Talk about “social distancing”… for the past two months, Brooklyn street artist, RAE (aka RAE BK) has been obsessively performing in front of his make-shift, backyard green-screen for the purposes of “quarantining” himself inside the 6-minute, MGM classic cartoon, “Cellbound”.
Utilizing two gallons of green latex paint he already had, some plywood scraps and his neighbors adjoining wall, RAE has meticulously acted out each scene of the legendary Tex Avery cartoon in such a way as to insert himself as a supporting character.
Fellow quarantined neighbors have looked on from their back porches and peered through their bedroom windows not knowing what to make of RAE’s unexplained antics, but now after some crafty editing he has revealed his updated version of “Cellbound”, on his Instagram account (@rae_bk) and as part of his public access-looking TV channel called “Quarantine TV”. There you can find other short pieces he’s made in front of his green-screen such as traveling through the streets of a desolate New York City inside a sanitizer bottle or turning a Citibike into a stationary one for a cycling workout in front of classic 80’s music videos.
For RAE, it’s about creating a diversion for himself and his followers in these troubled times, as well as staying connected to the streets, where you can often find his stickers, paste-ups and found objects sculptures hanging from city structures.
Self-quarantines are nothing new for RAE. In the Fall of 2017 he spent an entire month living on display inside a storefront window in the Lower East Side of Manhattan for his exhibition, The RAE Show, covered by The New York Times. Day and night, passersby could view RAE doing everything from roller skating to sleeping inside an environment that was a mix between his art studio and boyhood room. In many ways this experience has prepared RAE for the present-day isolation we have all been experiencing, however that didn’t stop him from looking for a way to separate himself further from today’s dark reality.
RAE (aka RAE BK)’s eclectic work is quite prevalent on the streets in NYC among other places around the world (Berlin, Iceland, Ethiopia, LA). He’s a painter, found-object sculptor and performance artist best known for his pop-up exhibitions and site specific, street installations, often fitting seamlessly into a city's landscape.