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Thirty-four year old Rik Catlow was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He studied illustration at The Kubert School and The School of Visual Arts in New York City. He now resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Wassa and a tabby cat named Bo.
Rik has worked in New York City for the last seven years as a web designer and has designed sites for companies such as bluefly.com, Bertlesmann, N2K/CDNow and United Media. At N2K/CDNow, he won an American Graphic Design Award for his work on rocktropolis.com.
Rik Catlow's multi-media artworks are a stream of unrelated images to form one unified composition. Using found objects like discarded beverage cans as a canvas, gives his work an organic quality and a sense of whimsy. He has most recently shown his work in Los Angeles, Nashville, Austin, Seattle, Santa Fe, Atlanta, and Australia.
Growing up just miles from New York City helped feed my constant need to see new things. One thing that has fueled my current work is urban scrawl. Graffiti on the sides of buildings, posted bills on a construction sites, and lampposts layered with stickers promoting propagandists. The city is a constantly evolving organism that has its own unique beauty. You can walk down a street in Lower Manhattan and see walls tagged with graffiti and walk down the same street a week later only to find that it is vastly different. The majestic signage and layered landscape of typography that is the city is amazing. I seek to create an image that makes you feel like you're on a city street being bombarded with advertisements, street signs, and discarded paper.
The thin-line between tragedy and comedy is also pervasive in my work. It is amazing how broad the spectrum of humor has, It is a delicate balance between what some people will find offensive and others find absolutely hilarious. It is a tight rope I love to traverse and when I'm able to make someone smile or laugh i feel i've accomplished my goal.
My process is quite random and doesn't have much sketching of the final composition. Most of the objects that I use are found pieces of paper from the street and miscellaneous junk mail. I have a particular fondness for stamped random numbers that are found on parking tickets. I try to use images from the past, type from foreign language magazines, and drawings from my own sketchbook that I feel strong about. Then I apply acrylic paint on top of those sketches and images to complete the piece. By working in such a random manner, it is very satisfying when this process works.
I just love to create and be inspired.
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