Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Republic of Macedonia [East meets West]

Original photo & digital art by K.K.W
East meets West; The Republic of Macedonia. Photos & text by K.K.W, curated by Aleksandar Ares. 

"Skopje (the capital of Macedonia) doesn't have a straight-forward narrative; a friend once told me that 'Skopje was 'shabby, but charming!' Let me try to scratch under the surface and maybe, reveal one or two things about what makes the city what it is; a place of many intertwined small worlds, different, yet compact." [1]

1. That first morning, look over the balcony,
of all the things I felt, jet-lag wasn't one of them.
2. Bathed in spring rain, Urban-Hostel
exuded a great feeling. 
3. On those streets & Blvd's, every moment
 presented something unexpected. 

4. Skopje in April is a bit like England; Dorian Grey. 
The sun takes a back seat to dark clouds & rain; 
the mood is set for almost anything. 

5. A sudden burst of color reminded me 
of Berlin & Bauhaus; 
Partisan Blvd straight to the city center [To the right].
8. From Bauhaus to their house;
glass, steel & modern dreams. 
9. Just for moment, I thought it was London.
Double-decker buses seem out of place, yet normal.
11. For those who crave diversity, the Roma are always about; 
at times friendly and yet at times understandably anti-social. 
They usually collect card-board boxes, 
glass & plastic bottles for recycling, as a means of basic income. 

13. Towards 'The City' center, silence 
was carefully intermingled with the light.
14. Would the "Sliver Prince" [2] be proud of their work? 
In the wake of, steel 
and modern dreams consumed everything.
16. Skopje is a city dying...while being reborn. 
Much Like NYC, construction and development 
is the latest trendy-beast.
17. Although somewhat-unknown to the rest of the world, 
their urban problem is the same as our own; 
Zeno's paradox [Achilles & the Tortoise] (3)
19. The lion's roar is like a distant crow's caw; 
few of us can hear it anymore.
20. I only looked back once, "...cause its a feeling that you get, 

when the afternoon is set, on the bridge into the city...

" [4]

21. Playfully, she closed her eyes; and just like that, 
we broke through towards daylight.
I hadn't spoken to Ana since Oct of 2011,
& only knew her through facebook.

22. The old bazaar [Charshija], and the strange feeling 
of bygone days; another time. 
Walking those streets, we savored everything. 
23. All at once we came upon a relic [standing guard]. 
No one remembered who wore the armor, she said, 
though as a mark of honor the memory is kept alive.
25. Along another road, the fortress seemed out-of-place, 
and yet integral to the landscape. 
A humbling reminder of "Days of future past" [5]. 
26. On that bridge, for a moment, there was nothing else. 
She said "...Its been a long time...since someone 
looked at me that way, Its like you knew me...
and all the things I couldn't say..." [6].
28. Along with the vastness of Skopsko Kale
 [pronounced ka-lay, Turkish for fortress], 
was the immensity of the past looming over the city. 
She said it was built in the 6th century, 
with material from the Roman city of Skupi.
30. When I asked about the cross, she seemed uneasy, 
unwilling to look at it. 
I knew Orthodox faith held sway in the East, 
yet this was strange. 
As if they need protection from something.
31. I hardly noticed them watching us; 
they seemed frozen near the edge, 
waiting for something.
33. The city seemed in a state of becoming, instead of being. 
Urban-development devouring everything, 
leaving wounds that may never heal.
34. She said the old city-center, haunted all of them "...crystal memories.."[7].
Often enough the gulf separating us is, in-fact, an invitation to cross it via the bridge we cannot see, but slowly begin to feel. If you would like to  purchase a print or send your email address, please contact the artist ( or 1-347-328-7903). To leave a remark, click comment below the post, choose anonymous for your ID, & follow through. To see more work from the artist, go If you would like to know more about The Republic of Macedonia, go to the content list on the upper right-side, and click on September for each year. 

