May 13, 2008

Artist YASHUA KLOS & the Anatomy of a Chicago Smack-talker

I met Yashua Klos early February at the Rush Arts Gallery. I had actually gone to see the artwork of talented artist Alexis Peskine who was also showing, and there was Klos flanked by his 2 boys from home. Klos' boys Algenoy and Terrence talk MAD stuff. And in the first few moments of meeting them you wonder where Klos' laid-back personality fits into the mix. 'Oh', you think 'he must by the SHY one'. Don't sleep-Klos is that rare breed of Chicago Style Smack-talker, he just needs a little warming up. Don't give this man an opening; stay on your toes;keep your hands up, because he will come at you with the verbal jabs ( He talked real badly about my grilled cheese sandwich, It was awful). With Yashua it's all in good fun. Klos and his crew are quick to make friends: A full 3 min. after meeting him, my girls and I were invited to hang out with him and his large group of friends for dinner. We spent the night in some of the coolest convo I've had in my 2 yrs in NY.

Months later I followed Yashua's email invite to his April Soho show 'New Finds'. I was impressed by the 8 ft screens, each of which Yashua had painstakingly hand carved ( at size ) from wood, then printed. The pieces were a top perspective of men holding a power fist over their hearts (Banging!). My date and I were picking off who was who: 1 was definitely Martin Luther King & the 2nd was this Bolivian freedom fighter-we thought. We were REALLY wrong. I was actually moved when we were told that they were each actually Yashua's homeboys. Most, if not all, of them were walking around the gallery. One of them, realist artist Kenneth Browne, was standing right behind us. { For the record Kenneth, you kinda do look like the King-smile}. Yashua Klos is obviously a man whose people are important to him, they seem to be with him wherever he goes, that's why I kept them strong in this article.



Khia_Rocks: When did you know that this ( art ) would be "what you were about"?

YK: My momma would tape a piece of paper to my highchair tray and make me draw for my Gerber.That's when I made the connection that I had to do this thing to eat properly. Really, If nothing else, I've always been an artist. Tried many things, but always returned to what I feel most natural doing.

Khia_Rocks: What keeps you awake at night?

YK: Street construction.

Khia_Rocks: Note to Self-Rephrase that last question. lol. How do you describe your personal style?

YK: I dont think I have a 'style' yet- maybe a consistent personality or aesthetic in my work. I'm afraid of 'style' in what I do- because 'style' doesn't always satisfy the work's concept or content.

Khia_Rocks: What moved you to produce the Soho show?

YK: That show at Christopher Henry worked out perfect because his space there really compliments my large scale work. And the 8' tall woodcuts especially work there- since the space used to be a church, it has those high vaulted ceilings so the figures can breathe. Chris is great and we've been in constant communication since I landed in New York three years ago. 'New Finds' was the second group show I've been in there- and I'm sure we'll work together again in the future.

Check out more of the artist's work @


Jazmin said...

great article K!

Khia_Rocks said...

Yay! So glad u like-And it's my first!

Mark said...

Nice Work, 6...Check the typos tho check the typos Lol. How much does he sell his stuff for?

AMitch said...

Great post! Does he sell the wood carvings, too? And I don't quite understand his process: why carve in wood first? Seems like an amazing amount of pre-work to ultimately get to a screen.

ek said...

8 foot WOOD CARVINGS? Crazy. Nice work, his and your interview.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from B'dos! Long time no talk woman!
Nice website

I'm going to need more explanation as to why you were walking around with a cheese sandwich at an art show ...ha ha! I like this dude tho

(Bun AN greasy CHEESE!)


Anonymous said...

that shyt is syck mayn