If you attended the Affordable Art Fair last year, you definitely noticed the florescent, maniacal, spectacular selection of tigers on display around the entrance. From the mural, to the sculpture, to the wall of 50 canvas paintings, these tigers were graced upon us by up-and-coming artist Boy Kong.
While his tigers stole the show that weekend, Florida-based Boy Kong produces a rainbow of creatures (literally and figuratively). The young artist chooses his playful palette to juxtapose his sometimes not-so-playful themes, constructed with acrylic, glues, and hand-cut wooden board. For your art hangover, Boy’s work is the cure. He’s fresh. He’s undeniably original. He’s Boy Kong – and we totally texted.
Art Report: Tell me about the tigers at the AAF…your inspiration…the Facet Fifty Collection?
Boy Kong: I got this obsession of painting or drawing tigers about 2 years ago, after I took this trip to California to see my grandparents. My grandfather shared this scroll with me of a water colored tiger he kept in his closet. He told me only a true artist can capture the fierceness of a tiger with the right brush strokes and line. If the artist fails then the tiger will look like a house cat.
From then on I found myself painting tigers over and over again trying to capture the tigers soul on my pieces. Later on I thought it was all silly and decided to capture my own character or my friends’ character in the tigers I’ve painted.
Now I’m here in 2015, giving birth to 50 tigers with different personalities and styles for the heck of it. I enjoy whatever I make with little restriction nowadays, but it also included a lot of frustration in my garage in the process of the Facet Fifty. Now that I completed all 50 it was super rewarding to see [them] all hung for the Affordable Art Fair.
I felt like a parent if I ever had kids… tired of rising them and dealing with their problems but secretly proud to see them shine in the end. It won’t be the last collection for sure.
Art Report: Where do your other creatures come from?
Boy Kong: My head, picture books or literatures.
Art Report: Do you find any particular themes reoccurring in your work?
Boy Kong: Visually the theme is sweetness and refreshing colors. Suffering for fun is the internal theme for me!
Art Report: How has your career changed since you sold out your first solo show in 2012?
Boy Kong: There is hope for me to make stuff I like…. and for people to enjoy it with me.
Art Report: What is your advice to up and coming artists?
Boy Kong: Work your butt off cause butt-less artists are trendy. Also create for the creator and love whatever you love most.