Everyone at Creature has the opportunity to curate our front windows. This week Dave Kaul took the initiative and did not disappoint. In fact, I want to live in that world. As a special treat, Dave wrote about his creation in some depth. Give it a read. Follow the links. Enjoy.
After five years as a designer at Creature, I started to have this feeling, like I had to get something out of my system. I wanted to paint something big, overwhelming, and put it on display. I realized that this feeling I missed was the feeling of painting graffiti, which is where my roots are. I realized, after years in the agency world, that I needed to get back in touch with those roots, and make something outside of the computer. The perfect opportunity came along in our 12th Avenue Storefront project.
So I turned the windows into a magical winter feather-land. The idea was to do something bright, almost glowing – when I paint, I'm always drawn to very vivid colors. The feathers are an element I've been using in my painting for a little while, and I've been wanting to do them on a much bigger scale. The concept is not so much of a concept; it's just something I really wanted to make and could visualize in my head.
The display features four 5 x 8 canvases painted with the monochromatic illustrated feathers in pinks and greens. The repeating feather pattern gives it an infinite, wallpaper effect. I then painted real feathers in matching colors and hung them in front of the canvases – I was trying to create the illusion of feathers lifting off the canvas almost, and fluttering to the ground.
On the floor is a train that spans the two windows, set up to look as though it's magically traveling across to the other window. The train reads “What is love” on the green side, completed by “baby don't hurt me” on the pink side, which is a lyric from the 90's dance hit by Haddaway. Haddaway who? Exactly.
In the end, I was trying to achieve a contrast between each side with a strict color theme, inject some of my awkward sense of humor, brighten up the gray Seattle streets.
Maybe most of all, I wanted to get back in touch with my immature, skateboarding/graffiti writer past. I'm also currently working on a book, “Denseone: 19 Years as a Mediocre Graffiti Writer”, which looks back at my time as a wandering teenager in California all the way through my current career as a designer, and my attempt to stay connected to my favorite way to pass the time. Which is art.
It's also a way for me to do something with my ridiculous amount of graffiti knowledge, or what I like to call a wealth of useless information. Ever since I got into graffiti, I've never gone a day in my life without noticing it, without reading even the tiniest signature on a garbage can. It's almost like someone put it there just for me to read. I don't think I could stop looking if I tried. I'm pretty hooked, and I guess my current work centers around this hope that graffiti stays with me into my old age. It's who I am.
David's blog is Art / Design / Surface, where he posts one example of each (art, design, surface) daily.
Also, check out creative and design director Steve Cullen's blog, Makecentric, where he also wrote a piece on Dave's recent window art.