Apr29

BK’s Finest

by Joseph Arzuaga

The New York art scene crowns a new king.

Every revolution needs a leader. Every resurgence needs someone to bring attention back to that subject or art form. We are currently in the midst of both a revolution and a resurgence in the New York art scene and I do believe we have found our leader. His name is Brian Kirhagis, also known as BK The Artist. BK is the artist we have all been waiting for, some since the passing of the great Salvador Dali.

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BK does not just paint or sculpt. BK challenges our minds and hearts to truly examine his paintings and find their deeper meaning within ourselves. BK asks society, technology and humanity to reexamine themselves and their perceived importance. Take a good look at how BK challenges the existence of all of our favorite websites in his painting “The Metamorphosis of Social Narcissism” from his BK X Dali exhibition.

The Metamorphosis of Social Narcissism

The Metamorphosis of Social Narcissism

Examine his painting of Trayvon Martin, which he displayed in The Bishop in Brooklyn for Black History Month, and you will see how BK is creating social commentary through paintbrush strokes.

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin

I look at BK and I do not see a painter. I see a human who is commenting on how he sees the world without saying a word. His colors scream out his pain. His lines in paintings such as “Pillow Talk” smile at you seductively.

Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk

His message in his painting “God of Sun/Son of God” is so intricately layered that we could create a college course just to attempt to decipher every hidden message and lesson.

God of Sun/Son of God

God of Sun/Son of God

I challenge anyone to look at a BK painting once and attempt to explain the meaning of the painting. It may be impossible. As I told BK when we sat down for our interview recently, his paintings cannot be digested in one viewing. There are so many hidden jewels and intricate details that a person has to view his paintings multiple times to begin to understand a portion of what the artist was thinking or feeling when the art emerged from his fingertips.

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I first discovered BK’s art through Dame Dash’s Instagram page and eventually his gallery, Poppington Art. When I visited BK’s exhibit at Poppington Gallery I immediately became a fan. I felt as if I had discovered some sort of treasure and I did my best to share that gem with the world. Truth be told, his art inspired me to write and in my mind I wanted him to be my first feature.

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After the Poppington Gallery exhibit, BK came back even stronger with his BK X Dali exhibit at The Sacred Gallery in Downtown NYC. BK told me he worked on this exhibit for over two years and it was well worth the wait. The concept of the exhibit was a reimagining of Salvador Dali’s most famous paintings under the question of “What if Salvador Dali was born in 1983 instead of 1904?” This exhibit, which I visited many times, was critically acclaimed. Schools began bringing their art classes to see the exhibit and to speak with BK. He has since begun visiting schools and speaking to children, delivering a message of inspiration and belief in one’s self and one’s dreams.

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I recently had the privilege of talking at length with BK. For over three hours we discussed everything from his beginnings in Baltimore, Maryland, his decision in college to follow his dreams of painting, a certain teacher who unknowingly motivated that dream, ‘90s hip hop, and a wide range of other topics. We also discussed his upcoming exhibit “Levels” at the Atelier in Midtown Manhattan, opening May 1st. I know you will enjoy this video featuring highlights of our conversation – and I recommend everyone come out to the exhibit and witness a legend in the making.

See video highlights of the interview.

See a video of BK discussing his painting “God of Sun/Son of God”.

Go to BK’s website. 

I would like to thank Brian Kirhagis for allowing me into his studio and sharing his thoughts and experiences. I would also like to thank Natasha Homsi for filming the interview and Robert Lynn for editing the interview.  -  Joseph Arzuaga

 

  • Mari Caceres

    I love it….your the man!!! I’m so proud of you!!

  • FontaineVuitton

    Super great job on the article, definitely Bk is a gem in our generation. Can’t wait for the Levels exhibit May 1 am so there food for the soul!

  • Genie

    Wow! What a talented young man. His artwork is amazing. I love the Trayvon picture… it speaks within itself. Great Article!

  • Angela Jennings

    Great article, the art reminds of salvador dali painting “The persistence of memory.”

  • Nel

    Great article. Feeling that god of sun/son of god painting..

  • taina

    Great article. …very interesting. ..the messages in his painting are incredible BK is a very talented person that can express himself threw his painting without talking. GOOD JOB would love to read more.

  • bludsh0t

    This dude’s art is so SICK!!!! I’m in love with the paintings. Fresh perspective for an evolving world. Great story overall.

  • Jae Treez

    Wow you never cease to amaze me my dude. Nicely put together and perfectly explained and orchestrated piece. It really meshed well. Saying you painted me a picture with the words used in the article would be an understatement. Not only are BK’s painting inspiring and moving but after reading this joint I much more of a FAN now than before. Top 3 picks: 1: Pillow Talk, 2: God of sun/Son of god, 3: The last piece, Music is in me. Not sure if that’s the title. But… All of them are DOPE!!!!!!! Art is everywhere…. How you interpret it is all that matters.

  • J. Arce

    The revolution will not be televised…dude is definitely on another level. Mr. Arzuaga was correct in his statement “I challenge anyone to look at a BK painting once and attempt to explain the meaning of the painting.” I had the pleasure of viewing the “Dali” exhibit at The Sacred Gallery & was blown away by BK’s vivid, relevant reinterpatations of some of my favorite Dali pieces. BK’s art & messages incrypted within the art is evidence that the NY art revolution is well underway. Much respect to Joseph Arzuaga for introducing me to this great artists work, way to keep the masses informed…

    • Jae Treez

      I agree the REVOLUTION IS HERE. The pictures speak louder and louder as you continue to decipher the true meaning behind every painting which I feel is in the eye of the beholder. Whatever your perception is of the piece it’s still gonna make a powerful statement. Kudos Mr. Arce…