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Rex Chouk - But Why?
For Rex Chouk, art is a conversation that begins with “But Why?”. With a rough textural immediacy, Rex Chouk’s art is a vehicle for building an intercultural connectivity. His art fulfills a need for process-oriented testaments to living in a world where the visual is less about developing an aesthetic point of view, than communicating feelings that are immediate and responsive to what being an outsider artist is or could be. His piece “Quarter-Life”, for instance, has humor in the text inscriptions like “When I Grow Up” and “Lucid Drooling” that accompany a man and bird, whose rough depictions are as much graffiti as the words. In “Poetry” the confusion is intentional, multi-layered, almost a dream-like hallucination. Others like “Sallk” and “Trust” are close to parody, and reaffirm the illiteracy of the media culture that dominates our era, and hence the title of his first ever exhibition “But Why?” a show that reaffirms the rootless curiosity of living in many cultures simultaneously and symbolically. The allusions to Saudi culture intertwine with post-Pop American cultural references with great ease.
Originally from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Rex Chouk moved at the age of 15 seeking education abroad before moving to America for University. As he says, “I am an entrepreneur passionate about positive impact and creating sustainable solutions, giving back directly to my community as well as humanity. I believe through "human" interactional and conversation, we can grow and in today’s world, there are multiple ways to leverage networks and add value in many different ways.” Largely self-taught,
Rex Chouk has created a personalized fictional universe within which the artist himself is a character with skeleton-like features who wears a mask of a skull.
Currently working out of his SOHO studio, Rex Chouk’s art is a color driven, graphic and visually impact driven journey into the RXC Urban experience. RXC is a fictional universe of Rex Chouk’s creation; full of Hip Hop script lines that, like mantras describe and transcribe into images that are mixed like music together to suggest the uncomfortable utopias and urban environments we spin and live in and move through daily.
As Rex Chouk comments, “I envisioned something and started thinking towards it, I used my good understanding of process and structure to transform my imagination onto canvas using whichever tools I liked. With time, people started to compliment and invite people to come see my work, it generated more conversation and therefore more impact.”
It is hard to quantify or qualify the sometimes disjointed, other times fluid layering we see in Rex Chouk’s art. Loaded and dense, these artworks mimic and transcribe the overload dictums of contemporary culture. Rex Chouk seizes on the signals, cues and codes in the shifting sands of 21st century culture. The questions he gives a voice visually and viscerally, build a narrative on the journey we are all a part of, and this, in turbulent times.
By: JOHN K GRANDE