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Cryptik - Where East Meets West

Words:

Edd Norval
December 22, 2020

Drawing on a fusion of calligraphy and graffiti, Cryptik's complex wall-scrolls emerge from a place where culture's coalesce - science, geometry, philosophy and faith. Their use of Arabic script and elemental forms build an impression of a unified whole, a subtle statement about man's place in the universe drawing on ancient ideas. 

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Although not much is known about Cryptik, there is a clear distinction between artist and movement. Although Cryptik is, in reality, an artist, the overarching philosophy is more about envisioning a global movement whereby the contemporary production and reproduction of art draws from ancient and historical cases, adding a sense of spirituality to the modern life vacuum.


Largely operating in Los Angeles, one of the world's greatest paradoxes - where cars pollute the air with queues that are kilometres long, whilst simultaneously the most New Age and cutting edge of healthcare continue to emerge.


It is perhaps because they lean on each other - one is the toxins, the other is the detox - that allows one another to flourish. A human and perpetual ying and yang of vast excess and the clarity that exists on the other side of that , manifests as birthing an environment that can only be attained when fully steeped in each other. It is this same paradoxical relationship that produces Cryptik's works. 

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The term 'movement' is loose. A more articulate way could be to say 'way of seeing things' as Cryptik's output is about perspective - namely about embracing many of them and leaving it for the audience to decode. This way leaves any patronising agenda behind, allowing those onlookers to interpret it as they see fit for their own state of being and lifestyles.


How the artist thinks is also obscured by the ethos of the movement. The artist's thought, too, are of little importance. Emphasis is put on understanding things as they are and as they can be. The presence of an artist, particularly a personality, only obfuscates the potential of the message. 


Aesthetically, the art is distinctly Eastern-influenced, with mandala-esque shapes dominating the works, although these are often tailored to a Western eye, with symbolism and shape, or even where the piece can be found, appealing to a more recognisable palette. 

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What Cryptik aims to do is create a universal language, make something that can be understood and digested in a multiplicity of ways. More mural than graffiti, the political connotations are inescapabale. Murals have long been used as a messageboard to be seen and heard. 


If it falls on deaf ears, then little change can be affected. Change is, at the end of the day, what Cryptik hopes to instill, little by little, character by character, giving us an opportunity and reason to look beyond the material and profane, integrating our lives with those who have come before, whose esoteric knowledge cannot be discounted through lack of science, but strengthened by its ability to endure. 

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