Gallery 903 is pleased to introduce local emerging artist Tristan "TK" Irving. Influenced by art and artists from across the spectrum, Irving fuses this inspiration into his deeply personal work.
As a self-taught artist, Irving began painting as an outlet during his recovery from alcohol. "I wasn’t able to attend as many meetings as I was going to, so I picked up a paint brush and started talking to a canvas. At first it was just getting my emotions out in color. I would write out what I was feeling and make those emotions look pretty with paint. To me that was a therapy session. Even though nobody was watching or paying attention, in my mind I felt like my feelings were validated now that I could see them on canvas."
As his newfound passion progressed, Irving began researching different artists and styles. "Most of the great painters are white so it was hard for me to relate to any of them," says Irving. But then he stumbled upon the work Jean-Michel Basquiat, "Immediately I felt a connection, with me finding art in recovery and him dying of an overdose. I fell in love with his work and he became my inspiration to create." Basquiat brought to my attention artists like Warhol, Haring and Banksy. "The whole street art scene was like a surreal feeling -- after 28 years I finally found a place that felt like home."