Greetings all from the Lion City – this will be my first real post since my relocation up to Singapore a week or two ago, I decided to take the plunge and do something new, so I’ll be based out of here for the next six months or so. Good thing too, as there is a crapload of great stuff happening in the SE Asia region right now that I’m hoping to cover, like this show from old school Sydney graff legend Mistery – which just popped onto my radar today!
“Reaching back to his comic book roots, Australian graffiti artist Mistery has reinterpreted classic Star-Wars imagery in cartoon form with a graffiti styled twist.
Not only regarded as one of the countries leading aerosol artists, Mistery is also an accomplished B-Boy and MC, with Spanish paint company MTN recently producing a limited edition spray can in his honor!
Join us on Thursday night to meet the artist, view the works and enjoy some drinks, as we launch this new exhibition at CAD.”
Heres a work in progress of something for the show …
I fucking love Star Wars. I’ve seen the mans work in photos, but never had a chance to see it in a gallery context, so i’m really looking forward to this one – and i’ll be sure to grab a bunch of photos whilst Im at it.
The last breath project has been doing some cool things over th epast year or two. Targeting buildings that are on the edge of demolition, the Last Breath project and the artists who participate in the various cities gain access and turn it into a temporary gallery of paint and good shit.
“This an attempt to make the most of the final days of a spacious warehouse in North Melbourne, now void of any life, before its meaning and beauty are forgotten. We occupied the space and invited artists to celebrate the last days of this soon-vanished construction. Now, the building and its final beautification will fully perish and on its grounds, yet another materiality will rise.
Last Breath is currently traveling. Write to email@example.com to remain up-to-date on next locations and to get involved, as a beautifier or exhibition visitor.
Another month of mad walls, not a day goes by where I don’t find something new on the streets of Melbourne, be it street art or graff.
The stand out show this month for me was ‘Untold” by James Reka, I really liked the found objets covered in rust with their striking blue designs, while the framed works spoke for themselves.
I got down to see “Charlie Foxtrot” by E.L.K at Metro Gallery; I have always been a big fan of this guys work, his composition and subject matter always intriguing me.
I also got the chance to Meet the aptly named Mike Giant, founder of “Rebel 8″, which saw Melbourne host a rad party decked out with designs by Mike Giant and a half pipe in one room.
My lens is fixed on artists such as Bailer of “ID”, this guys evolution is amazing to watch especially in the last few months absolutely killing it and then there is Dem 189 of “F1″, here is another guy who never sleeps and who’s style inspires all who set eyes upon his work.
One of Melbourne’s favourite adopted artists Jaws, “Da Mental Vapors”, has left some amazing pieces behind as he recently left Oz to return home to France peace bro safe travels.
I have to mention my good mate Shida, who has really stepped up and taken his work to the next level, the way his work punctures the landscape so vividly leaving you breathless.
Melbourne saw the return of Meggs, luckily he was able to leave us with a few pieces to enjoy and if you haven’t seen them yet I would advise you guys to get down and check out the Rose street car park in Fitzroy, organised by Dvate, It’s an amazing graff filled area full of Melburn Kings, past and present.
Finally the ever busy Mr Jacob Oberman, this was on of my favourite pics, till next month Peace out Punkz.
Over the years, Idol Motions has transformed himself from a bomber prowling the streets of Perth, into one of the cities most promising talents. Having started out smashing walls and lanes back in the mid-90s, Idol had a life changing epiphany whilst wandering through an abando – and since that moment, he has continually pushed himself, and his work, to the challenge of heightening his skills both on, and off the walls.
Having run with the infamous Hellz Kids, exhibitions and other projects with both the 6025 Crew and Artist Anonymous Collective, as well as strong ties to the Perth Hip hop community and the S.B.X. crew, Idol motions has been there, done that, and continues to do even more. Clean lines, colourful flares and a penchant for iconographic hip hop entities and natures denizens, Idols pieces are the culmination of years of dedication and hard work, and, most importantly – his work is full of hints at the simple joy that he possess of loving the shit that he does.
Having recently held a successful show with S.B.X. mate Paul Deej, and having just jetted off to Milano in Italy for a new project, Idol Motions is an artist who we have had our eye on for quite a while now – and one whose work we’ll continue to enjoy as time progresses. We had a chance to throw the man some questions not too long ago, and we were pretty happy to read all about his work, and we’re pretty sure you will be too – read on!
