Another great artist statement from REK607 for the Re-Writing the Streets: The International Language of Stickers exhibition co-curated with Hatch Kingdom.
Why did you choose your sticker name?
My name is REK607 from Benidorm, Spain. I’ve chosen this name in honor of one of one of the greatest graffiti pioneers: Kase2. Kase2 was also known as the Real Electro-magnetic King (R.E.K.), and 607 was chosen because I found many REKs and REKones. The number is cabalistic, with a mutating meaning in a personal and constant evolution. I’ve been known in the early years as Reptil-Uno. This AKA was abandoned in 2003-4 due to problems with the police, but mainly because I was bored and ran out the main ideas of this Mortal Kombat’s alter ego.
How do you choose the images you use in your work?
I usually try to work with concepts and ideas that I share with my friends and mates. I usually feel the need to express myself with drawings (much more than I do orally). I’m not that good at drawing or painting because I don’t have all the time I would need to do this, so sometimes I get other people’s ideas or use popular characters. I mix them with my own reinterpretation, I like to take a concept to my own personal level, showing most of the times a different vision of the character or style.
Could you describe the history and evolution of your work and/or the process?
I started painting graffiti in 1999. I was 13 and fell in love with a girl that didn’t care that much about me. I always liked cartoons, drawings, paintings…. I personally think it was an attention call. After some weeks of work I accomplished my task: she loved what she saw and we started a relation that lasted almost five months. After that I couldn’t stop, until 2003. In that year I started University, so I didn’t have time for anything else that was not physiotherapy. In 2009 I rejoined the game, but I found new interests in street art, not only in graffiti, which is actually a bit secondary. I love working with the computer, pasting up posters, stickers, stencils, works on t-shirts, badges, underwear…. And I found much more respect in the public than doing my own graffiti styles in the streets of Benidorm city.
Why make stickers?
Stickers are an excellent support. They last for a long time if you know where and how to stick em up. They allow you to work with much modern techniques and materials (glossy paper, pvc paper, vinyl, color, b&w, metallic colors, metallic non-metallic colors…). To me, the most important facts about stickers are: how fast you can use one, the appeal they have for traders, and how easy it can be to have your works in lots of countries and continents without leaving yours.
Who or what has influenced your work?
I focused my attention on stickers when I had no money for spray cans. Graffiti is not a cheap hobby, but stickers are (or at least, can be). I surfed on the net watching works from people in Europe and America with a decade or so of experience. I found that this movement did not exist in my city, and that it was growing in bigger cities such as Madrid or Barcelona. In 1999 and 2000, I was the first writer who bombed the city with my tags and bubbles, so I decided to repeat the story once again being the first sticker artist in the city. There were some music or breakdancing groups with stickers or t-shirts, but none by a conceptual and individual artist. Regarding my own style, I felt amused with good old graffiti artists such as Seen, Kase2, and Iz the Wiz. I also like works from local artists like Chock, Henk, and F2K. 1980s and ‘90s cartoons are also vital to understanding what I do: Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mighty Max or, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I am actually learning about Dalí, surrealism and paranoiac-critical method, so I expect the upcoming works to be much more weird and reflexive.
Is there anything else you’d like to add or any message to share with others?
Well, I joined 3 years ago a sticker/street art group named International Sticker Crew. We are writers, painters, and sticker addicts from all around the world. Hi guys!