We welcome in Spanish artist Dulk who makes his debut with The Poacher alongside his self-titled book The Dulk. With his latest print Dulk weaves a narrative of a poacher riding his dismantled prey, all masterfully crafted with acrylics. An avid nature lover, Dulk strives to showcase animals in their natural habitat, but always invites the viewer to look for a deeper meaning in his work, in this case a dark and sinister scene is camouflaged with bright and vivid colors to lure the viewer into to taking a second look. Read on as Dulk gives us the story behind this intricate print, his book and lots more. . .
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this image?
Dulk: This image depicts a poacher in full action. The Hunter, (character with the apple head) represents the sin. This character is dedicated to capture all kinds of life forms other than reality, riding his dead toucan, previously hunted. Animals, their eggs and their bones are captured in exchange for money, all illegally obtained.
1x: Was this image part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Dulk: This artwork was produced for a collective exhibition with Thinkspace Gallery (Los Angeles) during the Miami Art Basel 2017. It is part of a series of works in which I have been working lately that show the dominion of certain characters over the nature, like the abuse and uncontrolled disturbed wildlife on our planet.
1x: What materials were used to create this original piece?
Dulk: This was a 12 x 12 inch wooden panel painted with acrylics.
1x: When was it originally created?
Dulk: It was created in October 2016th in Valencia.
1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about for this image?
Dulk: I am a great enthusiast to nature, and as long as the work allows me I try to travel to different places where certain types of animals live in order to observe them in their natural habitat, to know how they move freely, how they interact with the environment. Discovering these places, and the people that inhabit them, you realize the amount of wildlife that you can no longer find in the place, due to factors like poaching.
1x: How long did each of this image take to create from start to finish?
Dulk: It was created in five days, around thirty five hours.
1x: What is unique about this piece compared with your other work?
Dulk: Long ago I wanted to work on this subject in one of my paintings in a camouflaged way. The work tries to capture you with color, detail, and as a result it invites you to lose yourself. It shows a camouflaged reality. Other times you will find killings, murders or forced migrations, but before they have to capture you to be able to see it. That is what I try. Hunt the public and invite you to a journey in which you can observe what lies ahead to pose a search for solutions in a world full of paradoxes where something really bad is happening. It is like a need to discover and solve. It’s like a labyrinth in which you can enter, and you can lose or not, but if you lose better.
1x: Why should people buy this one of these prints?
Dulk: This painting is one of the most affectionate I have for the meaning and the technical finish. It deals with one of the threats that most punish the wildlife, fundamental basis in the theme of my works. The toucan is one of my favorite birds. Since I was little I had references very close to the birds, my father was a famous ornithologist in Spain, thanks to him my collection of bird books is much more extensive. He raised lots of bird species, so I always had personal interest in toucans and tropical birds. He always told me that these animals had to be in the jungle, not in a private house.
1x: Describe this image in one gut reaction word.
1x: We’ve also got your book here, tell us a little bit about it, when was it released?
Dulk: The creation of the book lasted about a year from the time I was contacted by the Ediciones Babylon until it has been published. The basic idea that the publisher offered me was that the publication had to be based on myself as an artist, in my fields of work, so the book is divided into two chapters, the street and the studio and in several subcapitulars.
The Dulk art book lets say that it is the beginning of something that is going to come, it is like a seed that is about to sprout. It is a seed that is formed the same day that I was born as a person, but that has been nourished and has taken shape during the last years and is ready to go out in the sunlight.
With this book I close a learning chapter with “Dulk” and open a new one to be joined to him in my professional career and in my future, I do not know what will happen in the future but right now I am very motivated and very strong to start to work with ideas much clearer.
1x: How much of your career does the book cover?
Dulk: From 2014 to 2017.
1x: Give us a little background on you, when did you first start making art?
Dulk: The encyclopedias and books of wild beasts that were in my house were the basic information to create monsters and imaginary species of animals when I was a child (four or five years old). At the age of nineteen a close friend from me introduced to the graffiti world. This coincided with my principles of economics studies in the Valencia’s university. After a year of drawing and painting both in the streets (and in the math books of the university,) I decided to leave the world of economics and start studying illustration and later graphic design in the school of art and design of Valencia. Since then I’ve been working in many kinds of artistic works as illustrator with advertising, fashion or animation design going in parallel with the street art and constructing the basement of what I’m today.
