Interior_4-300x300
Interior_4-300x300

Interior_4-300x300

Kareem Rizk, Arm Chair
Kareem Rizk, Arm Chair

Kareem Rizk, Arm Chair

Kareem Rizk, Blue Chair
Kareem Rizk, Blue Chair

Kareem Rizk, Blue Chair

Kareem Rizk, Champagne
Kareem Rizk, Champagne

Kareem Rizk, Champagne

Kareem Rizk, Cowboy_Kid_No.2
Kareem Rizk, Cowboy_Kid_No.2

Kareem Rizk, Cowboy_Kid_No.2

Kareem Rizk, Floating Cubes_large.lowres
Kareem Rizk, Floating Cubes_large.lowres

Kareem Rizk, Floating Cubes_large.lowres

Kareem Rizk, Head 30x40 £340
Kareem Rizk, Head 30x40 £340

Kareem Rizk, Head 30x40 £340

Kareem Rizk, Mopeds
Kareem Rizk, Mopeds

Kareem Rizk, Mopeds

Kareem Rizk, Nude No.2
Kareem Rizk, Nude No.2

Kareem Rizk, Nude No.2

Kareem Rizk, Paximat
Kareem Rizk, Paximat

Kareem Rizk, Paximat

Kareem Rizk, Pink Bows 2m x 1m, £3490
Kareem Rizk, Pink Bows 2m x 1m, £3490

Kareem Rizk, Pink Bows 2m x 1m, £3490

Kareem Rizk, Pool
Kareem Rizk, Pool

Kareem Rizk, Pool

Kareem Rizk, Trike
Kareem Rizk, Trike

Kareem Rizk, Trike

Kareem Rizk, Vogue No.2
Kareem Rizk, Vogue No.2

Kareem Rizk, Vogue No.2

Kareem Rizk, Yellow Hat
Kareem Rizk, Yellow Hat

Kareem Rizk, Yellow Hat

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Mixed Media Artist Kareem Rizk

Let's peel back the strips of newspaper and magazine scraps of Saatchi Art and multi-media collage artist, Kareem Rizk's collage creations. His work recalls a synthetic cubist Picasso, the graphic feel of Russian propaganda art, with a dash of 50's simple life nostalgia turned upside down by Rizk's decision to scratch out the eyes of many of his collage pin-up muses with newspaper text.

KR_1
KR_1

KR_1

 

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Rizk graduated from Monash University with a design degree in Visual Communication. In 2006, he switched gears to pursue fine art and illustration. Today, he lives in Copehagen, Denmark under the official title of mixed-media artist and freelance illustrator.
 

Kareem Rizk, Head 30x40 £340
Kareem Rizk, Head 30x40 £340

Kareem Rizk, Head 30x40 £340

 
He has done illustrations for The Academy of Country Music Awards, Wired Magazine, The Atlantic, Motor Trend, Gold Business Magazine and t-shirt label White with One.
 
Kareem Rizk, Blue Chair
Kareem Rizk, Blue Chair

Kareem Rizk, Blue Chair

 
The effects of Rizk's craft have been far reached, with solo and group shows around the world. From the east and west coasts of the US, Australia, throughout Europe and most recently at London's Moniker Art Fair 2015–with numerous appearances in fine art magazines and books.
 
Kareem Rizk, Champagne
Kareem Rizk, Champagne

Kareem Rizk, Champagne

 
Kareem Rizk's creative process begins with collecting...old magazines, posters, books, brochures, and postcards that he finds in flea markets, street sales, and shops around the world. These lost two-dimensional treasures are deconstructed and layered atop one another with added digital effects.
 
Kareem Rizk, Mopeds
Kareem Rizk, Mopeds

Kareem Rizk, Mopeds

 

Rizk's style is cohesive yet original and instantly recognisable. The longer you look at his striking collages, they more they seem to reveal. The vintage tone and old-fashioned nostalgia of his work is rendered ironic against Rizk's motive to push collage into contemporary terrain via digital effects; blurring the line between hand made and digital multi-media.
 

Kareem Rizk, Pink Bows 2m x 1m, £3490
Kareem Rizk, Pink Bows 2m x 1m, £3490

Kareem Rizk, Pink Bows 2m x 1m, £3490

 
CM: What was the moment you realised you wanted to pursue your art as a career?
It was a few months after I had resigned from my position as junior designer at the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne in 2006. I was working as a freelance graphic designer at the time and I had also been promoting my collage work on various websites. I started building an online following, then some of my work had been published in a few magazines and books and one thing led to another.
 
CM: Which artists, creatives inspire you?
There are many, but my biggest inspiration in the beginning was Brazilian artist and illustrator Eduardo Recife. Others included Kurt Schwitters, Richard Hamilton, Mario Wagner, Charles Wilkin, Sean Hillen, Fred Free and Robert Mars. More recently I’ve also found inspiration in the work of James Rosenquist.
 
