Underdogs Gallery is pleased to announce “WK – Act and Process”, a solo exhibition by New York visual artist WK Interact in Lisbon, Portugal.
An avid collector of curiosities and unusual objects, WK Interact has been amassing a vast assortment of visually striking 20th century American press photographs over the years, a selection of which forms the basis for his first solo exhibition at Underdogs Gallery. From the sources to the final artworks, however, each piece has undergone several crucial transformations that reveal the artist’s meticulous and original creative process.
On the face of it, “WK – Act and Process” seems like a collection of instant, motion-frozen narratives, each telling an individual story. On closer inspection, though, we see that through the artist’s unique (re)interpretation these intense, quasi-cinematographic snippets of crime and drama come together to form a larger story on the nature of emotions, identity, and our shared human experience.
Combining these photos of historical and everyday events with his own scenes staged in the studio (with the aid of
a variety of models and props), the artist creates various connections rendered in his trademark black-and-white, bold graphic language. Speaking of juxtaposition, layering, and blending different narratives to create a single new image, the original works displayed here also materialise an exercise of self-reflection on the artist’s own creative path – seeking to complete a full circle by setting aside the more textural approach he’s been following in recent years in order to return to the sharp simplicity of his initial visual language.
What we see here – in the form of a multiplicity of screen printed wooden panels and paste-ups in various scales complemented by a range of props and prints of the original photos – is a scenographic compilation of stories with multiple layers that plays with the reinterpretation of emotionally-charged events. If this charge seeks to act upon the viewer, the show also gives us a space of respite through an original effect that not only seems to freeze motion but also gives off a sense of frozen time – suspended somewhere between the past, the present, and the future.