Without beating around the bush – the bits of your bio I’ve read, you’re pretty open and honest about the fact that you had a less than ideal upbringing, but that it also helped you to find a path for yourself away from the drama of it all – how important has it been for you over the years to have such a strong creative outlet, and when did you first realise that this was the path you had set yourself upon?
Cheers for putting me on. Really honored to feel like I’ve bullshitted enough people to give a damn about my craft, HAHA!
Ok, since forever, I’ve never really been a people person. “I know right?!” such a generic answer”. But ye, that mixed with anxiety due to feeling like I had to keep busy to avoid people, really gave me an excuse to zone in with art and ignore the rest without coming off as anti social. It was the one subject at school where I felt in my zone. Didn’t have to talk to impress. Just let ‘em peer over my shoulder from time to time and say thanks whenever a complement was given. Year by year, the attention grew slowly boosting my self confidence. When I reached high school I felt like I had something to prove. But this time in a positive light. Felt good. Felt confident. Felt like all the other subjects were rubbish. Now looking back, feel a lot of regret for not taking all the other classes seriously. End result, felt stupid. hehehe!
You see, I dropped out of year ten. Roamed the streets of Perth with graffiti bombers. Got drunk in ally ways and passed out. Woke up delirious and got chased by cops. Slipped onto trains with the same lame ass excuse as to why I didn’t having a valid ticket. Get home and pass out. Woke up later that afternoon and do it all again.
It didn’t take long to get bored, so one day my mate DAZER decided to show me this abandon building just out from the city center. By this stage I had already seen heaps of graffiti bombing and throw ups. To be honest, it didn’t interest me at the time but what I found in the dingiest of all places was something different. It was like finding a hidden portal into a new world. The ceiling above had a huge hole allowing light to shine in. Looked like a scene out of The Prodigy – Fire Starter. Right there to my left was a freshly painted piece. I had never before see anything of that caliber. The piece had a sunset background with silhouettes of birds and rats with this awesome DASH piece just floating in almost a defense-like stance. Arrows, cutbacks, fades, high lights, crisp can control through n through. That was the first time I had witnessed and properly acknowledged proper graffiti art. Straight away, I had to see more of this and from that day forward I would never see the city the same. 1997 was to be the beginning of something special.
Days later I started practicing in quiet hidden industrial areas. Keep in mind, I did my fair share of ‘bombing the system’ before.
When exactly was it that you started throwing shit up on walls, and how did you get started out? Who were you knocking around with, and what experiences with other artists and environments out on the street spurred you on?
Styles and forms, graffiti and canvas – at the end of the day, what most impacts the style with which you work within? Is it the mediums, the walls or the paints, or is it all a big combination of the above? What and who motivated you to create your work?
I started to go public in 1998. By this stage, i had proven my hand styles to be worthy of representing Hellz Kids. Along side TRITS, HERBS, DAZER, OAK, DEST, NEXT ABC, SINCH, RENZ, SENZA, FITZ, DEKS ONE, REPS, TOMAHAWK, and of course the main man ELMS ONE, just to name a few.
At any given time when I was out n about bombing there would usually be at least 3 or 4 if not more of us. There was always competition on who could hit the hottest spots, have the nicest hand style or even just try to put up the most. The competition never ended. We were all so hungry for the top rating from each other. I think because of that alone, it really taught me in a big way to always paint like its your last piece. Trying to outdo the last. I didn’t even take photos most of the time. Besides the fact that I was already super paranoid, it was about fighting through the butterflies in the gut and embracing that adrenalin, while still being able to leave a stylish piece for the rest of the onlookers to enjoy between peak traffic that morning.
Damn! Wish I took more flicks!
After painting walls for so long I felt like I was only exercising repetition. To me that wasn’t enough any more. I needed to change it up. I needed to do something with meaning. Something the viewers could relate to. Even challenge their thought process and/ or beliefs. So I decided to pack up graffiti for a while and experiment with different mediums. Ink and Water colours on paper, Acrylic on canvas and wooden board, metal, aluminium and even glass. During the few years of playing around with different things I also decided to study up a little on art history. Doing this helped me to get a better understanding of being a true artist and the history behind many references that are still used today. Clarify the direction I wanted to pursue and also how to go about it but mainly, properly evolve my style into something uniquely different from the rest.
