No matter how well you speak, how nicely you dress, or how educated and “respectable” we make ourselves appear, we are still targeted, attacked, and/or perceived as threats. It’s tragic when people of color can’t even gain a higher education without fearing for their safety. Yesterday myself and a lot of other black students, poc’s, and allies staged a great demonstration in solidarity with those suffering at Mizzou. So happy I got to be a part of it.
Nickolai Walko, a graduate of the VCU School of the Arts (Richmond, Va.), has developed a unique and eye-catching form of image-making that hybridizes classical drawing and pop art. After placing a layer of black masking tape on a brightly colored panel or wall, covering the surface from edge to edge, he draws elaborate designs, often anatomical, directly on the tape and then, using an X-Acto blade, meticulously cuts out sections of the tape to create a strong-contrast image. Finally, to prevent tape decay, he sprays the work with a polyurethane coating. The finished product conjures, in equal measures, the anatomical sketches of a Renaissance master and the bold iconic works of Andy Warhol.
Given his anatomical subjects, Walko likens his process to a medical operation, with the tape serving as skin and the removing of the tape representing the exposed anatomy.