Rock-inspired Old East Village artist hitting all the right notes


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Jason Recker didn’t expect to sell a work of art.

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Sitting inside Recker Art – his by appointment-only storefront studio on Dundas Street in London’s Old East Village – surrounded by his paintings of reimagined Rolling Stone covers and pop culture icons, the graphic designer from 51 years old kept his interest in painting for his retirement.

Then the pandemic struck. With the encouragement of his wife, the father of three decided to switch from the computer screen to the canvas.

“I had been talking about this for quite a long time and she said, ‘go make one,’ said Recker, who started his graphic design agency, Carve Design, in 2004, and counts Western University among the top. clients of his agency.

As a designer, you “build something for a client and that basically has to make money,” Recker said. But it’s not that complicated with his art: “I just need to feel good when I finish this piece.

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This prospect has served Recker well. He posted his designs inspired by Andy Warhol and rock icons – vibrant mixtures of acrylic, spray paint, paper and drawing – on TikTok and Instagram, where he quickly gained a legion of international fans. . After her third painting and social media post, a woman in New York asked Recker if the painting was for sale. Recker’s next client was a woman from Austin, Texas.

“It just snowballed from there,” Recker said, adding that most of her customers are “women who buy art for their husbands on birthdays.”

Then, one Sunday morning this summer, Recker woke up to a notification. An Instagram video he posted of himself pouring resin on a painting of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder was shared by the group to their 2.7 million followers.

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“I thought it was pretty cool,” Recker said of the recognition. This weekend, Recker received eight orders. It has created about 60 ordered pieces in the past year, he said, 75 percent of which went to buyers on the west coast of Canada and the United States.

Old East Village – where Recker Art opened in July, directly across from the historic Aeolian Hall – has “been a natural place for people to get to be creative,” said Jen Pastorious of the Old East Village. BIA.

“This stuff isn’t in London anywhere, so people are really amazed to see something cool like this created here,” Recker said.

Recker plans to establish himself in London’s arts community with plans beyond opening up his brick and mortar space. After contacting the Hard Rock Hotel – which will open in London next year in the mega entertainment complex at 100 Kellogg Lane – Recker secured a position as art curator for the new location. While discussions with the UK-based hotel’s interior design team are ongoing, Recker has said he will help the hotel represent London’s musical history through his art. .

“They have no connection to work with here” in the music industry, he said, “so that’s where I come in.”

Recker said he plans to establish the details of his involvement in a meeting with the interior design team next month, but for now knowing that he will be involved in the creation and conservation of the 600 works of art in the 300 rooms of the hotel is “incredible.”

“Every day I am surprised,” Recker said. “I’m doing this just because I like it.”


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