Question: What does peanut butter have to do with art?
Answer: Probably everything.
Ray Young Chu, a co-founder of the Denver art company, The Yummies, is all about the peanut butter in life. And he’s not afraid to say so. Afterall, it probably is apparent – with Yummies’ performance characters like Ninja Nate, Donut David, Sheephead and Manny the Bear – all characters that may reach out and,
Shake your hand. Give you a hug.
Funny? Sure. That’s part of the point. Ray Young Chu and The Yummies are serious about having fun. And being playful. And peanut butter embodies all of that.
The Yummies art company has been creating grins, giggles and serious art for two years now. And since its first breath two years ago, painter Ray Young Chu has been afforded a valuable space to grow his personal art. A Denver resident, Chu has spent the years expanding his graffiti background into a formidable medium of communication. Through street art and a very traditional painting education, Chu blurs the lines between realism and a playful cartoon world. Chu’s new work, shown last month at the Plastic Chapel, is an anime study series – a series that is fast establishing Chu as a diverse Painter. Human. Artist. Yummy.
As with the lineage of painters before him, Chu has worked through his years in search of a voice, that was both authentic, and uniquely his. With his current body of work, it now seems as though he is solidifying that voice. In Yummies flavor, the talk now is of, “marshmallows and stuff”. “Turntables and B-boys”. And most important to his work, “flipping different styles”.
And while The Yummies are the professional extension of what Chu has aimed at, and grown towards, nearly his whole life – his personal work coincides with The Yummies aim. Of the family unit. Of smiling. Take a look at Chu’s paintings and you will catch it: It’s about simple things like handshakes, hugs, giving, and respecting life.
A bulk of Chu’s work consists of drippy, street art inspired pieces, depicting Yummy characters. But he is in the midst of creating an entirely new flavor. Now with his anime series. Later, through something else. Because, for Chu, the process is about progress; about incorporating where you are and where you’re from. And walking down the path, with your head up; smiling. With a peanut butter stick in hand.
Keep up with Ray Young Chu and The Yummies through his websites: