The Hero’s Journey of David Paul Kay

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The priceless sensation of freedom, that feeling when you can imagine anything you can create and then create anything you can imagine. The entire process of it from when the idea hits my brain cells to the final stage when I see the piece on a wall or a pedestal in a gallery, museum, collector’s home or a massive industrial structure, seeing it communicate the world and the mankind reacting to its energy.
What is my idea of happiness? Happiness is a harmony established between what’s in you and what’s around you.
What is my greatest fear? Definitely not death, I guess the fear is to be alive and miserable.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Anxiety. Sometimes I feel like there is a constant battle of an introvert and an extrovert in me. Underline anxiety gets me out of my comfort zone. It’s like, there is way too much energy in me and sometimes it’s misdirected. I don’t like to tame myself but there are moments when I realize I have to.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? That would probably be Ai Wei Wei. I think he is a true artist and a really interesting mind. His work always comes from a deep place and never fails to deliver the message.
What is my greatest extravagance? New experiences. Traveling, seeing the cultures, vibrance of this universe, I never hold back to spend on opportunities that take me to new places and expose me to the unknown.
On what occasion would I lie? Everybody lies, less you have to lie, closer you are to true happiness. I like every time I check the box saying “I have read the agreement” when downloading new apps. If my lie saves a life, I probably would.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The fact that regardless of how long I get to live, I will not be able to create as much work as I would like to, my story will never be fully told.
Heroes 1
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? There were multiple moments, every time a new idea for the new piece or the new series hits my mind, it’s all endorphins. Probably one of the happiest moments was creating my first large scale rooftop mural piece, seeing it completed and standing in the center of it, surrounded by the energy I have just conceived was priceless.
If I could, what would I change about myself? My height. And I would make some modifications to my genetic code.
What is my greatest achievement in work? The fact that it’s 2020, I’m living in the city I call home and there is no other place I’d rather be at and I’m doing what I’m passionate about, there is no greater achievement.
Where would I most like to live? I live there. NYC is home.
What is my most treasured possession? My brain.
What is my most marked characteristic? My eyes, they talk before I open my mouth, and sometimes they say too much and get me in trouble.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? For some reason, it’s Union Square. Probably because I used to spend a lot of time there when I first moved to the city. It’s very cosmopolitan, speaking about the people passing by or having out there day and night. When the word is being spoken, it’s being spoken there. Also, Stonewall Inn, it’s a very special place for me, I go there and sit the park sometimes for hours when I want to think about the issues that matter or that should matter and they, unfortunately, don’t.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? There is this really cute restaurant in the village called “Favela Cubana”. Sitting outside on their patio having their killer margaritas surrounded by friends is nirvana.
What books influenced my life and how? There were several, though I’d go back to my childhood and point at Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels and stories about Sherlock Holmes. I was very young when I read it, probably around 5 or 6 years old. The whole process of solving intricate puzzles and going through the thought process of Holmes, trying to get to the end of the labyrinth was fascinating to me.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Depends on what I’m doing that day and how I’m dying. If it’s of old age, peacefully in my bed, I’d be passing away listening to some smooth jazz. But if I’m getting hit by a bus, I’d rather have Björk blasting through my headphones.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Dr. Gregory House and Bobby’s mother in “Prayers for Bobby”.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Oscar Schindler, Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks, Marsha P. Johnson.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Pianist (2002)
What role plays art in my life and work? Art is my life and work.
What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? It only partially applies, I’m a storyteller of my time and my universe.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I can’t point one out. I have some great people in my life who stand by me when I’m at my best and a few when I’m at my worst, but I’m lucky to be able to share my experiences with some really bright and inspiring people.
Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2020? Banksy, AiWeiWei, Christian Louboutin, Peter Marino, MoMA, Prada.
Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2020? Museum curators, can’t think of specific names but Larry Gagosian comes to mind.
What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on? There are several, they have been paused because of the global pandemic but I’m really looking forward to my upcoming museum artist residency in Saint Petersburg where I’ll be working on a conceptual piece that’s very personal to me and somewhat provocative. Also a project in Florida, developing a conceptual piece in a new hotel developed by one of my collectors, a 3m tall public sculpture piece in Eastern Europe. There are over a dozen projects pending and I can’t wait to get to it all.
Where can you see me or my work in 2020? Currently at Maison 10 New York on 5th avenue, My studio uptown manhattan, at Visual Artist Group in Los Angeles (by appointment only), through Kipton Cronkite Art Advisory in Los Angeles (by appointment only), through a curator Ariel Novak in Paris, at TOAD gallery in Chelsea, London, through Nando Argüelles Proyectos Arate in Spain. A mural piece at The Mandrake London, Mural at Uptown Grand Central in Harlem, and two murals at a club called Fabrika in Philadelphia. Also, several large scale work is scattered in various cities but most of them are in private settings.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? If it retires, it’s not a true passion. Passion is incurable.
Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story for the hero’s journey or the heroine’s journey project? Several of my artist and curator friends. Glass artist Jeremy Silva, Artist Zoobs Ansari, Photographer Laurent Badessi, Painter Paddy Cohn-Kemp, Curator Justin Gylani, Art Advisor Kipton Cronike, Curator Heidi Lee Komaromi, Gallerist Ivy Brown.
How can you contact me? Via email:

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