There is something really human about SupaKitch, like in Peter Parker when is not busy saving people while wearing his Spider Man costume.
Maybe it is his very relaxed and open smile, or maybe the way he walks around the gallery space looking down at his feet. I am not sure…
It is Thursday 19. January and I am at the opening of SupaKitch’s exhibition On My Wave Home at Kolly Gallery in Zurich. Many people as usual are filling the immaculate gallery, covered in the latest works of the now Biarritz-based artist. The dichromatic new body of works covering the walls does really have something “kitch” about it, as someone commented back in 2001 during his very first public exhibition, when he was still known with the name “RIDE”.
But it is so in a good way.
It is the mixture of feathers, flowers, arrows, dots, animals and random letters that ultimately give this result. This is also ultimately part of SupaKitch today’s artistic identity. He transformed a potential negative trait in his strength and he simply made that trait his signature. Literally.
And like Peter Parker, there is also something super-heroic about SupaKitch. He does amazing things but that comes natural to him. He is a superstar graffiti artist, but he acts as he is not really aware of it.
*A: Tell us about the show “On My Wave Home”. Love the title!
SK: Last year I moved by the ocean and I feel I mixed and gathered all the influences in my life in the same place. Right now I feel it’s a period of maturity. The travel influence, the surf influence, the tattoo influence: this is everything I need in one day to have a perfect one and this gives me peace in my life.
*A: The waves are clearly a reference to the ocean, but what is “home” for you? You travel a lot…
SK: Home is the fact that I can travel, paint, make tattoos and it makes me feel good. It is a kind of wisdom inside me and I feel it everywhere, as long as I have everything as a whole.
*A: So it is not Paris, neither Biarritz, nor LA…
SK: No, it is more a state of soul and mind.
*A: What could you tell us about the restricted choice of colours (gold, black and white) for the works included in this show?
SK: I spend a lot of time on the beach and I usually go surfing either at sunrise or at sunset, during which the light is very warm – almost gold – and the reflection of the sun on the water makes sparkles and glitters. I got really inspired by that and my eyes were caught by the deep warmth. I need the sun and its light.
*A: How would you describe your style? Have you always been drawing/painting like this?
SK: Mmmm…. Not really. My style totally evolved with the different periods of my life. Today’s is more letters and characters, but once it was not really so. Time pass and you grow up, and so did my style. In my life, I have found especially enriching and inspiring meeting new people and visiting new places. Like the time I spent 6 days in Costa Rica in the middle of the wild jungle. This has usually the most influence on me and on my Art.
*A: If you had not become an artist, what would you be today?
SK: There is no other choice. It was not me choosing Art, it was Art that chose me!
As he makes the above statement, he grins brightly and he burst into laughter. This guy is only 38 and he has had collaborations with famous clothing brands (like Carharrt!) and even won the prize of “Young Entrepreneur of Fashion” with his clothes collection (launched together with his wife, Koralie) back in 2005, amongst many other things.
*A: Your Facebook page has something like 123’500 likes and your Instagram account circa 84’700 followers. What do you think is the key of your success, compared to many other talented but totally unknown artists?
SK: My followers’ base expanded exponentially a few years ago after Koralie and I released our first Metroplastique video directed by Damien Elroy Vignaux.
After that I didn’t do anything more than keep making my art and stay natural. I guess you gotta believe in yourself.
*A: Then what does it take to be a good artist?
SK: Be yourself, follow your instinct and work hard.
*A: Which is the question I should have asked but I did not?
SK: I have no clue. Questions are like the waves – you wait for them and you take them as they come.
I am really impressed. About the simplicity and openness of his words, about the fact that with few words he can be of great encouragement to people, and a role model for youngsters who are still trying to become someone in the Art world.
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