1xRun Thru Interview
Beacon Park Yard by Kenji Nakayama
1xRun: Tell us a bit about this original piece, is it still for sale?
Kenji Nakayama: This was one of the old stencils I did in 2006. I used to sneak into Beacon Park Yard in Allston and made a few compositions from those visits. Coming from an engineering background, trains–and anything made out of steel–are always my favorite things. I love train yards. Beacon Park Yard has finished its operation and now it’s an empty yard. Unfortunately yet another landmark disappeared from our town.
1xRUN: What materials did you use to create this piece?
Kenji Nakayama: The original is painted on canvas with oil and acrylic paint. I added the acrylic base first, then added a layering effect over top.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Kenji Nakayama: Each intricately carved stencil painting is a unique manifestation of documenting and responding to the environment surrounding me, and often takes weeks, sometimes months, to complete.
1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Kenji Nakayama: The stencil work was completed over three weeks in 2006.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Kenji Nakayama: This piece was constructed more fluidly and loosely than other works. It was also roughly by stretching, palette-ing, and scratching away at paint. I revisited this stencil after CSX moved out of Beacon Park Train Yard.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Kenji Nakayama: I think people should buy this only if they find it interesting.
1xRun: Describe the print in one gut reaction word.
Kenji Nakayama: You are missed!
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Kenji Nakayama: Probably since when I was a kid, but not sure when–and not sure what could be considered as art making when I was young. I can’t remember my first piece really.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Kenji Nakayama: I could list up more but here are a few early influences, Andy Warhol, Shiko Munakata, Ed Roth, Wildman, Ishii Nuts, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, Swoon, Banksy and Obey Giant. Also, Logan Hicks (a.k.a. Workhorse) is one of the most influential multi-layer stencil artists to this date, he is definitely the pioneer in the stencil game.
As far as recent: Caleb Neelon, Kem5, Alex Lucas, Tauba Auerbach, Tara Donovan, Project SF, Best Dressed Signs, Scott Patt Damion Silver‚ Dark Clouds and Thomas Buildmore are a few artists that I have been digging.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what?
Kenji Nakayama: It depends, but I tend to listen to mellow music, although I go through phases.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artist?
Kenji Nakayama: I’d love to collaborate with Dana Woulfe because we used to share a studio and our studios are close to each other, we have been working well together for a long time. As far as the latter, it would be Ed Roth. I would love to have Rat Fink somewhere in my painting. You can not go wrong with Rat Fink.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last?
Kenji Nakayama: A drawing by a guy hustling on a street, I still have it. The last was A 10 x 10 Inch screen printed piece by Thomas Buildmore at his solo show at Lot F Gallery.
1xRun: What have you been doing lately as far as exhibitions?
Kenji Nakayama: Woodward Gallery has a lot of my work, and they have some of my work (including a collaboration with Dana Woulfe) on view at Four Seasons Restaurant in NYC. Hellion Gallery (Portland, Oregon) has some of my antique painted saws Lot F gallery has some stencil work, as well as antique painted saws.
1xRun: Anything else we may have missed?
Kenji Nakayama: I’ve also been doing a sign painting project in collaboration with homeless men and women around the Boston/Cambridge area, which will hopefully bring awareness to their situation. You can check it out on Tumblr – http://homelesssigns.tumblr.com