CM: How would you describe your style?
Highly textured, multi-layered and often gritty, but always compositionally considered, whether it is harmonious or dynamic. Nostalgic and eclectic, while at the same time very fresh and contemporary.
 
CM: How has your work evolved since you first started creating in this mixed-media collage style?
My ability to work on a much larger scale would be one of the most obvious developments. But my work has also become a lot more refined in terms of composition. I tend to line things up more now, whereas a lot of my earlier work was much looser. I’ve also noticed that I often use many more elements in a collage now, but it’s still very considered in terms of its layout, depth or perspective.
 
CM: How do you find and choose the images in your work?
I have a growing collection of old books, magazines and ephemera that I’ve accumulated over the last few years from thrift shops, flea markets, antique stalls and garage sales.
Your work recalls aesthetics and design from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
 

"There’s a certain naivety about them (60s+70's era), but at the same time an iconic and unique sense of character and charm that cannot be found in other eras of our past."–Kareem Rizk

 
CM: What draws you to the past?
Every image tells a story, but I’m most often drawn to imagery with a nostalgic or ephemeral history, especially imagery from the golden age of industrialism, but particularly from the 60’s and 70’s. There’s a certain naivety about them, but at the same time an iconic and unique sense of character and charm that cannot be found in other eras of our past.
 
I’m also drawn to imagery that reaches me on some level, whether consciously or unconsciously. There are many different reasons why an image will appeal to me. Some images display an intriguing weathered beauty or a sense of de-funked classiness. Some might hark back to glimpses of certain childhood memories, while others might appeal to my often droll sense of humour. But there is always a story in an image and I like to elaborate on those stories by adding new layers in a new or shifted context.
 
CM: Why did you choose to scratch out the eyes with print in many of the photographs?
This is one of the ways in which I’ve chosen to give images of people in my work a sense of anonymity. In some cases it also contributes to creating a sense of mystery or obscurity about the identity of a person within an artwork. With the addition of distressed or scratched text, I often see this as suggesting a sense of ‘missing information’ or other layers of the story within the artwork that can be read instead of being displayed visually. The text is not always related to the imagery and this can also create some interesting juxtapositions.
 
CM: You work in both fine art and do commercial illustrations, do you find that one has fed into the other more (in terms of success, exposure, etc.)?
Both have been quite separate from one another and that’s typically how I’ve tried to keep it. Both feed into each other aesthetically but I’ve found that the fine art side of my practice has had the most amount of success in terms of exposure and opportunities. But it’s also the side that I’ve focused most of my efforts on. The commercial illustration opportunities however came much later.
 
CM: How do you market your work?
I use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to post images and news relating to my work and I try to keep a regular flow of news posts on various blogs dedicated to art and illustration. On a couple of occasions I’ve had an ad placed in the artist directory of a couple of magazines including Aesthetica Magazine. But over the years I’ve been very fortunate to have been contacted on numerous occasions to have my work featured in various magazine or books, so this has been great for building an offline presence.
 
CM: Do you think it is important for creatives to have a presence online ? (social media, platforms)
Of course - because it draws such a big audience. The percentage of people in the world that use the internet every day for finding and discovering artists makes up such a large demographic of the population.
 

CM: Which are your favourite ones?
Probably Instagram. It’s direct, very easy to use and I like that all content can be shared across other platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
 

CM: Tell us more about your work for Moniker?
One of the aims of my work for Moniker , along with Smithson Gallery director Anna Smithson, was to go bigger. I've produced more big artworks in my latest body of work than I ever have before. But I also saw it as an opportunity to hone my processes and techniques even further. I thrive off challenges and I’m constantly evolving my abilities to improvise and solve problems as I’m working.
 
CM: A hint of where your work is headed next?
I think I would soon like to try working on an even bigger scale, taking my work beyond the 2 metre mark that I’ve most recently been working at. I would also like to incorporate screen printing into my work at some point. I’ve mentioned this a number of times previously, but it’s a matter of having the resources and space to do it.
 

CM: What advice would you give to aspiring creative freelancers?
Don’t give up! But also, don’t copy! Find something within your chosen mediums , or better yet, within yourself , that can express something unique or personal – something that’s different from everything else out there.
 
CM: Your dream collaboration?
I would love to collaborate with Eduardo Recife again. We did a digital collage collaboration a few years back, but I would love to work together on an original artwork and on a bigger scale – cutting, pasting, painting and getting our hands dirty. I also think my combination of imagery, texture and layering would be an interesting mix with New York based collage artist, Greg Lamarche’s typography based work. A little hint... there may be a collaboration from us in the near future in association with Smithson Gallery.
 
 

All Rights Reserved © Creative Mapping 2015 | Photo © Kareem Rizk