Sign up for our weekly newsletter
Lost City

Art Works: Kay Arefaine

18 February 20 words: LeftLion

Kay Arefaine talks us through his striking faux leather creation: Teenage Fever

Painting faux leather is a challenge. When you make a mistake you can’t go back and fix it. Throughout 2019 I focused on painting denim and faux leather, each piece more colourful than the last, with psychedelic imagery and a street-fashion feel. In the past I’ve painted big-scale murals, shops, and huge canvases; now my style is on a much smaller scale, I have to focus on the finer details. 

I wanted this piece to be relatable to teenage me, and teenagers today. Colours and other fun things slowly disappear from our clothes as we get older. I understand there’s levels of professionalism that comes with having a job or a certain level of success, but we shouldn’t let our profession or age affect the freedom we have to express ourselves.

I’ve always had a fascination with bright colours, alternate realities, and beautiful beaches. Everything combined has made me the artist I am. One of my favourite projects I worked on was an exhibition titled Safe sex is cool inspired by Larry Clark’s 1995 film KIDS. Working together with a dear friend with HIV, I looked to remedy the silence around safe sex. We hand-painted seven canvases, screen printed posters and t-shirts, and created an installation resembling an apartment scene from the film.

 I’m originally from California. My days consist of being in my studio manifesting success, and my nights getting to understand the UK’s young culture. I’ve always wanted to vlog my everyday life as an artist, so I began that in the new year. I’ve had an idea about an art show influenced by rave culture, and its iconic symbols that make up the experience. My main focus now is to get the ball rolling with those paintings, and to find a gallery or venue to showcase my artwork. 


We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now

You might like this too...


You might like this too...