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Another 10 Minutes with Jacob Yikes

It’s been almost 1 year since your sell-out show ‘Even in Darkness’ was held with us at Fiksate Gallery last April, and by the looks of this, it seems as though you have been working nonstop. Can you tell us a little about some of the projects you have been working on?
Yeah, it's been a busy year since the opening of ‘even in darkness’.
I've been locked away in my studio working on this new body of work for the most part but have also been busy working on designs for some large mural projects as well as the odd little project here and there.
I was also fortunate to travel down south to Waihopai /Invercargill to paint a mural for south sea spray in December 2022.

Your wall for the South Sea Spray Festival showed a stylistic shift toward visual elements we have seen more in your studio works. Are you hoping to show more of your studio style through your muralism?
Yeah, the shift towards painting my murals in a more realistic style has happened naturally over the last couple of years, I've found myself wanting to move away from the cartoon style surrealism I am known for and move into a more realistic approach to a subject that is internally produced.
I have always played around with that style of painting with portraits etc but feel the urge to push it further so I'm sure this will become apparent in the next couple of years.

After South Sea Spray you launched straight into gear producing your installation for SHIFT - Urban Art Takeover at Canterbury Museum. This is some scary shit, can you tell us a little more about the concept and the process behind it?
Haha yeah, it was a bit full-on, to say the least, but it was a great experience.
When Rueben (the Curator) approached me about creating a house-of-horrors-themed experience in the old living canterbury part of the museum I was pretty amped by the idea of doing something a little darker than I usually do so jumped at the opportunity. The ideas behind the works were based on imagery from some old horror movies and I combined them with sleep paralysis imagery as I suffer pretty badly from this condition so there for felt it fitting to draw inspo from that.

What has the response been from the public, I know my son was pretty spooked out by it.
The response has been cool. I think obviously people find it a bit uneasy and I even started to feel a bit drained by the end of painting it as it was so dark. But yeah it's perhaps not one for a very young audience hahaha.

After the success of your ‘Even in Darkness’ solo exhibition last year, we were all pretty excited to lock in a date for another show. Can you explain how you were feeling after your last show?
Yeah, the last show was a great turn out and I was overwhelmed by the support and sales.
I think for me it kind of reassured me that this path I am on with my studio-based work is the right one and as I already had a lot more ideas in my head about what comes next I pretty much got straight into the next body of work for Escapism.

So since then, you’ve been straight into the next body of work. How is your new work progressing?
It's a strange process, it's hard to explain what is going on in my mind when I am beginning these paintings but they have all started to come together really well and I'm looking forward to putting them on display.

What can we expect to see this time, and how has your work developed from your last body of work?
Being that I have a bigger studio now I have been able to work on all of these at once to some degree therefore there is a real sense of cohesion throughout them all like they really feel like a solid body of work. There is a sense of continuation from the last series but they are far more refined and detailed and will take the viewer on a bit of a journey through what my mind looks like after a year of isolation in my studio haha.

Using metallic pigments has become a common feature in your work, can we expect to see more of these reflexive surfaces in your new paintings?
Yes for sure, this is another element that I have been refining too, and working out how to use this pigment best to create the results I want.

Cool, I can't wait to see these custom panels, what’s it been like working in this new format?
It's been great, having the boards custom created has allowed me to hang multiple up at a time and work on them. They feel more solid and I think will look really good once they are up on the walls.

It’s great that you consider a size range and different price points for collectors at all levels. Your prints are always super popular. Will you be releasing any new editions for this show?
Yeah, it is important for me that some of my work be affordable for a range of people. This time however I may only have one of the works available as a print but I'm hoping to have a new digital painting available too,

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