James Reka journaling with supplies provided by Pilot Pen prior to starting his Art Republic mural. Photo used with the permission of George Georgallis and James Reka.
James Reka is an English-born, Australian-raised contemporary painter and artist currently based in Berlin, Germany. Reka was raised with an appreciation of the arts. His mother was a ballerina, dancing with both the Russian Ballet and the Australian Ballet, and his father was a graphic designer. Reka's passion for visual art was apparent at an early age, and during class he was often instructed by primary school teachers to stop drawing and pay attention.
Reka's art education originally led him to pursue a freelance career in graphic design. As time progressed, however, he found himself designing less and painting more. His focus shifted from creating logos and marketing layouts to creating figure-based murals that pushed beyond graffiti's traditional lettering.
Reka credits hip-hop and skateboarding for exposing him to street art. He started to paint graffiti in 1999, at a time when Melbourne's street art scene was in its infancy stages. Reka has spent more than a decade refining his aesthetic. He executes his work with a clean and unique style, illustrating a combination of surrealism and abstract fantasy. Reka's dedication to his craft has established him as a prominent street artist. His work is now not only in the streets but can also be found on exhibition in fine art galleries across the world and in magazines such as Juxtapoz.
Reka's influences include pop culture, cartoons, and illustrations, as well as the masters of modern art. His style represents a fusion between high and low art. The pallet Reka uses when creating represents a strong understanding of color theory. His work combines vivid colors, flat tints, bold lines, and geometry to create a depth of volume and layers.
Reka is in Jacksonville as one of the international artist contributing to Art Republic. His contributions to the event include a 10-story mural on the side of the Omni Jacksonville Hotel's parking garage. The roughly 30,000 square foot mural is visible from Water Street and while driving into downtown when crossing the Acosta Bridge.