September 5, 2012

NKO - "The Architecture of Endlessness"

The Architecture of Endlessness, a new mural by NKO, will officially open for the second Thursday ArtBlitz from 5pm until dusk on September 13, 2012, between Denny and John on 10th Avenue East in Seattle. Situated on the East facade of Sound Transit’s Link light rail Capitol HIll Station construction site - also known as the Red Wall - this 24’x 240’ painting will remain until the station construction is finished.
For more info on NKO - here and here. An earlier post about the project as it commenced is here.

The Architecture of Endlessness was designed and painted by NKO, with assistance from Sign Savant’s Japhy Witte. Executed over five weeks, the mural is an abstract, improvisational reaction to the site framed by concept (and word) of endlessness -- both in relation to the site itself (the painting will disappear in a few years) and to the continual evolution of the city. Repeated letterforms collapse into colorful cityscapes, towers climb within impossible geometries, lifter cranes swing freely above as the clouds roll in... the visual tableau is of a jumbled, brightly lit future accented by surreal moments of colorful nostalgia.

photo by Barbara Luecke
The project is curated by New Mystics and commissioned by Sound Transit through STart, it was also funded by an Individual Artist Project Grant from 4Culture, and received support from Sign Savant, Art Primo, Davis Sign and Painter’s Guild of Magic. D.K. Pan is the STart lead artist who helps shape the Red Wall art commissions.

photo by Barbara Luecke
NKO is a Seattle based visual and performance artist, curator, and designer. He is founder, with DK Pan, of Free Sheep Foundation and Black Sheep Book Arts. No Touching Ground and NKO are also founders of New Mystics. NKO regularly works with experimental theatre company Saint Genet, and has been a long time volunteer at VERA project silkscreen studio. As a curator, NKO has produced shows for Bumbershoot, City Arts Festival, and has worked with the Department of Neighborhoods, 4Culture, Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Seattle Parks Department.

Japhy Witte, aka Sign Savant, is one of the finest sign and scenic painters in the city of Seattle. You may have noticed his other work on the Red Wall project - he has composed and executed all of the hand painted artist title cards adorning the wall. You can also find his work at Under the Needle tattoo in Belltown, and on almost every block of West Seattle. Japhy has worked with MOHAI on restoration projects, and also regularly works with New Mystics and Saint Genet.

Photos by dk pan unless otherwise noted.

Tory Franklin - "Fe Fi Fo Fum"

Tory Franklin has installed 'Fe Fi Fo Fum', a mural which includes an articulated figure, and measures 12' high by 20' wide. This project is located on John St and 10th Avenue, at the North Easternly most corner of the red wall.

Tory's words about this project: "The Victorian Era, much like our own, was an age of extreme eclecticism. A proliferation of surface ornament appropriated from many different cultures covered anything designers could get their hands on. Children were for the first time considered a major demographic, and the market was flooded with books and easily assembled paper toys taking advantage of new print techniques and industrialization that put these objects into the hands of the general public.
I grew up with reproductions of fairy tales and toy theaters from this period and the fantastical design aesthetics and possibilities of print were firmly cemented in my artistic core. Years later I returned to this rich source material to combine narrative with contemporary print processes on an architectural scale.

This piece is based on Jack and the Beanstalk and depicts a human-scale puppet of Jack making his way up a beanstalk snaking throughout the image area of the wall."

To learn more about Tory Franklin's work:

Photos courtesy of the artist.