Posted on April 27, 2012 by Bambi
PRIMO! talks to KR, New York street artist, “100% legit businessman” and founder of Krink, and the newest partner of Maybelline NY.
KR’s large-scale signature drip work and ink/marker brand Krink has caught the attention of some larger-scale companies the world over. His latest collaboration is with Maybelline NY in the lead up to Australian Fashion Week, and he was in Sydney yesterday to launch their partnership.
We had the pleasure of taking a few minutes of KR’s time during his visit to chat about art, business, and what happens when you blend the two.
What kind of opportunities has your art afforded you since you started coming up off the streets of Queens in the 80s?
I’m so grateful for any and all the opportunities that I’ve had, from the interest in the things that I make, to travel, and the ability to continue to be creative.
How do you balance your commercial pursuits with staying true to your own artistic origins and the origins on your art form? Are there any conflicts?
I’ve been very fortunate that the commercial projects I’ve worked on have felt relevant to the Krink brand and I’ve been afforded the creative freedoms without having to feel I’ve compromised the brand integrity.
With high-profile projects such as your partnerships with Maybelline NY, Absolut, Nike, Carhartt, G-Shock and BMW under your belt, the paint brand you developed, Krink, is certainly gaining some steam. What can we expect next from your plans for world domination?
More projects, more products. I always try to keep it moving forward. I prefer not to talk about projects in the works, I feel it’s best to show finished work; talk is cheap.
Your collaboration with Maybelline NY is a surprising and exciting one. What similarities are there between the Krink and Maybelline NY brand aesthetic and ideologies?
Both brands essentially make tools for creative purposes.
Still being a writer these days and at the head of a very successful company that now lends itself to a commercial side, have you ever been concerned about the protection of your true identity and retribution from the authorities?
I am no longer an active graffiti writer. I’m a 100% legit, taxpaying business owner. I’m very happy with my experiences writing graffiti and it has informed and influenced so much of what I do today, but graffiti is a younger man’s game I just can’t keep up!
At the bare bones of what you do, you’re still a graffiti focused brand. What sets you apart from other graffiti ink and marker brands?
People seem genuinely interested in the history of the brand and how it is constantly developing. Krink makes high quality products and that alone will always sell itself.
Have you ever thought about developing a KRINK paint brand?
It’s exciting for us as an Australian audience to be hosting you New Yorkers. To be honest, we’re a little jealous of you…! What will you will be getting up to on your trip Down Under?
Jealous of us? Australians have been so kind, polite and friendly, the food has been excellent, the beach, water and land are all beautiful. I think you have a lot to be proud of.