By Jarred De Palo / Photos courtesy of King Bee UW
The Royal “KingBee” is a New York City-based artist from the Bronx that formed UWLAW (Urban Writers Logos and Walls) in the 90’s which was a well-put together group of some of the city’s most talented graffiti writers/artists. He was recently one of the featured artists at the 5th annual Colorado Crush in Denver, Colorado. While in Denver 1/1 Magazine had the opportunity to spend some time with him and pick his brain about the community he has been a part of since the 70’s. Here’s what was on his mind!
1/1: From where do you get your inspiration?
KB: I get my inspiration from practically anything new or old (something I’ve never seen before can inspire me). I’ve always [been] very observant and ideas come from everyday life.
1/1: What are your favorite things to “paint?”
KB: I LOVE to paint. But for those in the dark, my swarm of bees most recently! #savethebees
1/1: How did you feel about the overall talent at Colorado Crush?
KB: Great talent overall, I like the fact that all types of artists attended and there was a variety of art all in one place, the creative energy was great. The recognition and respect was truly noted in Colorado. Thank you Robbie Reps and Pisto!
1/1: How would you describe your style?
KB: My style comes in many different forms, from letters to my Bee character. For my letters I aim for 3 things 1) TIGHT-NESS (very sharp and neat) ….2) it has to be an inspirational piece one way or another…. and 3) creativity and wild styles of lettering , I call it KBORNIK ACID…..cause it burns!
My Bee character is more about helping bring it all together full circle and utilizing my art abilities to help bring awareness about the current declining bee population around the world, which is depressing and should be receiving more media attention since the bees play such a vital role in our food supply. My images, I believe can help the younger generation mostly, but also adults ask questions and engage people into thinking about what can and will happen if all the bees become extinct. #savethebees
1/1: What are your thoughts about the current graffiti scene where you currently live?
KB: The current Graff scene in NYC really varies depending on who you ask. For the most part my time is usually spent on projects so I tend to have little time and I’m more focused on what I have to accomplish for that day. One things for certain, wall space availability is not like it used to be.
1/1: Have you done much or any commercial work?
KB: Fortunately I do come across commercial work, it is the line of work I’m in as an artist. I still always find time to freely express my ideas and art 100% and combine what I believe in with my art for the public to enjoy.
1/1: Do you think graffiti has become overexposed?
KB: It’s more popularized and mainstream today so yes to a certain degree. It’s competitive art form and that’s good and bad. Good for those who continue to evolve and bad for many of the artists that helped pave the way for others and myself but who don’t receive the recognition for the contribution they have made to the art form.