Louisville Magazine

NOV 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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136 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.18 ARTS Photo by Mickie Winters MEET Far From the Fruit Local illustrator Ian Klarer is a hot commodity in the hip-hop world. Every now and again, Louisville native Ian Klarer gets a call from the rapper Killer Mike. It's not as scary as it used to be, and not as frequent — Killer Mike has management that can handle things now. But he still calls sometimes, and getting a call from one of the hottest rappers out there is still the kind of thing that'll get your heart racing. Especially if he's part of what is probably your favorite musical group, Run the Jewels, and wants you to work for him. You might have read the story in the C-J back in 2013: Klarer made some fan art of hip-hop duo Run the Jewels and managed to get a positive reaction from them on social media. Then the DuPont Manual grad, who studied painting at U of L, took the artwork to Forecastle and held it up in the crowd. Killer Mike called him backstage. Since then, Klarer says he has pitched RTJ hundreds of ideas for artwork: There's Killer Mike and his Run the Jewels partner, El-P, as sword-swinging Game of Thrones characters, characters from Blade Runner and zombies, all rendered in a slick, cartoony style probably traceable to Klarer's childhood interest in cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the violent, visually striking Alien and Predator comics. "It really blew my mind to watch people make that kind of art," the 37-year-old says. He didn't gravitate toward the fine-arts-focused programs in schools as much. As he puts it: "I didn't want to paint the fruit." Working in the home he shares with his wife and child in Crescent Hill, Klarer spends anywhere from five to upwards of 40 hours on each illustration, using the elec- tronic drawing pad hooked up to his computer to stack layer upon layer of digital works on top of one another to create one image. Since working with RTJ, he has started getting more commissions. Artwork makes up his whole livelihood these days. Check out his Instagram, @ianklarer, and you'll see some recent work: a head- less-horseman poster promoting a Halloween show for West Coast hip-hop group SOB X RBE, and cover art for a mash-up of Wu-Tang Clan and Two Chainz songs by DJ Critical Hype. There's a perk to creating the headless horseman, as opposed to a specific person: "He doesn't care what he looks like," Klarer says. "He doesn't even have a head!" — Dylon Jones

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