Today we catch up with one of the founders of the west coast graffiti movement: Risk. We asked him some questions about what he is currently up to and his future plans.
First of all: how are you and what are you up to these days?
I have been very busy. I just set another auction record for my Shark Sculpture and one of my Rolling Stones Neons at Phillips Auction House - New York. Both were sold at Phillips International Contemporary Auction in November 2021. We have major exhibits already scheduled for 2022 in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, West Palm Beach, and China. Music is important to me and my art. We have done some interesting collaborative projects with Zildjian (the top cymbal maker in the world). We collaborated with Zildjian and some of the top drummers in. the rock world on a series of hand-painted cymbals, gongs, and drumsticks. We have an art and music project in late December with Dave Navarro (Red Hot Chili Peppers & Jane's Addiction), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), and several others.
Of all the works shown here, do any of them hold any special memories for you?
"Rival" and "Something Cooking" are both important pieces for a couple of reasons. First, they both have heavy "graffiti" influences in them. I am one of the founders of the west coast graffiti movement. I am still known as a graffiti artist, but I rarely do straight "graffiti" for galleries or as studio work. I believe graffiti is made for the streets and not something to do in the studio. So having straight graffiti elements on a gallery piece is very rare for me. Additionally, these are on metal panels. That is significant because it goes back to my roots as a graffiti writer. I am credited with being the first graffiti writer to paint freight trains. I love painting on metal, because of my history of painting freight trains, but also because I love the way the paint reacts to metal.
What are your plans for the future?
During covid, I began a series of original paintings on handwoven, hand-painted strips of Coventry Rag Archival paper. Those have been very popular. I am planning to do more with that series. I am also working on a new sculpture series. In 2020 my entire series of "Face Your Fears" shark sculptures sold. I am looking at a new series of large-scale sculptures for 2022.
It is always great to hear from such a legend! Be on the lookout for new works coming up by Risk! At Vroom & Varossieau Gallery we have a great selection of artworks by Risk. Below you can find some works that are directly available. Check out our Artsy page or message us for inquiry.
Risk will also be part of the Shapeshifters exhibition that will take place in February 2022. More information about this great exhibition will come soon, so keep your eyes open!