Paint, Scrub, and Repeat

Kadar Brock
Photographer: Vincent Dilio

For Kadar Brock, destruction and creation are equally important. The New York-based artist is best known for his unorthodox approach to abstract painting, in which he creates frenetic, gestural images and then renders them unrecognizable with the help of a razor blade and a power sander. At Art Basel Miami Beach in December, Brock unveiled the result of a new iteration of that process: a hydrocal obelisk embedded with the flecks of his pulverized paintings. And he’s not done evolving. Before the opening of his solo show at Vigo Gallery, Brock agreed to give W a peek at his next frontier.

Unburial Rites opens January 14th at Vigo Gallery, 21 Dering Street, London, +44.020.7493.3492.

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

Kadar Brock in his Brooklyn Studio.

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“The larger trajectory of the work I’ve been doing for the last few years has been taking more traditional abstract paintings and kind of performing a series of rituals on them and with them. Essentially, I take these paintings that I’ve made and undo them. I’m acting on this other relationship to abstraction and turning it into this pleasant void.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“Sometimes I’ll see a piece of paint and I’ll happen to remember the audiobook or podcast I was listening to when I had made that brush stroke. I get this weird flashback.”


“I started a Tumblr for all these paintings no one will ever see. It’s a kind of memorial.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“This painting is made from the residue of 10 or 12 other paintings. I like to think of it as a kind of karma. You are never able to escape the moves you’ve already made.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“Looking back on the paintings that I used to make, the most successful part of those works was the color palette and the approach toward New Age spirituality through color.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“The holes happen in the first stage of undoing. After the initial painting is dried, it gets stretched and I begin scraping off as much of the impasto as possible, sometimes the razor blade gets caught. So, the holes are not punctures or gestures, they are residuals of the process.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“My best friend is Matt Jones. His studio is on the other end of the building. We hang out multiple times a week and just shoot the shit. One of my other best friends is in the studio too, this guy Mark Gibson. My girlfriend is in this studio. I feel really fortunate, I have a situation where I get to do something I really enjoy and see people I love everyday.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“This is dust I’ve collected from my other paintings. After I sand a piece, I always collect the scraps with the vacuum. Having the stuff around, I started playing with it to see if I could find a way to present it again as a painting.”

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“These bucket shapes were the first iteration of these. I cast them in some the old brush cleaning buckets I had lying around. I liked the way they picked up the information left by the paint residue. Eventually they turned into these more monolithic objects, as I became more comfortable with the process.

Photographer: Vincent Dilio

“Deciding when I’m finished is probably the one intuitive-y painting thing I allow myself. I am pretty OCD guy, so if I am looking at something and things bothers me I’ll work on it. I’ll always want to keep squirreling away.”