Visit the eloquent world of collages by B.D. Graft
Have some time these warm summer days? Pay a visit to the wonderful world of collage by talented artist B.D. Graft. His stuff is ace. They don’t only please the eyes but also intrigue the mind.
We at Kuvva Gallery is putting up an exhibition highlighting his best pieces. The vedette of the show is definitely “Is It Mine If I Add Some Yellow?” The series questions art and ownership.“The yellow came as an accidence. I just had this yellow paper lying around and I had a book of art. I just thought “why don’t I stick this paper onto the art?” and wow, it actually looked pretty cool. And that got me thinking about this whole concept. Collage is appropriation anyway: you always take what already exists and you make it your own. That’s why I thought “why not make it a bit more fiercely?” So if I take yellow – only a pure colour – and I add it to something else, then it’s a bit more ‘in your face.’ I’ve only taken one colour and I’ve put it on someone else’s work and I’m claiming it as my own. It brings out the whole question of ownership a lot more than other collages I might make.”
Not limiting himself to only papers, B.D. Graft opened an Instagram account and encourages people to contribute to his movement of ‘adding yellow.’“The project started at the beginning of 2015, so not long at all. On Instagram I follow a lot of collage artists and they follow me. It becomes this community, and when I posted this project, there was a lot of enthusiasm about it from my followers. They may see some yellow and think “oh this could be for the project”. And then it’s this collaboration, this common theme that we all share, rather than just random collages. It’s a lot more fun than if I only did it myself. It’s nice to see other people’s ideas as well.”
Besides making his art broad, B.D. Graft makes it deep. “MK” is his dear anthem against oppression.“Making art on pages of “Mein Kampf” can sound pretty controversial. But it’s actually my way of going against what Nazi taught about modern art. They thought it was degenerate art. They were very much into classical art. For me, to take what I usually do with collages and to stick it onto the pages of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is me saying “screw you.”
That being said, B.D. Graft is not all about political stuff. He is a nice guy who likes sneakers, and to make art about them. Here is one piece of the “Air Max” series.“I’m not a super big sneaker-head but I do enjoy wearing and buying different shoes. It was actually one of the first collage series I had ever done. I think it’s a nice thing. And it’s nice to share that with people as well.”
With this many great work, you wouldn’t think that B.D. Graft has just started being an artist not that long ago.“I used to draw a lot when I was younger but then I stopped completely and I did different things. First I was studying film, and then I was studying English Literature. In 2013, I actually started making collages because a friend of mine – Geoff J. Kim – who had been making collages for a longer time and he kind of gave me the idea of trying it myself. And that’s when it kind of started snowballing. I made one, I made another one, and then I just completely got addicted to it.” “There were times when I was busy, when I had exams, or I had to write my thesis, so it became less. But it’s always been on my mind. Sometimes when I’m lying in bed, I even think “oh that would be a cool idea” and then I want to get out of bed, but it’s the middle of the night. I do have other ideas for paintings and other things but I haven’t actually shown to the public yet. Collages are something that I feel most comfortable with and other people are most enthusiastic about it as well.”
It’s true. It’s hard to fully describe how bright his eyes light up whenever the word ‘collage’ is mentioned in our chat. His enthusiasm is super contagious. It sure would take him far.“The (Kuvva) gallery space is excellent and really good. It’s actually funny because last year I was in this gallery looking at the art and I thought “wow, I would really like to have my art hung here” and one year later, it’s actually happening. So it’s really exciting. It’s really nice. It’s crazy.”
To share the thrill with B.D. Graft and his brilliant collages, come visit Kuvva gallery! The opening is on Wednesday, August 5th 2015.
Kuvva Gallery, Pazzanistraat 33, 1014 DB, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, NL