Kahlil Robert Irving

(Born 1992 in San Diego, CA. Lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri)

Professionally, I’m trying to acquire more property, the what and how of it, learning about bank documents and the management of a large scale project. I’m trying to bring more agency into my life and practice and making a difference in my community. I’ve been trying to figure out ways to engage more broadly, not just in the making pursuits, but also in how I’m able to activate and challenge space as an artist and how to make use of property.

Something else I’ve been thinking about and working towards is using paint. I’m working on some paintings right now that I’ll probably never sell but I want to get some assistance and figure out how to bring some of my visions to fruition using paint. The canvas works will be referential of the large digital collages I’ve been making. They’ll come from things I’ve collected from social media, current events, news recordings and memories. I’ve been wanting to make a painting of my memory of seeing the U.S. Army invading Baghdad when I was younger. I just remember seeing the screen with the missiles flying in the sky and the night vision perspective on the screen. That has been such a huge influence in our current life and politics. I want to paint paintings that call into question the representations of how politics uses jargon and methodologies of manipulation as a way of disregarding and furthering an agenda.

I like to work collaboratively with people on projects because it can really get you from one place to another in terms of thought, in terms of criticality and in terms of possibility. Collaboration can be difficult because you have to be willing to submit. That door isn’t open to everyone. We don’t all have the same level of skill in listening and communicating. The benefits of being able to be on the same page with someone is really about being open, able and willing to work in another way, a way in which you’re able to see and hear the world differently which is important to being more wholesome in the world. We’re constantly having to negotiate being around others. We do it more than we think. Whether working or shopping for groceries, checking out at a register or paying a bill, if you’re not willing to negotiate or collaborate with others, things don’t go so smoothly.

–Conversation on October 13, 2020

Listen to our conversation here:


Selected Image from the Collection:

Irving, Kahlil Robert, Street and STRIPES – (Crosswalk = Cross FIT/Coors) “Real Road Relief ”{Blood, Tar, Grass}, 2019, collograph and collaged found objects, Frame: 104 5/8 x 42 1/4 x 1 in.