Heiltsuk artist KC Hall represents a new generation of Native artists. He is combining graffiti with traditional form line. In the process he is reaching a whole new group of art enthusiasts. The thought that he might be ruffling the feathers of traditionalists along the way is of no concern to him. KC says, “Native art is nothing like it was 10 years ago. At one point everything was changing except for the form itself (….) and now people are adding to it and making it a newer version of itself, while sticking true to the foundation that it was built upon.”
KC Hall wholeheartedly embraces change and recognizes that it is happening every day all around us. Always creating, his art changes and evolves as he goes. He doesn’t stick with one contemporary style either. Instead, he constantly wants to switch things up and do something different. In that sense, he is very much a product of our dynamic and rapidly changing world.
When asked about his preferred medium, KC explains that it “is a mix of spray paint and acrylic on canvas or wood panels. The mix of using spray paint to create the background to lay colour and form line is what I most enjoy. I also enjoy painting bentwood boxes and skateboard decks. Basically, a mixture of my street art background with the traditional style I am still studying.”
In addition to canvases, wood panels, bentwood boxes and skateboard decks, KC has completed many wall murals around Vancouver. He has even used basketballs and guitars as mediums for his designs.
Earlier this year, KC has released a serigraph of an original painting. It is his first limited edition screen print and has helped to introduce his art to a global audience. The title of the print is Outside Looking In. It is a reference to being on the outside with the non-traditional aspects of his art, and not quite belonging to the mainstream. It’s a piece that has very modern, urban elements which literally “spill” into the traditional style elements in the design.
Clearly, convention will not slow KC down.
Claus Karl is the founder of Cedar Hill Long House Art Publishing. Working in collaboration with Indigenous artists, Cedar Hill Long House publishes and sells limited edition silkscreen prints of Northwest coast Native art through their online gallery.
Claus also likes to blog about anything Native culture and art related. His mission is to inspire curiosity and enjoyment by connecting a global audience to the originality and diversity of Northwest coast Native art and culture.
Claus lives in Victoria, BC with his rescue Chihuahua “Charlie”. He is the proud father of two wonderful daughters who never miss an opportunity to challenge him in every way imaginable.
As someone who loves symmetry, but can’t draw two straight lines, he has a lot of respect and admiration for the Indigenous art of the Northwest coast.