At 17 years of age, Neko Burke was exhibiting alongside artists like Shepard Fairey, Dalek, Kinsey, Monica Hoover, Deform, Maya Hayuk, and Ed Templeton. Originally a graffiti artist, Burke’s first fine art show forever changed the way he thought about art and finally assured him he “wasn’t crazy for only wanting to create art.” It wasn’t long before Burke was showing more frequently and in 2003, he linked up with Monica Hoover to start VOICE1156 Gallery in San Diego, where he started curating a ton of shows for emerging and established artists.
Self taught, Neko Burke’s art is loosely based off times and incidents shared with friends in the past, inspired by his travels and growing up in the Golden Hill and East County neighborhoods of San Diego. “I find inspiration in skateboarding, everyday common scenarios, the way women and men search for love, 1950/60s soul music, the youth of today, the success and art of my friends, watching posers fall off, fireworks, nudie mags, bigfoot, oac, DTM, mdr.” Within his bold geometric lines and stylistic lettering, subliminal stories can be found hidden in details like tattoos on the characters in the paintings. “Some are very literal and others not so much,” Burke admits.
Burke’s recent collaboration with Canadian artist and friend Denial titled “Endless Bummer” can be seen at SILO as well as his older more colorful contribution that spells out “You Are Important,” a message to all who pass by. You can expect to see Burke in San Diego again soon, painting some murals with frequent collaborating artist friend Christopher Konecki. Burke also has big future plans to continue traveling to paint in Canada, Cuba, Berlin, Spain, and Poland. You can see Neko Burke’s latest work at Cohort Collective’s Creative Block show on May 8th at SILO and the following night at La Bodega Gallery for “Kicked To The Curb 2.”
Photos and article by Carly Ealey
Art independently curated by Chris Konecki. For more information on art in Makers Quarter™ contact: firstname.lastname@example.org