Behold, the last week of Art Month. We’ve had a great time meeting our featured artists and having our readers view them in a more personal light. We enjoyed witnessing these artist in their natural surroundings and not at some smoozy opening show. The remark isn’t meant to disparage the practice of opening shows but when you actually have the chance to speak with the artist in their home or workspace, you are opened up to a whole new level of admiration and awe. Furthermore, you are exposed to that artist’s inner workings; you are allowed into their place of solace.
Our last feature for Art Month, our pursuit of Niky Roehreke was very much like our pursuit the lovely Kendra Morris. When we first got in contact with Roehreke we were bummed to find that the artist was globetrotting, Carmen San Diego style. She informed us that she was currently in Paris, would soon head for Tokyo and wouldn’t be back from Tokyo until the 20th of July.
Not ones to give up easily, we reviewed our schedule and decided that we could definitely squeeze her in for the last week — providing the airlines got Roehreke home on time. Needless to say, they did not but we managed to cut it close and ended up visiting her at her Williamsburg studio on a breezy Sunday afternoon.
When we approached the unassuming building Roehreke stuck her head out from behind a giant green door and greeted us with a huge smile. She was dainty in stature and possessed a frail beauty that would usually be reserved for a ballerina instead of a dynamic mixed media illustrator. Roehreke was a timid genius. Her demeanor was collected but friendly. We expected to find a spunky artiste draped in dramatic garbs, what we found was a modest talent who was reluctant to shout but easy to laugh out loud.
There is a reason why we steadily pursued Niky Roehreke despite scheduling difficulties, her work is something grand; something worth fawning over. The appeal of Roehreke’s work is similar to the appeal of the artist herself, they both secretly seek to enlighten your palette and enrich your taste — and they do so in such an efficient way that you almost miss the complexity of it all.
Today’s artistic landscape is an advance one; made gleaming by the hyperactive gloss of technological advancements. Resting defiantly in that fast paced environment of digital design, Roehreke is a masterful technician who refuses to let a machine do all the work for her. In the end, she wants us to appreciate this feat; she wants us to know of a glory wrought human hands.