A D.C. native, Asad "Ultra" Walker is an artists whose background in graffiti and street art inspires his work. His current show "quiet walks in dangerous places" will be at the Fridge in Eastern Market until Oct. 28
What appeals to you about graffiti?
I think graffiti is more of a school of art and in a way, it's kind of a way of thinking about what you're doing. I think a lot of graffiti artists are kind of self-taught and assimilate a lot of what they see both in graffiti and pop culture and commercial. Graffiti artists take all the rules and keep what they like and throw the rest out the window.
How does the District inspire your art?
It's been a long process. I've lived here in the area almost my whole life. At one time, graffiti wasn't very art friendly. There wasn't really the kind of art scene that there is now and slowly that kind of developed and I think D.C. is a lot friendlier to art now. I hope that I've kind of grown up with it.
How would you compare D.C.'s street art scene to other bigger cities?
My impression is that we're a lot tighter and we get along. Almost all the artists, one way or another know each other and I really feel like it's much more friendly here.
What is the premise of your new show "quiet walks in dangerous places?"
It's all portraits and people I know from D.C. It's my kind of reference to graffiti ... being out at 4 or 5 in the morning, going into bad neighborhoods and seeing things. Sometimes I see beautiful things or something crazy so I kind of took that kind of mind set toward painting. I took a lot of people I know that are D.C. people and had an image in my head and poses and how I wanted them to look.