It was about 2003 when I decided that I was ready to test the walls with my new vision. The first thing I’d realized was the different textures of the walls. Something I never would have bothered to take notice of before was now a contributing factor to my thought process accompanied with what style, colour, theme, even what type of paint would work best on the chosen surface. I’ve now started to realize how complex art really is. Applying that knowledge to graffiti made the imagination run even wilder. Now that’s when the real fun began!
Working, creating and loving in Perth, tell us a little about how the city itself has helped to shape your work? How is Perth these days for artists such as yourself? Do you feel it’s opening up more to less traditional forms of art, and the artists who create it?
Yep, for sure! Graffiti art/ street art is definitely starting to take a front seat in Perth culture. Though it still feels like Perth is trying to find its original characteristics by borrowing other cities cultural back bones. Kinda like a person filling in a colouring book and calling them self an artist. I think if we as the people of Perth City, and as a whole in W.A., want to make a mark, but we need to stop looking over the shoulder of the Eastern States for answers. We need to start thinking on our own. The reason I say this is because its no different as to an individual artist trying to build a style that others can distinctively recognize. At first its all trial and error. Then we find things and references that inspire us to recreate. (This is the part where I think the Perth’s culture is stuck). We then take these recreations into our studios to manipulate, dissect, then reinterpret into our version of what we want the audience to see and this takes years. Basically recreating originality/ inventing new culture.
Right now I see Perth like I see Mr Brainwash … All cut n paste with a short attention span. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying Perth isn’t trying. It just seems like everyone here is more about trying to keep up with the cool kids instead of being our selves. Hey, to me art is no different to any relationship. You can go for something fake or something real, but in the end it all falls back on you.
Can you explain some of the regular tools of your trade? What are some of the essential pieces of equipment or medium that you just cant live without? Favourite paints, caps, pens, tunes?
Besides the fact I’d go crazy without hiphop and instrumentals, I never really cling to one thing. Every time I find my stride with certain tools something always goes wrong like run out of a certain cap, finding the one marker you need is lidless and dried up or that one brush you’ve been using religiously for the past month falls apart. It might be that I’m a tad rough with my tools, but in regards to that its kind of a good thing. It teaches me to constantly utilize between tools, keeping me from getting to comfortable. I think if you stay in your comfort zone, you find your self hesitating to be assertive with the motions of progression within the W.I.P (work in progress) when the unexpected happens: eg, Running low on buff colour. If your a real graffiti writer then I’m talking to you. hehehe!
If I have to make a choice though, I guess I choose spray paint. Without graffiti I probably wouldn’t have taken art seriously. But again, due to my health complications I have been trying to stay away from the paint fumes and focus more on ink on paper. Really diggin my crazy A2 designs at the moment.
Within your work, I have noticed you do seem to have an affinity for nature – a lot of your past characters have revolved around portraiture of animals and other fauna, what is it about the natural world that you love to portray?
When i was younger I spent a lot of my time living in mining and country towns. With not much to do id find my self drawing and at that time things like cable tv and internet wasn’t available. So the only references I could find that inspired me was from what was around me.
Birds, buffaloes, fish, snakes, mother nature. Choosing to spray these themes on walls years later in suburbia was my way of saying, “you can’t take the country out the boy”.
Tell us a bit about some of your previous shows and other projects you’ve been involved with – and what other creative endeavours have you found yourself amongst over time? How about your upcoming show with Deej? How did it all come about, and can you explain a little more about your hip hop influences, and what parts of the culture itself that spurred you into doing the show?
The shows that I have been involved with over the years were mainly team ups with 6025 Crew and Artist Anonymous Collective (A.A. Crew). Both of which I have the utmost respect for, and represent to the fullest!
Where hiphop ties into this is years back when I was still running strong with Hellz Kids. Few of the H.K. boys had a side crew called S.B.X. aka Syllabolix. You’ve probably heard of the crew from the well respected likes of DRAPHT, MATTY B, DOWN SYDE, CLANDESTINE and the hiphop legend ROBERT HUNTER, on Triple J or any UNDERGROUND radio station. R.I.P HUNTER! The one thing that a lot of S.B.X. fans don’t realize is the whole time there was a graffiti sprout from that family tree. Just to name a few: DASH, SOUNDZ & ACTION (XD Crew),DEEJ, TRITS, ELMS, HIGH 5, KID ZOOM and the list goes on.
