‘ChrisRWK: Promise Made. Promise Kept’ to Open at Harman Projects




ChrisRWK ‘True To The Blue’. Image courtesy of the artist and Harman Projects

Harman Projects is pleased to present Promise Made. Promise Kept, a solo exhibition by New York City-based artist ChrisRWK. This will be the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery.

ChrisRWK creates layered mixed mediapaintings drawing inspiration from cartoons, comic books and his time as a graffiti writer. These paintings feature a selection of recurring cartoon-like characters that the artist has been developing over the last two decades. Centered in this cast of characters is the eponymous robot. The most iconic image in Chris’ work, the robot actually originated as a cube that began appearing in his work in the late 1990s and evolved into a television and then finally a robot around the turn of the century.

ChrisRWK. Image courtesy of the Artist and Harman Projects

The current body of work largely features mixed media paintings made with layers of paint, ink and collage heavily embedded with messages and symbolism. These messages, both seen and unseen help to create pieces that hold a great deal of meaning to the artist. In the top left hand corner of Lost Amongst Ghosts And Shadows, pictured above, the artist has spray painted “Rosebud” the iconic line referring to the childhood sled belonging to Orson Welles’ character in Citizen Kane. This text, half obscured is one of countless details that invite the viewer to take a closer look.

Promise Made. Promise Kept is a highly personal exhibition. The artist states “…the past five years have been rough. I Lost my Dad, my Mom, my Mother-in-Law, my dog, six friends and have dealt and am dealing with other things. The art is my sanity. The staying busy and moving helps me process stuff. Writing a word like forever over and over is cathartic. Once I lost those people they were gone forever but only on earth. They’ll forever be in my thoughts and my heart and the work.”

ChrisRWK as part of The Mural Project

Despite dealing pain and loss, the strength of love and friendship is illustrated throughout the work. Hearts as well as references to friends and family find their way into nearly every painting, reminding us to show our appreciation for those whom we hold dear.

ChrisRWK as part of The Mural Project 2018

Please join the artist on Saturday, February 11th at Harman Projects, 210 Rivington Street, New York, NY for the opening reception of Promise Made. Promise Kept from 6pm to 8pm. The exhibition will be on view from February 11 to March 4, 2023 at Harman Projects, 210 Rivington Street, NYC.

ChrisRWK, Graffiti Wall of Fame 2019, East Harlem

ABOUT THE ARTIST ~ ChrisRWK’s paintings frequently cite past conceptions of popular culture embedded in his psyche’s cache. This use of intertextuality also serves to offer a comfort or familiarity of sorts to the viewer, frequently revealing everyday musings and people one would pass on the street without a second thought. These images also aid the artist in the creation of a visual language comprised of his own iconographic imagery. Through the repetition of this imagery, ChrisRWK strives to familiarize his viewers with the language he has constructed. He believes that the notions within his pieces serve as a backbone to the many stories created by the viewer when he or she is experiencing the work.

ChrisRWK, 2017, Graffiti in the Sky, 4 WTC. Image credit: AFineLyne

ABOUT THE GALLERY ~ Harman Projects was founded in 2022 by curator and gallerist Ken Harman. Our goal is to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment to foster a community of likeminded artists, collectors, and art lovers in New York City and beyond. Our focus at Harman Projects lies mainly in the New Contemporary genre, encompassing historical movements such as New York City graffiti and SoCal pop- surrealism as well as contemporary schools of art such as Bay Area abstracted realism, international muralism and Japanese-inspired SuperFlat.