Style Profile

Utilitarian Minimalism

Paul Komada

For Paul Komada, one look travels from studio to museum.

WHO Paul Komada, the 44-year-old artist whose textile works include “knit canvas paintings” that interweave soft materials—often hand-knitted, hand-dyed fabric—with acrylic paint and rigid frames. Sometimes they take over entire walls for site-specific installations Komada calls “knit murals.” Though Komada was born in Seattle and later returned, he spent most of his childhood in Yokohama, Japan, where his father worked for a Japanese firm dealing in jumbo jets.

THE LOOK “My style is basically utilitarian minimalism,” Komada says. “My favorite outfit is a hybrid of ‘urban chic’ and functional construction worker’s gear. I consider the outfit successful if I can work in the studio (or on the street) making art without worrying about getting messy and, with the same set of clothes, I can walk into a museum art opening. My go-to ‘accessories’ are a Nikon DSLR and Audio Technica headphones. When I’m not knitting and painting, the streets are my source of inspiration. So in a sense I drag my studio around with me, trying to be always ready for the creative switch to turn on.”

ICONS “My icon for style and beyond: Ryuichi Sakamoto.”

UP NEXT Komada made several knit sculptures for a group show produced by SOIL Gallery called F(L)AT, which is on view this month at Napoleon Gallery in Philadelphia. He’s also working on a multimedia installation for his forthcoming solo exhibit at Gallery 4Culture, opening in June. Called Monument in Memory: Abstract Alaskan Way, the show aims to “preemptively monumentalize the future memory of Alaskan Way Viaduct” and will feature Komada’s first venture into editioning prints based on his photographic perambulations through Seattle.