Casey Eklips Interviewed by Katie Zuppann for Juxtapoz
If I’m not mistaken, Known Gallery started off as a venue for Seventh Letter artists to show of their work-both on the streets and on canvas. Why did you organize the group as Known Gallery?
You are correct. Known Gallery was started to showcase our friends and family which turns out to be mostly The Seventh Letter artists and our associates, much like The Seventh Letter is made up of mostly AWR and MSK members. This doesn’t mean we only work with crew members, it just means we know a lot of people through graffiti and our roots in street culture. We originally didn’t want to display graffiti but only gallery works, but that didn’t last very long.
The name KNOWN came from KNOWN SURVIVOR which came from this track I was listening to that reminded me of my father who fought in the Hungarian revolution in 1956 and lived to talk about it. I know that’s kind of deep but that’s where the name comes from to be honest. Almost everything I do starts with a crazy thought that is usually sparked by a music track or something. I’ve always liked the word KNOWN, like in: known affiliate, known graffiti writer, also known as, etc. so I had to do something with it. The name was also really appealing because I felt it was our way to be KNOWN NOW or NOW KNOWN.
Known Gallery has grown from a daily blog into a full-fledged website and movement. Describe Known Gallery’s progression.
In the beginning we never planned to be a daily blog, but the site wasn’t completely ready when we went on tour to Japan and Taiwan with the LETTERS FIRST art show. We wanted to share our experiences with our supporters so we launched the blog and people really liked it so we decided to continue. When we got home we finished the site with the artist profiles and began to represent artists, curate more shows and with the success of Letters First and help from The Seventh Letter, it all fell into place.
To what do you contribute the success of Known Gallery?
All the amazing artists that are involved, all the great shows we’ve curated, The Seventh Letter crew, our street credit and our supporters. The list goes on..
What do you have planned for the future?
More art shows with more artists in more countries. Always continue to improve the site. We just added a forum so we can communicate closer with our supporters. We also launched our online store, so with that comes more prints, exclusives, etc. And we should have a new gallery in Los Angeles by the the beginning of 2010.
What artists are you excited about right now?
I’m really feeling all the new stuff coming out of James Jean, Sonny Gerasimowicz aka Coax AWR, Push, Revok, Mr. Cartoon, Keegan Gibbs, JR, BLU, Aaron Horkey, Roid, Pose is really on fire right now, Young Savannah of course, too many to list. It’s a great time for art and the internet allows us to see so many amazing people from everywhere in the world.
Where do you see graffiti and street art heading?
I think very soon graffiti will be more accepted into the fine arts world and museums, much like the Olympics will accept skateboarding. And if not, we will make an alternative and be bigger like the X-games did for skating. Hopefully writers will be treated with more respect from the corporate world and paid accordingly. The whole "you do it free anyways" thing is really old.
One of my favorite ongoing series you guys run is The Seventh Day Project, where you film different Known Gallery artists completing a piece. They take various styles, but overall, the films are fast paced, time-lapse videos documenting an artist work on a graffiti piece from start to finish. Tell us a bit about the origins of this project and how it has evolved, and where it will go.
Another crazy idea. Basically we wanted to let the world see what we do from beginning to end. Releasing it monthly on the 7th just made it fun and exciting. A lot of our supporters had never seen us paint before so it’s always really cool to hear their feedback. It also allows our videographers, photographers, beat-makers and video editors to share their skills with our audience. We plan to release some DVDs, books and more products from the Seventh Day Project in the near future.
Any final parting words?
Thank you to all the people who check KnownGallery.com daily, Katie for this interview, all our supporters around the world, our crews, Ralph Guzman for building and maintaining our sites, The Seventh Letter crew and everybody involved in our lives. RIP Adam Goldstein, Forever PURE.
Join us at forum.knowngallery.com
Read interview at: www.juxtapoz.com