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In Artist Feature

By tfdcadmin

Interview with street artist ULTRA on Pink Line Project

On 02, Nov 2012 | No Comments | In Artist Feature, Exhibitions, Press | By tfdcadmin

October ’12 exhibition artist UTLRA was featured on the Pink Line Project’s Pink Noise in an interview with Ally Behnke. ULTRA’s show quiet walks in dangerous places was the first solo exhibition for the street artist who has been painting for 30 years, since the age of 16.

Below are excerpts from the interview, read the full story at Pink Line.

Ally Behnke: The title of the show is ‘Quiet Walks In Dangerous Places’. What is the inspiration for the title and what inspiration are you pulling from for this particular exhibition?

Asad “ULTRA” Walker: The whole idea of the title I have had in my head for a while – it is that as a graffiti artist you are out on the street at 4 in the morning – I’ve been out on a DC street at 4 in the morning and seen a deer walking down the middle of the street – you know graffiti artists see crazy stuff in these crazy places at these crazy times that. We, graffiti artists, go there. We see things that everyday people don’t get to see.

We go into old abandoned buildings and into old train yards and down the street at 4 in the morning, 5 in the morning when most people are in bed — it’s a different world. It’s a different way of looking at things.

With the show I wanted to show who I see around me and portray them on canvas – just the normal people, the everyday people, the DC people that I see around me in the weird way that I look at things. I wanted to portray them on canvas in the hopes that other people will think that it is beautiful.

AB: You have been doing art for 30 years, how does it feel to have your first gallery show?

ULTRA: It’s cool. I’m a perfectionist – so it’s a pressure thing – I want it to be perfect. But seriously I am a perfectionist and I’ve always wanted to do a show, BUT I have wanted to do it the way I wanted to do it, and hopefully this is that. I am learning a lot. I’ve always been a street graffiti kind of guy — it’s a different kind of rulebook. A different kind of playbook that you have to go by – so I am learning a lot.

When I work with the kids I try to push them towards the good of being an artist. What’s the good of creating all this stuff if you can’t make a living at it? I ask myself ‘Why am I pushing these kids to be an artist if we artists can’t exhibit and sell a painting?’ So here I am pushing to practice what I preach. I’ve been in a lot of group shows – a billion group street art shows – and I’ve sold a lot of stuff that way – but this is the first time it’s me in a gallery and I’m working with the gallery staff and gallery owner to do a show.

AB: What do you want people to get out of your show?

ULTRA: I painted street people. Nobody that I painted is a model. I have met them all some where on the street. I try to paint the people that are around me. I wanted to convey the idea that the school of art that I come from, graffiti, can create works of art. Basically graffiti as a school of art is a contemporary way of looking at things and saying things.

It is art and hopefully people will find it beautiful and want to buy it or at least want to come and see it and see the beauty that I see in the everyday people that I know.

I’m hoping before I bring my show to The Fridge that I can bring my work by the youth center where I work. And get the kids to see some of the stuff – I’ve shown them slides and we have painted together – but they have never seen my completed work in person on a canvas.

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