Hello Atelier 021
Phil Shafer, a/k/a Sike Style
On a scorchingly hot day in late September we drove to downtown Kansas City to stand in the sun and watch a mural being painted on a three-story building. At our arrival, Phil Shafer, a/k/a Sike Style, and his employees took a break. He chatted with us while the others went across the street in search of some much needed shade. As we talked, Phil’s eyes rarely left the wall, every once in awhile he would fall silent as he contemplated the design, wondering aloud if he should add a pop of orange or dark teal to a section. The scale of street art is astounding. It’s hard enough to paint on a wall-sized canvas – I can’t imagine the logistics of expanding and transferring a design to a multi-story building.
The work that Phil creates cannot be simply described as graffiti art. Forget the image of an artist in the dead of night attacking a building with spray paint. While Phil does paint with spray can in hand, he taps into his background of art history and hip hop culture to create intricately designed murals that become as much a part of the community as the building itself.
In this episode we sit down with Phil to discuss his evolution as a muralist, the importance of public art, and the process of designing for a community space.
- Sike Style: Phil’s website.
- Constructivism: An art philosophy of the early 20th century to create art for a social purpose.
- László Moholy-Nagy: An early 20th century Hungarian artist who has had a huge impact on Phil’s aesthetic.
- The Bauhaus: A German art school that focused on creating works that combined crafts and the fine arts.
- Barbara Kruger: An American designer who creates text-driven graphic art.
- Jenny Holzer: A graphic artist who uses text as a medium.
- Shepard Fairey: A graphic designer and street artist best known for his 2008 Barack Obama “Hope” poster.