Image Gallery

Paintings by James Reka

Illustration // Thursday, 06 Jun 2013
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'James Reka aka RekaOne is a young contemporary artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Since 2002, Reka has established himself as a pioneer in Melbourne’s burgeoning street art scene. His origins lie in the alleyways and train-lines of the city’s inner-suburbs, and his popularity has seen him grow to being exhibited on gallery walls the world over. His character work has come to represent the beginning of a new style of street art – surrealist, abstracted creatures emerging from the depths of Reka’s mind, communicating through strong lines, dynamic movement and bold colours. Theses figures haunt the laneways throughout Australiasia, clambering up brick walls and giving the urban environment a literal fresh coat of paint. Their personalities mirror those of their often-decrepit metropolitan context, opening a dialogue between the viewer and their surroundings. With influences in pop culture, cartoons and illustration, Reka’s style is instantly recognisable and respected within the community. This style emerged from his Pop Art influenced logo design skills, featuring simple but striking lines and colour ways. He also has a strong grounding in anime and vinyl toy culture. Over time the logos and symbols evolved into more structured, animated forms and embraced the variances of the different media he began to work with such as murals, graphics and photography.

Through these origins, Reka has developed an incredibly diligent, almost obsessive attention to the technical proficiency of his work, and it has moved him towards producing ever-increasingly meticulously detailed work. His pieces sit somewhere between humourous and menacing, contrasting the two opposing feelings in a way that is unique to his vision. The pseudo-human forms are recognisable but isolating and playful yet eerie. This is Reka’s art: a paradox between sharp design and graffiti, held together with a fuse of passion and spray paint.'
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