David Paul Kay

Mix media on canvas


(New York)

Contact is a part of the “Underdog” series. It talks about intimacy issues as well as the struggle of finding the right measure of physical and emotional interaction. In order to exist we need to coexist. The piece represents the phenomenon of coexistence.

David Paul Kay is a New York City-based American contemporary artist & muralist.

Originally from Eastern Europe (former Soviet Republic of Georgia) David migrated to the United States in 2008. As a self-taught artist, Kay has always experimented with various different techniques; though his career evolved soon after moving to New York City early 2009 and developing his signature black & white style. Throughout the past decade Kay’s work has been exhibited and included in private collections all over the United States, Europe and the Middle East, including artist residencies in Los Angeles, London and South of Spain, solo and group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Dubai. David has created numerous large-scale interior and exterior murals in major cities of the US, Europe and Africa, including the recent “Mona Lisa V” in Wynwood Art District for Art Basel Miami 2019.

Interview of David Paul Kay

Contact (2020) is under the series titled Underdog, can you talk a little bit about the significance of this project?

This was one of my first series that started in the early stages of my career. Looking back at my upbringing I saw injustice and insecurity almost everywhere. I believe regardless of your status there are times we find ourselves in a position where we think of ourselves as lesser. Some of us are there all the time. This work speaks about us overcoming our insecurities and focusing on overcoming the fear of being incomplete, inflicted on us by the society we live in. We are all underdogs; it all depends on the perspective.


Contact (2020) is finished during this global pandemic, if I understand it correctly, can you tell us what was going through your mind during this creative process? Did the quarantine assist you in any way to complete this work?

The piece was completed right before the pandemic, the timing was very peculiar. We need each other to protect each other from each other. This piece speaks about the distance we keep, or we don’t keep from the ones around us. In order to exist, we need to coexist. Though the fear of getting too close and letting your guard down is encrypted in our DNA. It’s ironic yet very significant that I painted the piece and the world’s number one priority became the issue of how we distance from others while trying to stay as close together as possible. 

Because of this global outbreak, our world has fundamentally changed. Different industries are finding ways to adapt to this new reality, do you think the art world is in need of some innovation as well? What will be your innovation as an artist?

Nothing stops existing, it’s all energy, it changes shapes and forms, it is something and it becomes something else. From this point of view, I want to believe that this could bring good to mankind. It’s an awakening of sorts. Innovation is essential to our existence, and every civilization known to us thrives because of those innovations, and most importantly art is the pillar of innovations. Artists not only depict what we have and what we are, but they imagine and show what we can have and what we could be. Darkness pushes us towards appreciating the light.


Do you see this paradigm-shifting as a challenge or an opportunity?

Both, it’s a challenge to handle and keep the peace required to imagine the unimaginable but it’s an opportunity to observe, learn, analyze, and then create. I try not to get overly dramatic and see things as they are. There is nothing new about what’s happening, it has happened before, it will happen again. How we approach is what can and may change. More of us are realizing the fact that there is no “WE” or “US”. It’s all part of the universe, the universe that has its own beautiful way of finding the balance. This will help us find that balance within us and therefore project it and create the balance around us.