Standing under Chris Konecki's massive spray-paint mural at 707 Broadway, you feel that overwhelming sensation: awe. Larger than life figures confront technological evolution, from a spin on Michelangelo's image of Adam and his outstretched finger to an examination of the lines between humanity and the future of artificial intelligence. Circling the parking structure, the images stop you in your tracks and present myriad directions for the eye and mind.
Konecki, one of the featured artists at KAABOO, is a San Diego fine artist, self-taught, with a background in film school. I sat down with him over tacos for a chat.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
A: I started painting when I was 9, but I always knew. Art is my first language. Words are harder. I could always lose myself in art.
Q: How did you get involved with KAABOO?
A: I curate art work down at SILO in Makers Quarter. I started hanging out with Amandalynn (the creative director for KAABOO). And it went from there. I will be exhibiting, and co-curating the PangeaSeed show at KAABOO.
Q: Art is tragically underfunded and struggles to stay relevant in our TV and celebrity-saturated society. How do you think KAABOO can help elevate art in the minds of the public?
A: I'm anxious to see what will happen. Hopefully exposure and cross-pollination. We will have a huge crowd there for music, and they make their way into the art exhibit.
Q: The live painting aspect is a wonderful idea.
A: Yes, it's experiential for the crowd. For people coming every day, they feel a relationship with it. On the first day it's blank, then it progresses, and they become invested in the outcome.
Q: What can art and music lovers see from you at KAABOO?
A: I have a 12-foot display space, with a variety of work, including an installation piece, paintings and smaller works, things people could take home. And I will be going back and forth between there and PangeaSeed.
Q: What are you up to when you aren't creating?
A: That's all I do. I don't have a social life. All of us in the art community work really hard to bolster the San Diego art scene. Eventually it will pay off, right now we have to make the nucleus.
Q: Who do you look up to in the art community? Do you have a mentor?
A: Neko. He taught me how to spray paint. I didn't have the technical skill at first. Spray paint is more difficult to control, but so much faster. I use a lot of line work, and lines with brushes can be limiting on rough surfaces like stucco. About a year ago, I started filling in with spray paint, and now I can paint like I would with my brush.
Q: Where can fans from KAABOO find your work outside of the festival?
A: For murals, there is Waypoint Public, Park & Rec, the SILO, and the 707 Broadway structure. Fine art is on christopherkonecki.com
Don't miss Konecki and fellow artists at KAABOO, and be sure to check out the "Reclaim our Future" exhibition from 6-10 p.m. Sept. 26 at SILO in Makers Quarter presented by PangeaSeed and Cohort Collective. Open to those 21 and older, free entry.