Yok is the word that comes in many flavors – in Chinese it means Jade, in Yiddish is an insult, and in the street art world it’s a name that stands for an Australian artist, The Yok, who deliberately took the name with no personal story behind it or any meaning for the artist whatsoever. Coming from the small suburb near Perth, when moved to New York, The Yok brought in his luggage his passion for loopy moustaches, seaworthy beards and potato headed rad lads. He first started painting some pretty loose figurative pieces in his small studio in Fremantle, Western Australia. At the time, one of his major influences was a street artist Req-1. Today, he lives in New York and produces detailed illustrations, Shellac-based ink drawings, and canvases. He is a part of an artistic duo with her fellow artist Sheryo.
The Yok’s characters are recognizable by loopy moustaches
Exploring Different Cultures
Growing up fueled up by Ren and Stimpy cartoons and skateboarding graphics, his work is very influenced by these early period of life. He has been studied at Curtin University where he received the bachelor degree in arts. He has participated in numerous street art festivals around the world and his work was shown in many big cities, like Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Taiwan, Tokyo, New York and London. Born in Perth, Australia, he travelled around South East Asia and Africa, exploring different cultures. One of these trips brought him the acquaintance with Sheryo, who became his inseparable friend and coworker.
The Nasty Goreng is a product of cooperation with Sheryo
Ancient Techniques and Tatoo Design
The Yok and Sheryo work from their Brooklyn studio, but most time they travel together, looking for adventures and getting know other people customs and folklore. Exhibition The Nasty Goreng appears as a result of their visit to Indonesia where they explored the traditional shadow puppet theatre and ancient technique of batik, a method of pattering fabric using a wax -resist dyeing. Connecting the forgotten ways of creating with their characteristic styles of tattoo design and comic illustrations, this exhibition also included the wooden sculpture inspired with Indonesian tradition.
Moustaches, Beards and Potato Head
Beginning his career of a street artist with a loose figurative pieces, The Yok found Req-1’s work as a huge influence. That created the basics of his current artwork with his recognizable characters. Moving to New York, he found a wider audience and international recognition of his work, but suburb near Perth was the place where he developed a passion for loopy moustaches, seaworthy beards and potato headed gargoyles. The partnership with Sheryo enabled him to find a new kind of inspiration arose from the mutual complementarity.