spread love – bk the artist

an art tragedy…

Friends, the time has come. Today is the today we will take our first plunge into the depths of the acrylic art world. I am so freaking pumped because today we are going to do some good, old fashioned, art blogging! Who’s ready?!?

Not gonna lie though, I feel this is a bit reminiscent of my high school art journal. Did anyone else suffer through the International Baccalaureate Progame? If you had the luxury of taking some IB classes throughout your earlier schooling then you possibly stumbled across the IB art journal at some point. It is the epitome of a basic sketch book; hard bound, black cover, not quite white pages, and so thick that you know you would never fill the pages of that thing. Oh! And it was heavy as balls. Definitely not my favorite time but it did serve its purpose.

Over the course of my IB art journey, I slowly felt a disconnect between me and my art. I had a complete absence of inspiration. On the rare occasion something managed to spark a bit of imagination, the spark died before I could really get into the piece. I was livid. Art had always been my safe space. A world where I could escape my reality and just flow with the creative energy of the universe. And that safe space had been utterly shattered. Shattered by a person supposed to be dedicating to teaching the youth, not shaming them for their creative expression. Shattered by an establishment intended to be a haven for growth, not a prison of conformity. Shattered by a force I could scarcely begin to understand. I now understand that I was much too young to appreciate the journey I was on. At the time, all I knew was that I was struggling and I hated every second of it. Eventually, I gave up. I just stopped trying to make art. I was so mad at art. Why had the creative form I loved most in the world forsaken me? What had I put into the world to warrant such an abandonment? You would be correct to assume I was devastated. 

featuring pieces from the hold her collection

…with a happy ending

Now I am a few years removed from my traumatic break up with art and I am slowly defining a new relationship with the creative energies of the universe. Most of my concepts do not make it to paper and that’s okay for now. I have found myself reaching for my sketchbook more often as of late. Do I always end up sketching once I have my book in hand, no. But each week I hear myself saying “I need to sketch that before I lose the thought” more and more. The progress moves at a snail pace but guess what, that’s okay! This is not a race, it is a journey.

brian kirhagis aka bk the artist

Brian Kirhagis aka BK the Artist and his adorable dog that I may or may not want to take home with me.

Alright, you’re probably wondering what does that long ass intro have to do with this week’s post. Well allow me to elaborate! This week we will be looking at Brian Kirhagis aka BK the Artists. BK is a force of nature in the art world. He is internationally renowned for his acrylic paintings that contain a socio-cultural message. His work is evocative, sometimes even provocative, and BK himself is unapologetic about using his voice to create works that speak on social issues. In other words, BK is a fucking boss and I have an art crush.

BK’s body of works is extensive. Extensive might actually be a bit of an understatement. I mean just look at how many prints he has for sale! AND THOSE ARE JUST THE PIECES THAT MADE IT INTO A COLLECTION AND ONTO HIS SITE FOR SALE!!!! Dude has seriously been busy and man do I respect that. He inspires me to just work. He reminds me that I do not always have to create a masterpiece. He teaches me to respect my art because his pieces are so incredibly intentional on every level; from the content matter to the color palette and that is magical.

love at first sight

The first time I saw his art was when I was searching for content for my Acrylic Avenue Pinterest board and I was floored. I literally just stopped, stared, and felt. I couldn’t help but be in awe of this human. And as I let myself just feel that awe, it hit me. It was feather light and for the briefest of moments but I could feel the creative energy swirling in the pit of my stomach, trying to grow into something bigger. I almost cried after that, but I refrained for I didn’t want my partner to giggle at my silliness.  So instead of crying I set about low-key stalking BK the artist. I have to admit, I have no regrets.

