From street to the gallery, Yikes opens city exhibition
One of Christchurch’s best-known street artists has hit the studio in preparation for a rare gallery exhibition.
Jacob Ryan, better known by his artist name Jacob Yikes, kicks off his solo show Bad Company on Friday at Fiksate Gallery, on Gloucester St.
His street art is featured across the city, including a large blue piece on the side of the old Rydges Hotel car park, the ‘‘stairs to nowhere’’ near Cathedral Square, and an Alice in Wonderland-themed piece on the side of Alice Cinema on Tuam St.
The 31-year-old Christchurch local talked to Stuff ahead of the show opening on Friday at 5.30pm. It will run until December 7.
‘‘There is definitely quite a transition from my street stuff to the gallery. There are recognisable elements, but it’s a different art form in the end,’’ Ryan said.
Used to large spray-painted murals, Ryan said his gallery work was about small detail and intricate imagery.
‘‘I am strongly influenced by animation, particularly older stuff, from the 70s through to the 90s era,’’ he said.
‘‘I think of my style as cartoon surrealism, a cross between selfportraiture and self-exploration.’’
He admitted his work can often be ‘‘bizarre and quite dark’’, channelling his own struggles with mental health.
‘‘I’ve never shied away from the darker elements to my own character. I’ve suffered from mental health since I was a teenager, and the way I work is my therapy for that,’’
‘‘I think of my style as cartoon surrealism, a cross between selfportraiture and selfexploration.’’
A ‘‘health complication’’ about a year ago meant Ryan was out of the studio and off the street-art scene for a long period of time.
‘‘I’ve been hidden away for a good year, but now I’ve got 40 originals on show, which is a massive amount for me, the most I’ve ever exhibited.’’
Jacob Yikes pictured by his work on the wall of Alice Cinemas.