This week’s artist of the week, The Yok & Sheryo, are two artistically inclined individuals who banded together to create amazing and detailed street art. Their vibrant, young and care free style captivates their viewers eyes, as if, they were apart of Yok & Sheryo’s secret world. Not only our they super talented but they are fun loving people, who love to have a good time, travel and adorn the world around them that’s what makes them Grade A.
GA: Can you tell us about The Yok and Sheryo?
Sheryo is a gnarly pizza eating spray lord. Yok is a talented salty sea dog with powerful spray fingers and a handsome ginger beard.
GA: When did you guys get into art and street art?
Y:I first discovered the street arts on a trip to Barcelona in 99/00 when Barcelona had a thriving creative wave happening there, it was a great place to be and a inspiring city to visit. After having a gallery show that maybe 50 people saw, It seemed natural to me to just paint on a city wall that maybe 50 people would see every day.
S: It started when I met some cool skateboarder dudes, they brought me out painting one night.
GA: You both have very creative and unique style, how did your styles develop? Who were some of your artistic influences growing up?
Y: My style developed from copying images from Mad Magazine, looking at Reg Mombassa and early Mambo pieces and drawing and redrawing what i liked from these pieces and mixing in elements from skate graphics and metal album covers.Illustrators like Don Martin and Basil Wolverton were a big influence early on.
S: Cartoons on Television everyday, I love Reg Mombassa’s work a lot growing up. I remember going to the library and discovering Basil Wolverton work when I was 17.
GA: You both reside in New York? Does living in a place like New York, which is rich in art and culture,influences your work and strive to work hard?
Y:Yes we share a studio in Brooklyn, well our studio is really our kitchen in the apartment, rent is too high in NY for a studio at the moment.. haha
S: Yeah our space is pretty humble and I love our couch a lot. Being in NY definitely makes us want to work harder ,there’s so much rad stuff happening all the time, and everyone’s hella motivated to do what they love, you just automatically get on that hustle and want to always make rad shit all day everyday.
GA: We’ve recently checked out your piece featured in “Art in Public Places,” on 16th street in Chicago it was phenomenal. What inspired that piece?
Y&S That piece was inspired by Chicago and the time that we spent there. Chicago is famous for Deep Dish Pizza among other things, but we decided to focus in on this to make it a bit more fun. We wanted to include a lot of shapes and patterns in this piece and show a lot of the wonderful textured concrete wall in the background.
GA: When did you both know that art was your calling?
Y: Hmm not sure really, it’s funny when you are a kid, you are always into arts and craft and painting and then it seems to die off, for me it never really did. I wish i could paint like i did back then.
S: I just kept drawing.
GA: What motivated you guys to keep going and creating?
Sheryo motivates me to keep going everyday, she always has some weird idea to pursue or some craft she want’s to explore.
When Sheryo moved to NY from Singapore she was super pumped to paint walls, coming from Singapore where any kind of outdoor painting comes with a serious punishment or caning, Sheryo was eager to do a lot of walls, I think we painted something like 40 walls in that first year.
Yok is my main motivator, he is so good at everything and I want to be as good if not better! Else I would totally be a toy. We have this healthy competition going on which makes our stuff get better and better and i love that about us. we’re pretty chill people and we never fight about an artwork
GA: Yok does the Puerto Rican culture inspire some of your work and Sheryo you being from Singapore does your culture inspire your works?
S&Y: We often draw influence from the place that we are currently in, our work is almost like a visual diary or journal something like that.
GA: Where is most exciting place art has taken you guys?
Y: So far maybe Indonesia, where we learn’t how to do Batik and sculpture
S: I love these crazy random trips Yok goes on with me to discover ancient arts and crafts. usually people would say no to my crazy but Yok just goes for it. super rad we always end up discovering these unknown amazing beaches on our motorbike rides.
GA: What is the messages behind your work?
Y:Have fun with what you are doing,
S: always have fun, as a rule
GA: . Can you tell us about some of the exciting things you guys have done so far this year?
Y:The most exciting thing for me was learning how to bring our 2D drawings to life in a 3D form. We did a 1 month residency in Indonesia making sculptures it was was very difficult but also very rewarding.
S: To me it was making batik. It was a lot of work sitting beside a hot stove on a really small tiny uncushioned stool in the village on a 38 degree Celsius day. and trying to keep zen with the weather and concentrate on pouring hot wax onto a cloth through a spout at a fast speed so it doesn’t blotch and throw up all over the cloth on your drawing that has 139012441240 line details… and… if you make a mistake, you pretty much have to start all over again.. urgh…
GA: You guys were in Australia last month working on a few projects from Perth’s first international street art festival to painting a wall for Vic Park collective. Tell us more about your trip.
Y&S: It was so great to see the city of Perth getting some love from more then 30 international and local super talented artists. Thanks so much to Form for hooking it up and making it a rad festival.
GA: Sheryo is it safe to say you love pizza? What’s your favorite kind?
S: My favorite kind is every kind of pizza except the ones with pineapples on top of it, but i’ll still put it in my belly… y’know… it’s pizza..
GA: You guys recently released some paintings from your trip to Mexico. What inspired those pieces?
Y: Mexico, and the life style there, fried fish on the beach, surfing, exploring, desert cactus and iguanas. On that trip one thing I got well over 25 sea urchins spines in my hands and feet from a surfing mishap.
S: Coco Frios,Fried Pescados on the beach and mezcal. Also new found amigos
GA: How awesome was it to paint a vacation flamingo at The Wynwood Doors?
Y&S: Hahah yes painting in the Wynwood doors was a huge honour, being amongst such legends.
GA: Do you guys have any up coming collections, collaboration or art dropping on your website?
We both just updated our tumblr sites with a lot of work
We also have a few shows, one in NY in August with Krause Galleryand one in LA in November with Superchief Gallery an in between we’re also going to do a few street art festivals here and there.
GA: Is it safe to say you guys will be at Art Basel?
We will see, but we may be in Chicago soon, We get to Detroit on the 22nd of June for a road trip around the area and back to NY