1: text by Tanja Stoimenovska from the article "See it now: Skopje in Autumn Blues", 2: from the book "From Bauhaus to our house" by Tom Wolfe, 3: from the novel "Simulacron-3" by Daniel Galouye, 4: "Over the love, by Florence + The Machine, from the soundtrack of "The Great Gatsby" 2013, 5: Title of the X-Men comic, 6: "Together", song by The XX, from the soundtrack of "The Great Gatsby" 2013, 7: From the song "River of Crystals", from the soundtrack of "Ghost in the shell: innocence". 'Art is the reason, art is the way'     

Sunday, July 12, 2015

East meets West

This  months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares. 
Inside the project ['East meets West']. By K.K.W

In the course of history, cultural exchange has always lead to manifestations 
of new ideas, innovations, vibrant creativity, and eventually greater understanding between those involved. With all the technology and improvements in the world, there is still so
much we don't know about the impact and influence we have on each other. Often enough that gulf separating us is, in-fact, an invitation to cross it via the bridge we cannot see, but slowly begin to feel.  
Kenzo Tange Architecture team.
It was their plan that won the open competition 

for the rebuilding of Skopje,
after the earthquake of July 1963.   
Its an historical fact that Western civilization has generally been at odds with Eastern civilization. And yet the various ways in which the two connect, interact and influence one another is at times, amazing.
Even more amazing is how little many people know of this, on both sides, depending on which part of Eastern civilization you consider. For me, I've always been interested in history as much as art. Maps fascinated me, and I wondered about Eastern Europe a great deal.    
John Coltrane by Natalia Kiceec.
She is an artist from The Republic of Macedonia. 
Its obvious that Western civilization [The U.S, UK, Western Europe] has impacted Eastern Europe [& elsewhere] in many ways, creating social and cultural influences. However, a distinct lack of contemporary cultural influence and exchange, from Eastern Europe [especially South Eastern Europe] is quite plain and clear.
Skj_c.i#6 [reflection
in a puddle of water, after the rain. Skopje, city center.
Spliced with and image from "Blade-Runner"].
By K.K.W
Skj_c.i#30 [worn posters of Prime Minister Gruevski.
One vandalized with a Hitler mustache. A torn street-art
poster from NYC & H&M video-screen ad].
by K.K.W
And, after twice traveling to The Republic of Macedonia, I've seen the marks & signs of free-market consumerism and the embracing of Western pop-culture adoration. And yet there's a serious yearning to introduce their art & culture to the West.
Ad for the HBO series "Girls", seen from a city bus
. Photo by K.K.W
Western couple on a vintage poster for Turkish cigarette's. 
British Soldier with little boy, after
2001 insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia 
East meets West is an attempt to creatively explore the connecting points, exchange ideas, and increase understanding between people in both hemispheres, and promote greater cultural balance and exchange.  It will also try to highlight the juxtaposition, and at times the severe imbalance of cultural & economic exchange between both areas. The exhibition will be curated by Kerwin Williamson, with artists from The Republic of Macedonia, and take place there at the youth cultural center in Skopje. The date of the opening will be October 3rd 2015. 

If you would like to know more, go And to see more of K.K.W's artwork, go 'Art is the reason, art is the way'

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Death & rebirth [In "The City"]

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares. 
Construction / Destruction: an artistic look. Photos & text by K.K.W. 

In order to understand "The City", we must look beyond its seemingly posh exterior, luxury, and examine its lesser aspects. The empty, boarded-up lots that linger and haunt the landscape. Ragged remains of what was, defines who we are, and will lead us into a future that was written.
Downtown, the financial center. 
In the spacious modern parts of Metropolis,
we forget what was, & are shadows in the moment.  
Uptown - Eastside sector. 

Downtown, Between NoHo & Canal Street Sector. 
North Flatbush, Brooklyn 
28th Street, between 10 & 11th Ave Sector

Meat-Packing district, 13th street
North Flatbush, Brooklyn 
Near Parkside Ave, Brooklyn
Near Parkside Ave, Brooklyn
St John's place, Brooklyn

Varick Street, @ the corner of Watts

If you would like to know more, go to:, or: 'Art is the reason, art is the way'.