Portfolio Review: JK5 Talks New Work, Inspiration and Process

Portfolio Review: JK5 Talks New Work, Inspiration and Process

Speaking to Brooklyn-based JK5 is like catching up with an old friend, or even a favorite tattoo artist. Truth be told, there's a good chance he might be both.

For years, Joseph Ari Aloi has worked with brands like NIKE, Kidrobot, Mishka, Converse, Saks 5th Avenue, Barneys, and more. And when he's not tattooing just about everyone in NYC, JK5 is developing his media franchise based on his Flowbot toys, finalizing a new book release, prepping for an upcoming exhibition, and kicking ass at raising a family.

We recently caught up with JK5 to talk about his new work. Scroll down to hear what he has to say. 

As told to Justin Korkidis (Say_WordYo)


JK5 Logo/Business Card, 2011
"My good friend David Mashburn and I collaborated for my new logo and business card. It's a hybrid of my manual sketches and David's mastery of refining images on the computer. Some of the forms and elements are tattoo inspired, but also it feels like an invitation to some dance party on another planet. It has that early '70s Sci-Fi flavor." 


Slow and Heavy, Threemorrow series, 2011
"This is a newer drawing of mine. A lot of the work that I create is an assimilation of my own personal autobiography and subconscious imagery. These interact and creates a discourse within the picture plane based on all the  elements coming together. It also crystallizes some of these new forms and idea's I've been playing with. Meditations on death and mortality, concentrating on your process, the duality between good and bad, the dynamics between man, woman and child. I call the series Threemorrow. This new work celebrates the trinity, the tryptic, the trilogy."


Before The Light Shit Gets Heavy, 2011
"In two columns it says Before The Light Shit Gets Heavy, this is a reflection of the complications we experienced with our daughter. She developed a condition called hydrocephalus. We were in and out of intensive care and she was given two different brain surgeries within four months of her life. Now she's golden, not stunted one iota, never was. It was really just scary for us. I'm illustrating what I've lived through, and showing the light that came through the darkness. This is basically my first body of work as a father, celebrating childbirth and its magic wonder and insanity, complex the nature of it all. Before The Light Shit Gets Heavy, this was my way of breaking down how things go in your life. Before the light shit gets heavy, and then shit gets heavy before the light. Shit keeps repeating in that order. There's also encrypted symbols in their as well. My forms are really organic and always evolving. I love pulling from endless sources."



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