Extacy and Defeat m rez_1

Born in LA, raised in San Diego, Christopher Konecki started painting when he was young. Since then he’s always been a compulsive doodler and always had some relationship with art. Visual imagery is his native language and is comfortable being honest with his art. We had the opportunity to catch up with Konecki to discuss his beginnings in the world of art and his eventual emergence on the street art scene.

What is your first memory of art?

My mom showing me that two 45° parallel lines on a rectangle make it resemble glass. After that, for a long time everything I drew had some glass in it.

How did you first become involved in creating art?

I’ve always been a compulsive doodler. I started drawing and painting when I was young and have always had some relationship with art. As weird as this might sound, I think visual imagery is my native language and feel comfortable being honest through my art.

How did you first become involved in street art, mural work, commercial work art?

Thing’s have grown organically. Painting turned into gallery shows, then bigger shows, then mural opportunities started popping up. While this was happening I was also curating large group art shows and started watching some of my favorite painters working on a large scale. My main man Neko Burke thought me how to scale up my artwork, can control and basically how to paint a mural. Then I was off.

What was the art scene like when you first became involved in it?

San Diego is known for its lackluster art scene. Artists often leave for better art markets like LA or SF. When I was involved in shows I would always think to myself, “I would do this differently, or change that.” I saw holes and looked for ways I could fill them. When I put on shows I think about what ways I can benefit the artists involved. As an artist, its easy to know what they want and how to form a creative environment in which to work.

Who were some of the artists you admired during that time? Why?

I look up to many international artists, like Dave Kinsey, David Ellis, Connor Herrington, Blane Fontana, Phlegm just to name a few. Some of my favorite Sd artists are, Neko, Exist1981, Honkey Kong, Pursue, That Kid Peep, Diekuts, Carly Ealey and Spenser Little.

How has street art/mural art changed from when you first started until present day, today?

Its more approachable and has a wider audience. That means more opportunities.

Tell me a little about the art you create? What influences it? What inspires you?

I try to focus on social commentary, usually I focus on an absurd subject try and present it in a way thats meaningful and beautiful. The aesthetic quality will draw the audience in, but the message will keep them there.

How or what has been your contribution to the art scene? What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the growing art scene in SD. A lot of people complain about the scene not realizing that they are part of it. They are talking bad about themselves instead of getting off the couch and doing something. I’m most proud of the collective I helped start, Cohort Collective, and the lot where I curate artwork, Silo in Makers Quarter. Both projects promote rad art and artists. The collective puts on dope art shows and the lot gives artists a spot to paint, be seen (right off the fwy) and promote the scene in general.

Tell me a little about some of the major projects you have led or been a part of? (example: PangeaSeed, The Local PB, SILO at Marker Quarter, Warehouse 1425, etc.)

Warehouse 1425 was my first chance to put on a huge show. The opportunity kinda fell in my lap and after a little crafty negotiation where I received full creative control for the 6000 sqft warehouse, and was assured that the artists get to keep all the money from Art sales, I was in. The deadline was crazy. The artists had  a 10 day window to paint/ instal. Somehow it all worked out well and we ended up having a great show.

Silo was the next extension of the Warehouse. The owners of a underutilized lot sought to make a fun event space to activate the neighborhood. What was initially supposed to be a few murals has turned into an ongoing curatorial project over the last year and a half. I get to curate the space and my goal is to keep it fresh so upon each visit there is something new to see.

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