Jacob Yikes is synonymous with the Cracked City Street Art scene that we are now internationally renowned for.

Even if you don’t think you know his work, you definitely do – I promise you – his distinctive style can be seen adorning full walls all over the CBD (there’s a good cluster around Tuam / Manchester St). His works are one of my favourites to pose against when I do my Outfit of the Day photos.

117EE1AE-CA63-4BAA-BC75-C9596D25FA3ABut as well as the large scale murals and street art, Yikes also produces amazing paintings, illustrations and prints. They are things of wizardry, with the levels of intricate depth and detail that just make you wanna get nicely buzzed and stare at the wall for hours trying to see new things, and create stories, within the piece.

When I was a kid I had this wallpaper in my room that was a detailed illustrated pattern of a princess on a long winding path, lined with trees, animals, bridges and things, leading up to a big castle. I literally used to lie on my bed for hours, feet up on the wall, creating entire universes from the images.  Yikes’ paintings alwasy remind me of that wallpaper that I used to love so much.

His new show – Bad Company – opened at the recently re-located Fiksake Studio & Gallery, on Gloucester Street, on Friday night.

Up until a few months ago Fiksate was based in New Brighton and was such an important part of that community. There were some epic openings and parties in that old space over the past few years that would spill out into the pedestrian mall, where they were just left to get on with it, do what they want, and always had the best vibe. But their building got sold, the new landlord wanted to turn it into a gym, and so the Fiksate crew were forced to relocate, which was a real shame, and must have been hard. BUT – I’m really happy they’ve come to town and I hope a new, happy, settled home can be found here. We are lucky to have Fiksate!

The new gallery is shiny and brand new. Lovely carpet and lights. Big picture windows. It was a ridiculously cold and dark rainy night, but the gallery was warm and didn’t leak.  Not like the old one did. But, you see, the problem with new buildings, as warm and nice as they are, is that they lack that edge. They haven’t had a life yet. They have no history. They lack that feeling that you can fuck it up a bit. Spill things. Really live in it. Make it yours.

In the CBD we need to do that, mess things up. Not everything can be perfect, pristine and flaw free, y’know? That’s not how life works. That’s not how cities with real communities and heart are made. People are so precious about their new buildings. What do they think will happen if people paint it a bright colour and spill some beer in it? It’s not gonna get destroyed. It just needs to be lived in. Get some character. Like a new pair of sneakers we need to scuff them up, break them in, get some city grime under the laces. Wear out the tread a little.

I was a couple of hours late to the opening on Friday night. I could pretend that I was being fashionably cool, all socialite-like, pulling a Kate Moss and swanning in two hours after it started cos I was too busy elsewhere being fabulous, drinking champagne off the back of a white horse or something.

But the truth was I was kinda tired and wanted to go home and eat nachos in my underwear and watch GIRLS for a bit. Which is what I did. And I got a little too cosy and settled cos as we all know, the biggest mistake you can ever make is ‘popping home for a bit’ before going back out, cos it just never happens and before you know it you’re passed out in front of Netflix in some kind of nacho induced coma.

But thankfully Clint from PORTA messaged WHERE ARE YOU and that was the prompt I needed to get out. And so I did!

The show is cool and slick and beautifully displayed with the usual quality and detail and nice mix of ‘cute on the surface but oooh that’s actually a bit sinister looking’ that I adore in Yikes’ pieces. Like…the longer you look, the weirder shit gets.

There’s a mix of original pieces and prints, so you can get yourself a limited print for a couple of hundy which is something I always encourage everyone to do – like, buy prints of your favourite artists and illustrators – support these good talented folk – own something special – art is for everyone!

The show is on until 7 Dec so get on down and check it out and welcome the glorious Fiksate crew to the CBD.

– Bonjela x





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