIY 7″s by the end of the year.

Again, thank you for your time, looking forward to the show!

No problem. Me too.

Kid Acne’s show Stand & Deliver runs June 30th through July 23rd / C.A.V.E. Gallery, 1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd, VENICE, CA


-Erin Leigh

Kid Acne – Cloak & Dagger / Beijing from Zerobelow Films on Vimeo.

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