Hand two talented young artists a paint brush and an outlet and what you get will be nothing short of inspiring. No kings Collective is no exception.
Meet Brandon Hill and Peter Chang, also known as No Kings Collective. One night in 2005 while one was a student at the University of Maryland and the other a professional break dancer, found themselves synonymously using breakdancing as a medium and vehicle to move paint over canvas. Prior to this, neither one of them had much experience in art. Through this multi-dimensional form of art came their first creation titled “The Document.” A name it earned through the six times it was documented as proof of raw originality and creativity by Brandon and Peter.
“The Document” brought about a shift in attitude and marked the beginning of a potential brand identity. With time, and as more work was created, Brandon and Peter decided it was time to pitch their work to art galleries. They traveled from Maryland to as far as Massachusetts. But landing a spot in the gallery didn’t come easy for the pair. In fact, they heard “no” so many times, they would joke about how only royalty could get their art showcased in galleries, hence the name, No Kings Collective.
“Rather than become kings, we just wanted to be normal people who show art, and spread art, at that same level of professionalism,” said Peter.
In the meantime, Peter and Brandon looked to their friends who were recent graduates and had connections to various venues and outlets through their jobs in hopes for a space to display their art. They also learned the tricks of the trade when shopping on a budget, whether it came to paint or canvas. They were starting from scratch with no one to represent them but themselves. Once they located an open space, Brandon and Peter then re-created installations and painted murals, using color and design to tell a story. With these projects came exposure, and with the exposure, Brandon and Peter landed gigs at shows within nonprofit sectors and galleries. Their brand became official, and now they were known as No Kings Collective, established 2009. Today, they are a versatile and creative duo brand that is equal parts design-build studio, creative agency, and events production company.
Since the formation of No Kings Collective, the two artists have mastered pop-up art shows, exhibitions and most recently, a wrapped 2019 Audi Q3 and mural in Nashville, Tennessee for Audi of America.
The mural lives in the lively heart of downtown Nashville, and covers a history of brick with a story to tell. Currently, it features the Audi Q3 and the words “Hold Nothing Back.” The phrase not only resonates with Audi as a brand, but also No King Collective’s attitude to keep on pushing through creatively and unapologetically.
“I stopped caring about the quote-on-quote art galleries and two years later, No Kings began,” said Brandon. “I didn’t know exactly how we were going to make it in the ‘art world’ but one thing we agreed on was that we were not going to ask for permission.”
The artists completed the mural and wrapped car within four days, and a few rain showers in between. The colors are bright, bold and daring to represent the SUV’s style. The design on the car matched the wall to represent the appearance of ‘no holding back.’
No Kings Collective’s journey began with an idea and a paintbrush and though they did things differently, hearing a lot of no’s along the way, they never gave up their pursuit on becoming who they are today.
“I do realize now that that the path we took to get to where we are now was to empower ourselves off the brake, and there’s nothing more powerful than that,” Brandon said. ”You have to know your own strengths and ability to assert awesomeness into the world.”