The Amazing Jaybo Monk

JayboMonk is an amazing artist based out of Berlin and a pretty nice guy to boot.  I ran across his work a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love with his paintings.  He’s definitely one of my favorite artists painting today.  The movement captured in the work,  skill with spray paint and use of other materials such as tar absolutely amazes and inspires me.   If you are reading this and haven’t heard of Jaybo Monk…you are in for a treat.

ckirk:  How long have you been painting?

Jaybo:  I was born as a drawing machine. since I remember I always had a pen in my hands.   In the early eighties, i discovered some stencil artist on the wall…don’t ask me names.. I just saw some punk and political stencils.  I like the way graffiti touched me ….so I decide to try.  I 
had no knowledge of hip hop or graffiti at all.  I didn’t even know about caps or techniques. All I know about spray paint,  I learned it by myself… trial & error. I never had a chance to go to art school… which I deeply regret even today.  I’ve been painting like I 
do now for about five years or so .

ckirk:  Who are some of the artists from past and present who have inspired you?

Jaybo:  Here come the list , and i hate name dropping…..Paul Klee, Vangogh, Paul Gauguin, yves Klein, Pietro Perugino, Toulouse Lautrec, john william Godward. jean Baptiste Corot , 
Modigliani, Jan Vermeer, William Turner, Manet,  Jack Kerouac, Marcel Duchamp, A.R Penk, Tapies, Francis Bacon,  PHO, Adam Neate,Anthony Lister., and many more…. I discover new artists every day.

ckirk:  I know you’ve done tons of street art.  What is it about painting   in public spaces that appeals to you?

Jaybo:  I did like the rebel part of it back in the days . the street is the only honest place to show art.  I mean art with some meaning and reflexion. I actually split it in two there is work for the gallery and work for outside.

ckirk:  Is there any preliminary work before going into a painting, or are  your pieces created in a stream of consciousness?

Jaybo:  No or maybe yes if you consider that I need to be pushed on some edge like a deadline or a “Now or never” kind of feeling. Otherwise I never have a premade image in my head.  I just let my visual instinct going on  and I provoke some new mistake and so I discover a new path to somewhere. This is actually what I love to do . It’s not the finished product that is important to me….it’s the process.

ckirk:  Can you tell us a little about your process?

Jaybo:  well my technique is defined as a mixture of luck and accidents. I always try to push my work to the edge in order to provoke things to happen. I work with what I call visualreflexes. I am interested in the subconscience and it’s way of guiding us. In my pieces there is no foreground or no background …. just a continuity of interlacing relations. I am forcing myself to this contradiction in order to avoid conformity to my own taste

ckirk:  Any advice you could give to young artists looking to build a career?

Jaybo:  Never think about it.  Work like you don’t need money.  Make mistakes like you’ve never been hurt  and paint like no one´s looking.

ckirk:  What would you say inspires your work?

Jaybo:  You , me the space between us, the color we share, the sharp and the unsharp, the digital and the analogue, some bad words and good sentence, some sex, some abstinence, good food with a bottle of wine and things I see for the first time.

ckirk:  Do you have any upcoming exhibits that we can look forward to?

Jaybo:  There is quiet a lot.  The next one will be in spain , Santander  in the gallery Nuble with my dearest fellow Remi Rough.  Then some collaborations in July with Augustine Kofie , fabulous artist from L A. Later on I’ll be working with one of my favourite artist Anthony Lister from NY all of it will be held in Berlin ,at my project room .  August will be Holiday 
time , then Sao Paulo  in september , and solo show in Berlin at Circle Culture Gallery .

ckirk:  Where can a potential collector pick up a Jaybo original or limited  
edition print?

Jaybo:  everything at the

Jaybo appologized for his English, but his English is much better than my French or German, so I’m not complaining. 

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Jaybo Monk.  Stay tuned for more news about upcoming shows and more interviews with some of my favorite contemporary artists and art galleries around the world.

Well, until next time,



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