N.Y.C. artist trans­forms down­town Markham wall

Richmond Hill Post - - News - Sam Juric

Bold lines, wide-eyed winged crea­tures and glow­ing neon colours are what New York City graf­fiti artist Ki­dlew’s mu­rals are known for. It’s also why he has been com­mis­sioned by the Rem­ing­ton Group, a de­vel­op­ment com­pany, to trans­form a 40-foot-by-50-foot wall in Markham. Ki­dlew’s mu­ral is set to re­place the ex­ist­ing art piece on the wall,

Shad­ow­man, as the build­ing’s ex­te­rior is used as an out­door gallery space, which ex­hibits dif­fer­ent artists’ work pe­ri­od­i­cally.

Graf­fiti first be­gan to cap­ture Ki­dlew’s imag­i­na­tion on sub­way rides in New York City with his grand­mother in the ’70s. His street tag “Haloz Wuz Here” and the char­ac­ters that emerge from it are in­flu­enced by a child­hood burst­ing with Dis­ney and Loony Tunes an­i­ma­tions and ’80s pop cul­ture.

Ki­dlew’s art has been shown in gal­leries in the U.S, Ja­pan and Europe. He has also worked with in­fa­mous Bri­tish street artist Banksy on the Carl­ton Arms col­lab­o­ra­tion in New York.

You would never guess that Ki­dlew, rec­og­nized for his vi­brant choices in paint, is ac­tu­ally colour-blind.

As an art stu­dent, Ki­dlew would strug­gle in us­ing and mix­ing coloured paint. It wasn’t un­til a teacher cre­ated cus­tom colour charts to help him iden­tify colours that he re­al­ized the ex­tent of his colour-blind­ness.

For most of his early ca­reer, Ki­dlew hes­i­tated to use any colour in his work. “In my gallery work I was us­ing black and white and maybe some­times sil­ver or gold, but I think peo­ple started to think my work was in­com­plete,” Ki­dlew said.

It was only when he be­came in­ter­ested in graf­fiti that he started to in­fuse his work with colour.

“When I started us­ing colour in my work, I chose colours that re­ally jumped out. I thought if I could see it, then ev­ery­body else must also,” said Ki­dlew, a mem­ber of the pro­lific Ex Van­dals crew, one of N.Y.C.’s ear­li­est or­ga­nized graf­fiti artist col­lec­tives.

Passersby will be able to take in the mu­ral, which will sprawl against the east wall of the com­mer­cial build­ing that sits at the in­ter­sec­tion of En­ter­prise Boule­vard and Birch­mount Road in Septem­ber.

L–R: Ki­dlew sport­ing a can of spray paint in front of one of his cre­ations; one of the artist’s graf­fiti mu­rals in N.Y.C.; and the artist work­ing on a wall

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