In Focus: Saudi Artist Rex Chouk

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Saudi Gazette

Rex Chouk, a Saudi pop artist who, similar to Banksy, keeps his identity anonymous, is now making waves in his hometown Jeddah. The artist fashioned a rather distinct charter for his artwork disguised by a mask, similar to the one he wears in public and refers to as ‘Chouka’ and ‘Choomy’.

You know a Rex Chouk piece when you see one. While some may believe he is the Saudi Basquiat with his influence on pop culture and hip-hop affiliation, he believes he is just a self-taught artist who found his calling and learned to create on his own.

“I never created art nor understood different styles. My thoughts, style, inspirations, and art ignorance lead me to create organically. I started out in 2015 and a few months later I developed a unique style. The rest is history.”

Rex, who describes himself as ‘a spiritual being caught in worldly cycle’ developed his style while he lived in New York and has recently moved to digitalizing his work, he told Saudi Gazette. While his modus operandi is playful and relates to pop culture, his work also voices his beliefs and the current status quo. “My biggest inspiration is the paradox of existence and the baggage that comes with it,” he said.

The artist implores people to think about the message in his work and enjoys watching people interact with his pieces as a passerby. One of his most-talked about works was a part of a show about ‘Racism in Saudi’. “Social issues relate back to the paradox of existence and its definition among individuals and the masses. I consider social issues, stereotypes, and traditions to be the main topics of my works. The other type is what I call ‘Worldly’, which is inspired by worldly things or creative slumps.

This particular piece was part of a show about Racism in Saudi. I enjoy participating in anything that raises awareness on topics I feel strongly about. Not forcing ideas, just having a discussion.

I create for myself. If you want to see, then you are more than welcome. If you want to talk about the art, it served its purpose. It’s about the subliminal impact.” While discussing which era of art and artists have been most inspirational, like Keith Haring, Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he said he was fascinated by their use of raw and freedom of expression. “Their impact on pop culture is authentic and fascinating. I identify with raw authentic expression, no rules. I'm more inspired by the artist not the art, and thanks to the World Wide Web, I check out creators from the 1700s all the way till now,” he added.

With new cultural reforms and a greater emphasis on art in Saudi Arabia, Rex, who is undeniably, a force that pushes the culture forward, said the new developments are paving the way for a bright creative future. “I feel local art establishments have to do a little bit more for the culture. Remember, authenticity can't be taught. We need more raw exposure.”

Check out his latest works on Instagram: @rexchouk

To buy Rex pieces visit www.rexchouk.com


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