As I really delved into this body of art, I fell madly in love. Never before had I seen art that looked like mine. Never before had art resonated so deep within my being. It was my first love affair with art. And I knew the next step in rebuilding my relationship with art, was to share that love with all of you! So whatever you are doing, I want you to take a moment to pause. Center yourself however you do; deep breathes, count to 100, wiggle and move, I don’t care what it is, just do it so we can all go wander through some really dope art, okay?! OKAY! Today we are going to look at one of two series that particularly speaks to me. This series is called spread love and I felt it was only appropriate to start there given that’s my whole point with today’s post!

spread love series gallery

spread love collections

Within the spread love series, there are four main collections: heat, hold her, pillow talk, and valentine. I believe there may also be a collection entitled what were we even fighting for but I am not certain if that falls into the spread love series or not so I will be skipping over it for now.

heat collection

Heat #2 is by far my favorite piece from bk’s spread love series; possibly my favorite bk piece in general. I suspect this is because it closely resembles works I myself have created so I can truly see myself in this piece.

Very early on I stopped drawing faces on my people. It started because I’m shit at drawing an anatomically correct human face but it quickly developed into my personal style. For years, I was informed not including faces was a poor choice. Boy am I glad I ignored those people! Because, as demonstrated by bk, creating mannequin figures is an excellent choice. Plus the color palette is goals. Anything with purple and a seamless blend and I am there baby!

Beyond this piece being aesthetically pleasing, whenever I look at this piece I feel energy. That energy changes each time I look at it; sometimes I see the man wrapped around the woman from behind as her protector. Sometimes she is shielding him with her body so he can take comfort in her strength. Other times neither is a protector and both are just madly in love and enjoying a really nice snuggle. It is constantly shifting and isn’t that the beauty of art? But enough about me, what do you see when you look at Heat #2, or any of these pieces for that matter? Share in the comments down below!

hold her collection

This is the one of the larger collections in the spread love series and it takes a lot to get into these pieces they way they were meant to be appreciated. They are complex beings with their own set of feelings that radiate from the canvas. Each piece brings a completely different undercurrent but they all scream cherish her. Which I wholeheartedly agree with. Maybe I will dedicate a whole post to this collection and we will get real deep with the analysis but I am not going to insult this gorgeous body of work with half assed commentary. Let’s just enjoy some pretty art together instead!

pillow talk collection

Yes, yes and guess what, more yes bitch! Love me some good pillow talk, don’t you? My partner actually told me he loved me for the first time while we were pillow talking. Ahhhh, memories! This collection is massive, totaling something like 9 pieces. I know I said this about the hold her collection, buuuuuuuuuuuut, I feel like this is a collection that deserves a whole post dedicated to it. Maybe I should go 50/50 and split one next week about both hold her and pillow talk. Would you be interested in something like that? Or is this enough bk the artist for you? Let me know down below. I definitely think it would be fun to compare the two series as both address the concept of love but I definitely get like pre-coital vibes from hold her and post-coital (I’ve always wanted to use that word!) vibes from pillow talk. Oh damn, that would be a nice essay. I might pen that one just for my own sake – ha! It’s official, I am insane. Writing essays for fun? Certifiable.

valentine collection

The valentine collection has me a bit confused if I am honest. The emotional connection isn’t as strong and I no matter how hard I tried, I can’t find a piece to vibe with.

Despite that lack of a elemental connection, from a technical point, these pieces are S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G. I’ve tried working in a similar style and let me tell you, it is damn hard to keep that white clean. I would love to have the opportunity to speak with bk about what technique he used to keep his white so freaking bright. It’s almost glowing! Like, how did he do that!!! If you know how, please tell me, I am desperate here.

the end

Whew! That took some work. I think this is the most pictures I have ever put in one post and it certainly has made me reconsider how many images I actually need in a post – haha! Despite the extra work, I really enjoyed writing this one guys. It was more therapeutic than my previous posts and I wonder if that has something to do with opening up a bit about my relationship with art. I found myself having all these little “oh!” moments where suddenly everything lined up and made sense. It was really cool so thank you for going on that journey with me.

Until we wander together again,

happy wandering my friend.

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