Picking Up the Slack

Andrew Kuo makes the New York City slacker lifestyle seem, well, effortless -- except that he's actually one of the busiest guys around, an artist with more side gigs than Jack White. The multi-talented, bespectacled man about (down) town is always doing something different (depending on what time of day you catch him). In the morning, he might be "Earl Boykins," his blogger alter ego (earlboykins.blogspot.com) who posts graphic charts of his deadpan reactions ("Hm" is a measurement) to bands and live shows -- the blog's tagline "emo+beer=busted career" says it all. Later, Kuo turns into a serious columnist for the New York Times, creating pie charts for the music section. Afterwards, he could be working on a portrait of Chris Farley as the Chicago Bears guy from SNL. The nocturnal Kuo can be found either at Max Fish drinking a Bud Light and hanging out with his "bros" (aka other music nerds) or at Lit drinking a Bud Light and DJing with Harley and Cassie. On other nights, Kuo the guitar god emerges, as he jams out with a grab bag of Lower East Side rockers (from Mike Bones to Matt and Brain from A.R.E. Weapons). He's currently in two bands -- Sacred Elevators and Hex Message.

"When I decided to just have fun with my work was when things started to get really busy," says the self-professed anti-ironist. The 31-year-old New York-native studied printmaking and graphic design at RISD and had his first New York show of paintings and prints at Visionaire Gallery eight years ago. Known in the past for his intricate lace-like silkscreen work, Kuo has abandoned the medium for now and has embraced bolder, more irreverant moves on canvas. "I used to be afraid of holding a brush," he says. Kuo is currently prepping for a three-person show at the Swiss Institute. "I'm going to put all-new stuff in the show, but not sure what, though." Stay tuned.

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