Now I’m working as an independent artist and creating and developing my own style in the studio and in the street. Both are different disciplines, the street is more spontaneous and the studio is much more methodical, much more dedicated and where you are allowed a greater degree of control over the work.The street is exposed to all kinds of conditions much more difficult to control for someone like me, I like to have everything under control. However I need the side of the street to feel really free, is another part of me, was born as a rebellious part when I started to paint walls, and is not the same, but it is the most similar to then. It makes me excel, grow and learn the same or more than in the studio, working on big scales is a way to test yourself, to see how far I can go, and I love that.
1x: What was your first piece?
Dulk: In the studio, if we consider it as such, I think my first series of paintings was about ten or so and it was a collection of bird paintings on wood panels, I remember that my mother framed them. I must have been around twelve years old. My first piece on the street was painted at age nineteen, it was a camel B-boy style, at the time I loved it, but when you see photos of that you realize the evolution of work.
1x: What artists inspired you early on?
Dulk: The visual game between reality and fiction is a duality that is clearly reflected in my works. That game tells real stories mixed with dreams and desires of the subconscious posing thousands of possible options of interaction between the elements of each image. The stories are formed from a basic idea, most of the time real, (real characters, own experiences) and from here we try to give shape to a set of things that orbit around that root. These “things” form the stories that can have multiple mini stories within the mother story.
Undoubtedly Hieronymus Bosch is the king doing it, he is my greatest influence in the history of art. When I discovered him in the art school I was really surprised to see his work, I didn’t know that there were people so contemporary in the past. His work is incredible and has much to do with what I have always done, it was really a surprise and a joy to see that in the past there were people working with themes and styles so similar to what I was looking for. The creation of imaginary and the formalization of absurdity and surrealism is my basis. Artists like Dalí or Magrite are also influences. The drawer Dürer and artists of the Flemish painting as Jan Van Eyck could be more of them.
1x: What artists inspire you now?
Dulk: Nowadays there are many great artists doing great artworks around the world, it’s just amazing. I am inspired from the pop surrealism movement, anyone special, I like lots of artists from this background, it’s amazing how they treat the images and broke my mind each day that I look the social media or while I go to the exhibitions. I love the work from Scott Musgrove, Victor Castillo or Mark Ryden.
1x: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Dulk: Yes I like to listen music while I work in the studio and also at the wall. I like the moment that you mix the sensations between music, painting and the place you are working. It’s like a special moment when you lose yourself in the middle of nowhere and some times you can feel the sensations that you are inside of the artwork or just inside in a moment where the time doesn’t run. When it happens that’s the best! It use to arrive in unexpected moments and use to end when the phone sings. About the style of music I don’t have any special preference, depending on the moment I like to listen Jazz, classic music, Rock, Punk or electronic, nothing special.
1x: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Dulk: I don’t know, nothing special, I like to work with people who work different styles from me, that’s when you get big surprises. Since long time ago I’ve collaborated with many artists in walls and paintings, I really like it because it’s a way that you never now where will bring you. It’s funny and it gives to the art another sense different from the art that you use to produce. It’s like a game, you do this part, you paint over the other artist and he/she paints over you trying to get something between two or more minds together. Sometimes the result is not the best, something is amazing, but what I more remember from this situations is the time that you spent with the artist, living different experiences.
I would like to collaborate more with another artists as I did when I painted graffiti walls. Now the street art festivals use to bring the artist to produce huge walls individually and sometimes it’s also nice to think in one artist to choose another artist to produce a project together. I did it last year with my friend Sebas Velasco, he has a very different style from me, but still we worked together many times in walls, paper or canvas and we really like it. I would like to do another one with him soon!
1x: If you could collaborate with any deceased artists who would it be and why?
Dulk: I would do a workshop with Hieronymus Bosch, I would simply sit next to one of his paintings to see the evolution of his work while I drink a glass of wine.
1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Dulk: As an artist, I love the art and also collect art, I have my own collection at home and I simply love to see how it looks on the wall. I love that moment because you are looking much more in each artwork, not only the piece, even the artists and the relation that you had with him or she. I use to change artworks with the artists that I like or I know, it’s an easy way for us to collect art because many of us like it so you can get a nice collection in a “cheaper” price. Anyway the latest and only piece that I remember I bought was an Herakut painting as a present for my girl, she loves their artwork. The last is the same one, the Herakut painting. It is about to change though, I’m waiting to receive a nice one from Martin Whatson, great artist and better person!
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Dulk: I’m just now working on my next show, it will in be a solo exhibition in London’s Moniker art fair this next October with Thinkspace gallery. Also I’m getting ready plans for next walls in Winipeg(Canada), Luxemburg or Helsinki in the next months. There will be more walls during the year and a big solo exhibition for 2018 is in the oven.