APEX recycles. He collects energy from the people and places around him, then offers it back in his painting. As with this room, painted in shades of green that complement the carpeting and woodwork, APEX invites viewers to grab a little energy and “put it where they need to put it.”
One of the only “home grown” artists in the show, APEX has painted since the third grade. As a young student with a straight-A brain, he always finished his math tests in the first ten minutes of the allotted hour. He would spend the remaining forty minutes “decorating” his tests – a display that did not earn him extra credit with his math teacher.
But when handed the right tools – a sketch pad in lieu of a completed math test, for example, – APEX got to work creating forms, and has been doing that work ever since. After studying graphic design and architecture at City College, he pointed his spray can away from his transit targets, developing the foundations of the distinctive “structural-organic” style he uses today.
After a diving accident left APEX completely paralyzed, the artist spent six months wondering if he would ever leave a bed. Naturally, painting became part of his physical therapy.
“I was on the wrong path,” he says. “It knocked me in the right direction. Now I don’t freelance, or anything else. I just paint. It’s my source of expression, of life. It’s exactly what I want to do.”
APEX says that he totes around a backlog of ideas in his head. The Painted Rooms project has brought one of these ideas into the open – an apparently three-dimensional form wrapped around the viewer. His next idea? A truly three-dimensional form that comes out of the wall.
The artist works closely with a group of artists known as the Gestalt Collective, which includes his buddy NEON (Room 209) as well as other local talents. APEX has an “undisclosed number” of mural projects in the works -- let’s say more than five. In the next several months he hopes to bring more abstract forms to a city he describes as dominated by figurative murals.