Photography: Dean Martindale
Production & Styling: Jessica Swanson
Videography: Beth Lishmund
Grooming: Portia Ferrari
Assistants: Elisabeth Borgecrona & Marielle Mata
Music: Subculture Sage, “Gold” (Instrumental)
You probably recognize Kaner Flex from his Calvin Klein Spring ’16 campaign, in which the artist dances alongside FKA Twigs, effortlessly bending his body to her track “Good To Love.” Since then, the 22-year-old has become an exciting name in the music and fashion industries, using his eccentric and unapologetic style to promote diversity and freedom. Aside from an innate ability (and impressive double joints), the London-based Flex also credits his autism with inspiring his creative drive, using his growing platform to raise awareness while refusing to be labeled or ostracized. For Flex, his diagnosis is not a disability—just further proof he’s better than everyone else.
BULLETT caught up with the dancer and new father to talk pedicures, Pablo Escobar and praying hands.
Location: Sydenham, London
Favorite Profiles to Follow on Instagram: @iloveyouamethyst, my daughters Instagram
Tell us a secret.
I love feet, especially when someone takes care of them. Pedicure, painted nails—I love it all.
Describe what you do in 3 words.
Making Pain Beautiful.
Dancing or sex?
Favorite song to dance to:
Song you never want to hear again:
5 songs on the Kaner Flex playlist:
Lancey Foux, “STARSTRUCK”
Trippie Redd, “Feel Good”
House Of Pharaohs, “London Finest”
Jaden Smith, “Batman”
Naked or in your Calvins:
In my Calvins.
You’re planning a dinner party and you can invite anyone you want, alive or dead. Who do you choose?
Tupac, Pablo Escobar, Bob Marley, Kendrick Lamar, Biggie Smalls.
Khalili Joseph. He’s the dopest music video director—he directed my favourite music video, Flying Lotus’ “Until The Quiet Comes.”
If you were an emoji, you’d be:
The prayers hands because I’m blessed.
How’d you get involved with FKA Twigs?
She literally saw me dancing in the streets of London—Piccadilly Circus, to be precise. She was intrigued with what we were doing and what we stood for. She actually spent the whole night with us and at the end of the night, we exchanged numbers. The rest is history.
How has your career changed since working with her?
I’ve been getting booked a lot more and taken more seriously as an artist.
You’ve modeled for Calvin and in last year’s NYFW. What inspires you about the industry?
The freedom that new designers allow themselves to have and the boundaries which are now being broken down—that all inspires me.
How do you hope to see it continue to evolve?
I want to see growth, and I want to see diversity, I want to see love and freedom.
You’ve been open about being autistic. What impact has your diagnosis had on your career?
It’s had a massive impact. Autism isn’t my weakness—it’s my advantage. I have embodied Autism—I am Autism. Everyone thinks that I’m disabled, but I’ve only disabled myself from our society and ascended into another dimension.
Do you hope to use your platform to raise awareness?
Of course. However, I don’t like to make people feel forced to be aware—it’s like taking the donkey to the water: you can walk him there to let him see it, but you can’t force the donkey to drink. I just make people aware that there’s water—that there are people suffering from Autism.
Do you think politics has a place in art?
No, I don’t think politics belongs in art.
What do you see as your role as an artist, especially during such hyper-political times?
My role is to create art that unites people and destroys segregation—art that eradicates groups. We are all individuals, but once we come together we’re all equal—this is something the government, politicians, and the Prime Minister can’t do.