David Paul Kay
An artist’s iconic turning point:
Hockney had his swimming pool, Warhol his soup can and Haring his radiant baby: Every inspiring artist has an iconic point in their career where their practice is challenged, they make a new discovery, boundaries are pushed and as a result their work evolves. In New York City, visual artist David Paul Kay, who works primarily in black and white, reflects on the year gone by, telling the story of a pivotal moment of his own. He’d always hoped to use color in his works and this collaboration meant he could fulfil that wish. Meeting Montblanc marked a new chapter in his body of work. Together they defined a strong shade of red allowing David to produce a striking, interactive artwork. “To me, creating black and white art is like playing the piano, bringing in the color red feels very authentic. Now that I’ve added a touch of violin to my piano, I can hear a different sound that I like. It’s my voice, my melody and my new experiences that offer my art a new dimension.”
„To me, creating black and white art is like playing the piano… Now that I’ve added a touch of violin to my piano, I can hear a different sound that I like.“
- David Paul Kay, Visual artist
The shaping of a resilient, creative mind:
David Paul Kay is in his studio in uptown Manhattan. Sun streams through the lofty warehouse windows. He talks fondly about his childhood, being born in Georgia, Eastern Europe, into a family dedicated to educating him in traditional literature, music and the arts. He revelled in the art of the renaissance and European modern masters like Picasso and Kandinsky. These introductions made at an early age built the confident foundation for his life as an artist. But it wasn’t easy growing up amidst the fall of the Soviet Union. After challenging times and personal battles, which he now positively puts down to ’inspiration’, he saw the bright lights at the end of the tunnel: New York City.
“The reason I left my home country is simple: I’m gay. I had to escape to New York to find a safe harbor. There I could continue developing myself personally and artistically.” His move was an artistic rebirth. The city that introduced him to the likes of Warhol and Pollock provided the perfect, ever-changing, buzzing backdrop for the young and eager artist. And he’s never stopped evolving since.
„The madness all around me unleashed a massive, creative energy.“
- David Paul Kay, about the pulse of NYC
A collaboration to inspire, energize and broaden horizons:
Earlier in September, David travelled to the Montblanc headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, where he and Montblanc defined a special color that would add a positive energy to his artwork: a strong shade of red. In combination with his iconic black and white the new red became a part of a limited spray can edition. A new instrument for the muralist who mainly used paint and markers before.
„I was talking to a group of people who gave me an opportunity to take my work to the next level.“
- David Paul Kay, on his visit to the Montblanc headquarters
The power of 3:
Back in New York, David is standing in front of the triptych he painted after his inspiring visit to Hamburg. The number three is an integral cornerstone in both life and work for David, so when he received three limited edition spray cans he decided to produce a piece on three wood panels over a three day period. It’s titled “R3solutions”. An iconic symbol of his craftsmanship, it stands much taller than he is, an orchestra of red strokes so melodic and so energetic they might jump off the surface. He also decided the piece would be a conceptual one. “Artwork is never finished. It’s always moving. It never stops.” With this in mind, David wants people to write their own wishes into the artwork. “I’ll write my next wish between the lines with a MONTBLANC M(RED) writing instrument”, he says. “And everyone who encounters this work of art should do the same.” The artwork is set to be exhibited at art fairs next year. Just as David was able to realize his wish to challenge himself with color, people can put their wishes into the universe through this piece.
„What better way to put your wish out there in the universe than actually physically writing it on the surface and making part of artwork.“
- David Paul Kay, about leaving his mark