ron king art gallerywww.ArtPal.com/ronking
I first discovered Ron King's art via IG leading up to his first solo exhibit at the Roy Alexander Art Gallery back in August and I was blown away by his work. You can't talk about LA street art in LA without someone mentioning his name, in fact, a few artists credit King with their inspiration behind picking up a paintbrush. We had an opportunity to get to know the man behind the mask as he awaits word from one of the most important galleries in the world.
Denielle Johnson: You moved to LA when you was 21 and now you’re 25 so what was the drive to move from Pittsburgh to LA?
Ron King: Pittsburgh was a great place to grow-up, but when I grew older I started to realize it wasn’t as much opportunity as I thought. I wasn’t getting too far with the things that I wanted to do such as being an artist and getting involved in music so I kind of had this depressing moment for me that caused me to book a flight and move to LA…
DJ: I read that you’re one of only three artists displayed at Roy Alexander’s Gallery so how did that come about?
RK: I met Roy Alexander in April and he had already heard about me...so he walked up to me when I was painting live on the streets and asked me would I want to be the first person to do a show at his gallery because it was a new gallery at the time.
DJ: Given your success do you ever feel like you should have more of a social media following than you do?
RK: I look at it and I see the respect my art gets, I see what I’ve accomplished, I look at who respects my work – Swizz Beatz is my mentor, but I still don’t have the following. I used to wonder why I didn’t, but now it drives me to continue to work hard and to remain humble when I do get that recognition via social media.
DJ: I read somewhere that you’ve done 75 art shows in three years?
RK: I’ve done that and 5 gallery shows in the past three years, so 80 shows altogether. It started with me just painting live on the streets…people would see me and one day the owner of Hide Gallery asked me ‘Hey, your work is amazing do you always paint on the streets?’ and I said yeah, so he offered me an opportunity to feature my work. So the buzz began, I was a guy who wore a mask, with my clothes painted on, and I’m doing all of this art on the streets, so people started talking about me and reaching out to me from all over the US. That’s when the requests from galleries came and before you know it I was up to 60 shows – I wasn’t getting paid to do any of it, all of the paintings I sold were to normal people outside of my shows.
DJ: How did that make you feel?
RK: I was blown away because the people who were buying paintings from me were first time art buyers, so not only was I creating at a prolific pace, but I was also inspiring people to buy their first art pieces. It's also amazing how I inspired people to start painting after they met me at some of those shows...now that's amazing.