We’re super excited to announce the second in our series of quarterly collaborations in which we’ve teamed up with street artist Malarko to bring you another limited edition t-shirt pack. Bursting with all manner of screen printed goodies the container box even turns into a kitty mask, perfect for when you want to get a bit incognito and wild (while staying above the law of course).
Initially gaining notoriety by adorning shop shutters with his vividly colourful and jazzy characters Malarko’s body of work now encompasses a whole range of media and has been commissioned by the likes of Adidas and the V&A to name a few. We chatted with him about his creative process, masked antics and love of ceramics to get abetter idea of how he arrived at the finished #3RXMALARKO product.
What’s happening in your studio right now?
There is always about 50 projects happening at the same time in the studio, as I’m writing there are ceramics on the drying shelf and others in the kiln, a loosely planned out book scattered across the floor, a half finished painting at the easel. I’m casting some bits, packing up products to post and getting other new products ready to go on sale before Xmas and then also organising an installation for my book launch happening in December at Beach London.
Tell us about the mask design and how you came up with the idea.
The idea came about from a demonstration I went on a few years ago, one crew were handing out anti-cctv face masks, which were just like bandanas, to curb the surveillance identifying ring leaders. When I was wearing mine I was immediately attracted to the freedom that came with a masked identity. Of course I felt liberated to just go a bit wild and do naughty stuff that I potentially would have thought twice about otherwise. So with the mask I wanted to hand over that empowerment but in a fun way, by providing a kind of non-threatening cutey cat mask that can be worn to commit mischief and nuisance, that combination I think will provide the best cover!
What would you most like to see someone doing in the mask?
Haha just whatever they didn’t feel like it was OK to do before, we live in such a controlling and monitored society it’s just nice to see people getting loose.
What’s your favourite element of the 3RXMALARKO t-shirt pack?
For me it’s the whole thing together, I like the party bag vibe. Now I think about it why did people ever stop giving out goody bags at the end of parties? Haha but really for me it was a great opportunity to couple a few things together; some little prints, the tee, the mask…
A lot of your recent work has been ceramic, what prompted the move to his medium?
I started making ceramics when I was working in a mega cheap massive studio above a gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke is kind of the Holy Grail for ceramics in the UK, but nearly all the industry has shut down. I started going out and exploring the old factories originally just to go and paint something there. They looked as if on a certain day everyone had just stopped coming to work, it was strange. There were kind of preserved at a moment in time, all the equipment and supplies to produce this kind of work had been left behind. My work has always been informed by my surroundings and whatever materials I have access too so I started collecting clay, tools and parts to make a kiln from the old factories and kind of just got to work. There is a ceramics museum in the town centre which showed an amazing history of the city and its ceramic past and opposite that on Sunday was a banging Car-Boot sale. The Car-Boot sale was always stacked with incredible and cheap ceramic tat so I just vibed off that really. It’s a really meditative material to work with, nothing can be rushed or predicted and experimentation and failure are integral to the process, for me that’s an exciting proposition!
Do your characters have names?
No Names, No Nations, No Borders! I mean apart from Butthole Cat obvs :o)
What’s next for Malarko?
Apart from winning the lottery, much more painting and making and moving and shaking. I have a few exhibitions in America coming up next year so that will be fun, travelling and painting and just continuing to have a FUN TIME!
Any last words?
PEDESTRIANISE THE OLD KENT ROAD!
1 x 4 colour cut and sew t-shirt
1 x 4 colour screen print – 24cm x 30cm on South Bank Smooth 310gsm
1 x Single colour screen print (for colouring in) – 24cm x 30cm on South Bank Smooth 310gsm
8 x 4 colour finger puppet screen printed cards – 12cm x 15cm on South Bank Smooth 310gsm
1 x 4 colour screen printed mask box
1 x pack of crayons
To celebrate the project we’ll be running an online contest in which we’ll be giving away 15 of the 75 limited edition t-shirt packs. Information about how to enter will be posted on the @3rdrailclothing Twitter and @3rdrailpresents Instagram accounts.