I was lucky enough to become a part of the growth of S.B.X. back in early 2000 and with that , opening doors to meet and greets with other national and international hiphop stars such as FUNKOARS, HILLTOP HOODS, KRS1, IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, MF DOOM, GHOSTFACE KILLAH and more.
Just recently I had my mate PAUL DEEJ invite me to a joint project called HIP HOP. Conveniently enough, i was messing around with black ink pens and was trying to find a body of work to apply it to. As straight forward as the theme seems there is a bit of a twist to the presentation. For starters, it was mainly aimed at the 90′s, (the Boom Bap era). Paul chose to work with Gangster rap and underground. I chose commercial. The layout in the gallery was to represent the battle between two artist like the ongoing rivalry between commercial and underground, “The Face Off”. I decided to show repetition by using different mediums to recreate some of the original works. I also hung my originals in between graffiti prints to represent similarities within the strategy of pop culture infiltrating the underground scene.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year, and, indeed, the future? What projects lie unrealised, and what would you like to investigate with your work next?
I’v actually been sponsored to go paint over in Italy for a couple of weeks. Super excited about this! I also have a couple of group shows with 6025 Crew lined up for later this year in Melbourne and then again in Perth.
Just quietly, I possibly could be putting together a solo show for sometime next year to. Keep an ear out peeps.
This amazing little short doco on the RISE Festival in New Zealand really impressed me, with a few short little interviews and a whole bunch of artwork, it makes me wish that I had of been able to get over there for it – and makes me even more keen to go and check it out the next time it happens!
Put together by Selina Miles, at 12 minutes its not a short one, but its definitely worth the watch, and features George Shaw, BMD, Askew and more!
“Oi YOU! presents RISE took place during the first three months of 2014 at the Canterbury Museum and on huge walls across the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. RISE took Christchurch by storm and was the most visited show in the Museum’s history with 240,000 visits in a city of only 400,000.
This Longcut video includes interviews with Askew, Beastman and BMD.”
Once again, Dean Sunshine sends us his top 10 of all the shit he has seen around Melbourne over the past month – again, theres a lot more awesome arund than what fits here on this page, but he is a little slice of the work thats gone up over May.
Just another great selection of Melbourne street art at its finest!!
You might have noticed that we’ve been posting a fair bit of shit thats been going on in Asia recently – and in line with us branching out a little to cover the rest of our neighbours throughout our region, we’re throwing China into the mix also – because, well, there is some damn fine shit going on up there, and there really isn’t enough focus down this way as to whats happening in our own neighbourhood!
What is happening up there, is that there are a huge bunch of fkn artists doing a hell of a lot of painting and mad events – and this event being put on by Beijings infamous and talented ABS crew and 400ml is no exception!
Last years Meeting Neighbourhood was a huge success, and this time around there are going to be some thirty or so writers getting together to do it all again, plus there’ll be tunes and some free food and drinks!
You can check out the video from the last event below – check out the awesome wall pass-by at the end of the clip …
So if you’re on a holiday, heading over for business, or plain just live there, head down to Meeting the neighbourhood this weekend and .. well, meet your friendly local Beijing graffiti neighbours!
Who: ABS crew and friends What: Meeting Neighbourhood graff jam Where: No. 32 Baiziwan Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing China When: Event will be held on Saturday May 31st from 9am til 7pm!
Well lovers of all things street, it’s that time again where I bring you all of my favourite shots from the past month!
One show that really impressed me this month, was “Passing Through” by Deams, I have always admired his work, especially after seeing how he composes his pieces – taking Graffuturism to the next level.
Who can forget “Beyond The Lands”, by Adnate at the Metro Gallery – which sold out in 3 hours, with a welcome to country ceremony and smoke all around the gallery, it was a special moment, embraced by all who attended.
We also saw shows by Tom Civil & Stabs, Tom with his iconic little people landscapes gracing many Melbourne walls, his framed works are so intimate and detailed.
Artists such as Jaz Franco Fasoli, Kans (Da Mental Vaporz) and Alexis Diaz also visited recently, leaving their amazing works on Collingwood walls for all to enjoy.
Some of my favourite photos lately are those of shop fronts bombed with throwies and tags all over them, it seems to be that once you move out, they move in.
Invurt webzine provides information on AustralAsian street, urban, illustrative, graffiti and other genre defying, nu-contemporary art to readers around the world. It specialises in events and artists who are working, displaying and visiting Australasia – particularly with a focus on exhibitions, live art and other events the artists are partaking in.