“When it comes to offending people, I don’t give a shit. The art is the art. If you don’t like it it’s not for you.” -Beverly Kills
Behind the bright pink pieces and the startling, yet relatable, imagery of Beverly Kills’ work, stands a figure in the shadows: It’s the artist himself. Beverly Kills (BK) rarely does interviews and has made no public appearances. Instead, his art does the talking–it’s made to cut to the bone. Deceptively simple images combine into society-shattering stills. Their kinetic concussion upon the brain has the force of a uranium-depleted shell; it’s ironic given his penchant for crayola-caliber casings.
Take, for instance, “Balloon.” A string, a child, a ‘like’ and four colors… that’s it, that's the list of every component within one of Beverly Kills’ most iconic pieces. And the message couldn’t be more clear: social media is hurting our children.
Live Auction— Beverly Kills | SR 💎 (@beverlykillsnft) August 15, 2022
- Searching for this approval from others can turn into an obsession or an addiction. The degree of emotional and psychological damage and dependence is infecting an entire generation.@formfunction
LINK BELOW pic.twitter.com/AHyBmvHwlH
Regarding this piece, in a rare interview, Beverly recently said, “the feedback [on “Balloon”] was substantial to say the least. Everyone related to it. A lot of parents out there support Beverly Kills… it really drove home this sense of fear, realism and awakening for parents, and for myself. As an uncle to nephews and nieces who’ve all got phones nowadays and who depend too much on that dopamine hit of an Instagram like or follow, we’ve got a huge responsibility to reign it in a bit and take control of these devices, and our children. When I made that piece a lot of people did relate to it and it was one of those landmarks of my career.”
Regarding Kills’ career, the world would never have seen his work without tragedy and family. From a young age, about six, Beverly Kills was surrounded by Banksys–his older brother had collected several of Banksy’s pieces. These artworks fascinated baby BK and his brother took note. He bought Beverly an array of stencils, paints and spray cans. Fast forward many years, Beverly wasn’t making art at all. He was living a normal life with a normal job. Then a sudden illness put him in the hospital. The chronic condition meant that Beverly could no longer do his job; it also left Beverly spending endless hours laid up in a hospital bed.
While this scenario is horrific, it was also the birth of Beverly Kills the artist. Laying about was not an option, “When you’re sitting in a hospital bed with not much opportunity, you got to go back to your roots, and that’s what I did.” At Beverly’s request, his big brother came through with an iPad and Beverly started creating.
His iconic name and use of pink comes from one of his earliest works. It had the working title, “Beverly Kills.” The pink comes from the exterior of the famous Beverly Hills Hotel. Upon finishing the art, Beverly's brother was instantly taken with the Hotel's hue. “You’re gonna wanna keep that color” was his advice. “It makes your art stick out. If I’m driving past a gallery, from the side of my eye I’m going to see that pink and look twice to make sure it’s a Beverly Kills.” This was sage advice! Beverly credits his brother with helping him stand out as “scrolling though your feed is the web3 equivalent of passing by a gallery."
🔥BIG🔥 thank you to @beverlykillsnft !— lҍ. (@leaderborednft) December 1, 2022
I’m a teacher IRL & I’m having high school students interview willing NFT artists. BeverlyKills not only responded, he called & TALKED to my student.
THAT’S giving back! 🤩
The student’s feet didn’t touch the ground on her way out! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/DvbgEzPuFg
With success comes criticism and haters. Beverly Kills has seen his fair share. Whilst trying to spotlight societal ills for the good of all, people make personal attacks. Or as BK says, “You’re always gonna get some criticism of yourself, which is ironic.” There’s the hate that 'he is too much like Banksy.' There’s the monochromatic complaints about 'too much pink.' Ironically, using pink is not a sales hack in the eyes of BK, it can be a hindrance, “It challenges me as an artist. It really test my skills as an individual and it really tests my patience too.” Or to put it another way, using simple tools to make relevant, recognizable social commentary is not only the height of a minimalist approach, it is one of the greatest challenges across all forms of art. Beverly Kills’ work has as much in common with John Lennon’s songwriting as it does with Banksy’s subversive street art.
Beverly Kills - Trailer 🍿— Beverly Kills | SR 💎 (@beverlykillsnft) March 21, 2023
(Like & Share) pic.twitter.com/8bR3twT3zg
We at Redlion look forward to seeing what comes next from Beverly Kills. In the meantime, we are thrilled that he is one of our Artdrop artists! “Nuclear Peace” is a limited mint ending on April 24th, 2023.