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KR in Taiwan: Q+A with Craig Costello

Earlier this month, New York artist Craig Costello more commonly known as KR was on hand for the opening of a new exhibition at The Base in Taipei, Taiwan. Having seen his signature aesthetic and approach to art as the basis for any popular collaborative fronts, we had the opportunity to catch-up with the artist with this Q+A. Some of his insights spanned the influence of architecture when painting, the transition from streets to gallery settings and the development of his KRINK line of paints.

Regardless of where you go in the world, what’s the common denominator amongst graffiti?

Because of the Internet, styles are not as local as they used to be. It’s interesting to go to places that are really far away and see similar style trends and also writers who make it a point to travel and get up. Before the Internet, styles and trends varied widely between cities.

How does Taiwan differ from any where else you’ve been on a creative level?

Taipei is an interesting mix of north and south Asia, a foot in both worlds. On a creative level it’s always nice to travel and experience other cultures and get different perspectives.

How does the way local architecture and building design factor in when you conceptualize work in a public space?

Architecture is very interesting to me. It plays a big part in graffiti and also in the larger outdoor paintings I do. It’s often architecture that is being considered instead of a canvas. It’s a really big difference in vision and style.

We’ve seen your work applied on a wide variety of mediums from sneakers and denim to cars and machinery, is the process the same throughout? What has been your favorite canvas to date?

The process changes based on the individual project. With some things I have to be careful while with others I just blast away. I like working with buildings and public spaces the best.

Your signature aesthetic involving drips is undoubtedly what you’re best known for. However does it make it difficult to deviate from that aesthetic on a creative level when you want to explore other styles?

It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Consistency is good and it’s also important to explore things fully.

Are there any other platforms you’d like to explore more extensively outside of painting?

I’m really interested in sculpture, it can be a bit difficult because of space. I would love to work on public pieces.

Was the initial move going from the streets to a gallery environment a difficult one? For advocates against the whole street to gallery movement, are their criticisms unfounded?

It’s very difficult. I think it’s really hard to make a serious and lasting transition to larger commercial galleries. Right now Street Art is trendy and there is press and interest, I think only a very few will come out with significant and relevant art careers.

How much time and effort goes into the product development of KRINK paints?

A lot of time and effort. I am about to release a new product that has been in development for over a year. The behind the scenes stuff is very time consuming. It’s easy to make a marker or two for friends and fam, it’s very difficult to mass produce products.

Any last words or upcoming projects you’d like to share?

I prefer to have projects shown complete. More rock, less talk.


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