Dave Kinsey is a Painter / Designer and was co-founder & Creative Director of BLK/MRKT which was initially formed in 1997 as a unique creative studio with an interest in creating impactful solutions to branding and advertising, working with clients such as Adidas, Apple and Virgin Records. Kinsey’s work has been featured in local and international publications from The New York Times and Washington Post to Hypebeast. Among many varied art and design accomplishments, Kinsey was selected to participate in an international Absolut artist campaign leading to the commissioned design of a signature Absolut Vodka bottle in 2013.
Making the decision to transition from grafﬁti to commercial graphic design and onto fine art may not be the most traditional path for an artist, but Dave Kinsey isn’t afraid to go against conventions and norms. Pigeonholed by some as just another skateboard or grafﬁti artist earlier in his career, Kinsey has moved away from the tag and ﬁrmly cemented his place in the contemporary art scene. Perhaps best known for his early street work such as his “Unlearn” campaign, Kinsey has also managed to successfully negotiate the commercial side of the art world through his design studio and brand BLK/MRKT. Responsible for some of the most recognizable imagery and logos of the last decade – including the DC Shoes logo, the Black Eyed Peas’ Elephunk album icon, and the N.E.R.D. “brain” logo – Kinsey’s work has reached millions.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kinsey moved around countless times, and his keen attention to his changing surroundings would serve as the inspiration for many of his thematic and stylistic choices – one of his primary colors, a reddish orange hue, would come from the bright primer used on new motors at his father’s place of work. In fact, his primary color palette – the orange hue along with blue – is itself a reflection of deeper thematic meanings; the clash of the blue and orange serve to underline the tension and discord of contemporary society. Graduating from art school in Atlanta, he used the momentum from a successful stint at DC Shoes in San Diego to establish BLK/MRKT with fellow artist and contempory Shepard Fairey. With the success of BLK/MRKT underway, Kinsey would go on to open BLK/MRKT Gallery in Culver City, CA in 2004.