These last 2 artists are two of my favorites in the DC market. I've written about or attended their events before, but this time the difference is I created the event. It's been a while since I've chatted with these guys so I knew an interview would be a good way to break the ice. First up is Will Porter, better known as the "Canvas Killer". He's one of those guys who will conjure up his art on any surface and at any time, just for the heck of it. Some of his pieces you will understand immediately while others are thought-provoking and once you finally catch it, you may love it or not like the place that it took you emotionally. Either way, that polarizing effect makes you a fan of his work and the passion that he puts in every painting. In this piece, you will learn a little bit more about Will Porter, his influences, inspirations and what made him want to be part of #NaturalAffinityDC.
It may been seem obvious but where exactly did your name come from?
Haha, the name actually came from the title of a mixtape my cousin dropped years ago. It was called "Canvaskillers" & I liked the sound of it, so I asked him could I use it as a twitter handle. The rest is history.
How did you get your start?
I've always liked art since a child. My older brother made me want to get better though. He and I would have draw-offs with video game characters. I'd never win, but he set off the competitiveness.
What were some of your influences growing up?
My older brother and sister were some of my earliest influences. They were both really creative with drawing & painting.
How would you best describe your aesthetic?
I'd probably describe my aesthetic as controlled chaos with an attention to detail on top.
What’s your motivation? What do you want your impact/influence to be?
I'm motivated by a lot of things: my old work; my family because we're all elite in our respective lanes, so I can't let them get one up on me haha; and just the culture of art period. I understand my place within the culture, so I hold myself accountable for it's progression.
I intend to make art synonymous with music again. In the sense that people will have just as many favorite artists as they do favorite musicians. I feel like most art intimidates people because most of us aren't as trained to decipher thoughts in picture form (art) as we are trained to understand thoughts in word form (music). There's a method to reading art just like there's a method to reading music, I intend to teach that.
What is your creative process? What helps the creative juices flow? (Wine, Muse etc.)
I don't really have a creative process. As long as I have new colors and a canvas, I'm good to go. & music, I rarely actually LISTEN to it while I paint, but I just need to have something playing.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
My favorite mediums are acrylics & oil pastels.
What is your favorite piece you've made thus far?
My favorite piece I've made thus far has to be "Sapio-sex". "Basquiat's Blessing" & "Apodyopsis" are tied for 2nd.
What do you listen to? Who are some of your favorites visual artists?
I try to listen to a little bit of everything. I've painted whole murals while only listening to "It Was Written" though. My favorite visual artists, in no particular order are Salvador Dali, Jean Michel, @henrikaau, @pauldanielsart, & myself. I only say myself because I will actually take days and study my work so that I can learn what works for me and what doesn't.
I hear this isn't your only upcoming exhibition in DC and that you've had your work in a few exhibitions out of the area as well, tell us more about your recent and upcoming shows.
I showcased work in Steff Reed's Frontline Art Exhibition in Manhattan over the summer. I'm participating in the Art All Night Nuit-Blanche event this year in DC, & October 17th I'll be in SoHo at Mad Gallery for a collective show.
What's a common misconception about you & your work you would like to set straight?
Very good question, I wish I had an answer, though. I get very surface level critiques of my work, mainly because of what I stated earlier about art intimidating people. No one wants to say the wrong thing so I get a lot of "that's dope!!" & heart eye emojis. So I'm still in the process of building a conception of myself haha.
What does being a part of Natural Affinity mean to you?
I'm honored to be a part of an event that focuses on a subject that gets little attention. Especially among black men. & especially in a time where so many of us are growing into a deeper sense of self love and self exploration.