I love social media when they lead me to discover great artists! I thank xELKYx for having contacted StreetLove weeks ago through Twitter. We are glad to promote his work!
StreetLove THE ARTIST
xELKYx is a street artist from Metro-Detroit in Michigan (US).
His artist name came from a few friends around 3rd or 4th grade. « We would make collages and fake letters inspired by skateboard ads or Ed Templeton drawings and mail them to each other as a joke. Elky stuck as my nickname since then and this is most likely where my first instance of creating things on my own started. The X’s in my name represent my straight-edge life style. I don’t intend to off put anyone or only make straight edge art, it just is who I am »
Under this name he is relatively new to street art. Prior he has worked closely with lots of projects involving DIY Hardcore such as screen printing, playing in bands, and photography.
« I guess my obsession with creating my own things started from my early elementary days cutting out stencils and painting skateboards and logos. This evolved into printing my own shirts to wear in high school. Then to creating designs for bands I was in. Eventually I wanted to push my photography further and keep my interest in it. That’s where street art stepped in for me. It pushes me to continually keep shooting »
Without even really realising at the time what it meant he created a piece for the Heidelberg project in Detroit in his early years of high school. The Heidelberg project is an entire street block turned into an art piece including the homes. His art was a silly idea but it poked fun at how serious our class project was meant to be and he thinks it was a good representation of who he still is.
He works alone besides the help from Close friends for modeling.
Photography will always be his first love as it is what he’s majoring in and will primarily drive his street art. Music also has played a huge role in his life, especially hardcore.
As of yet he hasn’t exhibited in a gallery. He is working on building his street art currently and big things are going to happen in the coming months.
To promote his work, he mostly uses his Blog: www.xelkyx.tumblr.com to display art work and he uses Twitter: @xelkyx to keep in contact with everyone and let them know news about his art.
StreetLove THE ART
xELKYx works mostly on wheat paste on the streets, but he also works on canvas, and creates tons of hand made stickers.
His inspiration mainly comes from the idea of being « sad » as a taboo in our culture. « If someone is not in a good mood they are quickly accused of being unappreciative of what they have or that something is wrong with them that needs to be fixed. Happiness is shoved down our throats all day and I believe that only makes it worse when you aren’t having the best day. My art is all about showing the other side. Not judging or telling anyone to feel different, it’s just there to almost be understanding of a person who may feel the same way. Sadness lets us truly feel happiness when it does come and the more we try to ignore sadness and prescribe pills to erase it, the less we will know what real happiness is »
The first wheat paste piece he did was on the side of a major highway that leads into Detroit. He climbed down the side of the over-pass and went to work. The rush he felt from that was unlike anything else. He always hears people describe it as the fear of getting caught but for him its the joy that even if he does get caught and its for something he loves, it’s worth it.
His work is usually Medium sized id say. « When I do pieces of people they are around 7-8 feet high. I’m looking forward to doing much larger style things in the next few months as spring and summer come »
He hasn’t kept count of the pieces he has done so far but he is always looking for the next spot. He takes his hand-made stickers with him everywhere he goes so at least once a day he’s getting something up.
So far he has only got pieces in one country, but around 20 different cities across the U.S. Over Christmas he helds a contest from his Twitter account where he sent winners an art pack full of his work. Those packs went out to New York, Texas, England, and Germany so he hopes to see photos from those places soon.
« Big ideas are coming soon » He has started to shoot new pictures and even bigger pieces. Also he’s been working on stencils, new stickers, paintings, and a few secret projects that will hopefully surprise everyone.
All of his pieces will fit as a series for this time in his life. To others they may seem as lone works but he supposes they work well either way.
xELKYx mostly works with wheat pasted art work which is derived from his photography but he’s starting to expand into other mediums. His other main style would be his hand made stickers which are quite time consuming but he enjoys them more that way.
His main theme would be « people » and will most likely always continue to be that way with his wheat paste works. With his stickers they stick to a character theme which involves mostly variations of his « unhappy ice cream character »
StreetLove THE TECHNIQUE
xELKYx favorite support for street art is walls. He loves when his work comes together with the texture of a wall and they become one. « It’s great to see a piece decay over time and fade with the elements »
Mainly he’s photographing his subject, editing, printing, cutting out, then pasting to a wall. Most of his work is actually done before hand in the prep of getting pieces up.
« I try to limit my time needed to put work up in the streets to as little as possible. At this point I’m able to get decent sized pieces up in only a few minutes and move on to the next one »
Any tip to tell us? « The only tips I can offer are to just 110% go for it. When I started creating art in all forms I felt that I was stuck at a stand still because where all my work was decent, it was never really good enough to do anything with. When I found street art it gave me an outlet to not only combine all my talents but to not care about what other people thought. This is a form of expression for yourself and can change your life »
StreetLove THE FUN
Usually when working he has a movie playing. Films have a huge impact on his life and art, it’s what consumes most of his time.
His favorite colour is Teal.
His artistic references are Keith Haring, Ed Templeton, Blek Le Rat, Swoon…
In terms of music and movies he grews up on Hardcore music so that will always be huge for him. He loves all movies but mainly he is drawn to Independent Dramas and Dark comedies.
As a photographer he tries to photograph all of his work but sometimes it’s not always possible with how quick pieces may be taken down.
3 things that xELKY loves: Passionate art, Great Films, and Good Friends.
3 things he hates in general: Close-minded people, Substance abuse, and Greed.
A message for the StreetLove team?
Thank you again for taking the time to even think about me and my work. Keep an eye for new things from me as well as contests and collaborations. I love hearing from people and welcome anyone interested to get in contact with with me via my Blog.
Also check out No Pretend website at: www.nopretend.com – one of the first real supporters I had and has a great Blog.
I would just like to thank StreetLove for showing an interest in my work and putting some great stuff out there for everyone to read. The art community needs people who are willing to work together and help one another.
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