In the world of contemporary pop art, where imagination knows no bounds, Kyle Jardine emerges as a dynamic force, infusing his creations with a vibrant and mischievous spirit. Born and raised in the captivating city of Cape Town, Kyle’s artistic journey is as eclectic as the characters that populate his colorful canvases.
With a background in film and musical theater, he seamlessly transitioned from the spotlight to the canvas, becoming a self-taught artist whose work is an exuberant celebration of life’s quirks and idiosyncrasies. In this exclusive interview, we delve into Kyle’s artistic evolution, the influences that shape his distinctive style, and his boundless passion for storytelling through art.
Join us as we embark on a captivating journey into the world of Kyle Jardine, where creativity knows no limits, and each artwork unveils a world of playful wonder.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into art!
I am a born and bred Capetonian, and my journey began with a film degree and a licentiate in musical theatre. I’ve had the privilege of working extensively as a performer, both locally and abroad. My artistic inclinations extend to aesthetics and costume design, and I’ve ventured into the realm of self-taught artistry and illustration, specialising in a contemporary pop art style.
My work is characterised by a delightful quirkiness, a touch of naivety, and an unmistakable theatricality that infuses charm and comical personality into the everyday. Architectural themes, encompassing both interiors and exterior landscapes, have been my primary focus, infusing a breath of fresh air into ordinary objects and characters. My creative journey is fuelled by a blend of old and new influences, with a deep appreciation for history, heritage, prints, pop culture, interior design, vivid colours, and fashion, all of which continue to inspire and shape my work.
Kyle, you’ve had an interesting journey into the art world, starting from your background in performance. Could you share more about your artistic journey?
Art has always been a part of my life. As a creative & professional performer, I began to actively explore painting & drawing again while traveling for shows. This led to creating full-scale works, which then led to my first solo exhibition.
From there, the bug had bitten once again, and I found myself participating in group shows as well as creating commissions & private work. As we know, through COVID, the performing arts took a hard knock, and I took the time to focus on my art. Little did I know that due to circumstances as well as the positive response to my work, I would pivot into a full-time artist.
How would you describe the art you love creating?
The art I love creating I like to call my heart’s work. My work is naturally filled with colour and a playful energy. I’m definitely influenced by my background in theater, which encourages me to create fun-filled scenes layered in detail allowing for the unraveling of fun & mischievous storylines. The nature of my work is to simply spark joy and allow the viewer to decipher their storyline within the busy world they’re presented with.
What influences your artistic vision and style?
I’m influenced by my love for telling stories and my natural mischievous character. In a world where people can often be so serious, I like to leave room for being silly. This, paired with a love for bright colors, fashion design, prints & pop culture, I like to create a fusion where all of these pieces connect to create the visuals of the wide world inside my mind.
Are there any present-day artists whose creations resonate with you and that you find particularly compelling?
I’m a lover of many of the famous painters that have come before us. There are too many to name, in particular Van Gogh, Chagall, Picasso, and many others. Like music, I also share a love for a wide range of artists.
In the contemporary art scene, there is such an array of art from fine artists to street art. Each of these styles is fascinating as they arrive at their final creation. I like to think that I’m influenced by many styles and attempt to create my own fusion in a contemporary art scene where there are no limits.
Among the various materials you engage with, which one do you find the most fulfilling to work with, and what draws you to it?
I often go through phases, however, I largely use acrylics in the form of paints, sprays, pens, etc. I’m also a lover of ink & oil pastels.
Can you walk us through your artistic process, starting from the initial spark of an idea to the actualisation of the finished artwork?
I often say that I do not have a set process as each piece has its own unique journey. At times I can map out an idea on pen & paper, from there add sparks of colour to begin seeing my vision. I can be fairly clear about a piece with my mind’s eye, but from there I take it to the canvas. I start by base coating & slowly layering & mapping out the detail. I always leave room for spontaneity, and that’s where I have the most fun adding loads of detail & objects.
There’s a great amount of joy in constructing these wildly playful scenes where I feel I have no limitations. After a few weeks of creating & viewing the piece, it finally reaches a point where it’s ready to go.
Could you share some insights into your current creative endeavours and projects?
I’m always creating and planning new projects from illustrations to large paintings. My dream is to launch my own textiles and even other products. I have also begun creating my own range of ceramics which I hope to launch in the coming months.