James Reka is a contemporary artist who is well known in Melbourne’s thriving street art scene. His artwork was recently featured in an exhibition entitled Primary Suspects at Back Woods Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. Primary Suspects was a reflective exploration into the lifestyle of street vandals.
His show included canvases, found objects, and video installation that highlighted the similarities of the artist’s own alternative career choice to the working man. Reka feels that in both professions each person is striving for the same thing: that they are both on a quest for recognition.
Reke tells us more about his process, “While I’m out walking the train tracks or painting myself, I often come across rusted, discarded spray cans. Over the years I have amassed quite a collection and have decided to bring them full circle and paint portraits on them of the graffiti artists who may have once used them. In addition to this, I have contrasted the mundane life of a 9-5 office worker with the stimulating life of a vandal through a short looping film of myself dressed in a suit, getting sprayed in the face with four fire hydrants filled with primary coloured paint. That represents my job, and I dedicate myself to it just as any other person would. When my life is striped back to its bare elements, it becomes a mixture of red, yellow, green and blues. That’s what I am made up of. I am a primary suspect.” – Jane Kenoyer