Sometimes when you’re travelling you are just in the right place at the right time – luckily
for me thats happened during my visit here to NYC.
Amongst that fortune was being able to catch up with The Yok and Sheryo last week in the lead up to their opening, and, of course, being able to attend that very same opening tonight at Krause Gallery down near the Bowery.
The calibre of work in display was second to none – having seen them labour over the work whilst I was visiting possibly gave me a greater appreciation of the whole thing, but seeing work in progress and then the finished products all up on the walls and installed is something else. On the surface, many off the images seem quite simple in their iconography – that simplicity, however, is only on a casual glance, in each piece there is a complex play of ideas and head-nods to a whole swath of cultural foibles and fancies.
From beautifully rendered porcelain pots to the firehouse white on blue plates, there is a measure of immaculate detail hidden within each of this duos works. Messages both written and placed upon paper or ceramic surface as near hieroglyphic entreats – and though some of these can be obviously translated, you also get the sense that there are some distinctly playful in-jokes between the two artists scrawled across their work.
The upstairs section of the show was formal in its presentation – that aforementioned white and blue sprayed across the room. The bars and plates, though made of fragile material had a strengthened presence that belied their canvases.
Downstairs however, was a loose assortment of painted walls and printed materials documenting the couples journeys across SE Asia, Mexico and here in NYC, their adopted home.
I loved this section – you don’t always get such a complimentary display in an exhibition of some of the more intimate processes and plans behind the finished product. Playful scrawlings on found pages and plans for walls painted and finished abounded in ramshackle manner – a perfect juxtaposition to the room above.
Often when artists collaborate, the seams between styles are in some evidence, instead of a perfunctory presence – yet of all the times I looked upon this work, I often found it difficult to discern, happily, where the Yok ended and Sheryo began – or visa versa.
For me, this is the essence of collaboration – that wavering grey area where two talents are able to combine into a distinct entity – something that the viewer, and even the artists themselves, have never seen before – and which would never have eventuates without such a close working relationship. Though this show was billed as two artists, it could have easily been one – such was the ease by which their merger of styles was both demonstrated and substantiated.
As I sit here, tapping into my phone and writing this over tea and post-show congee, I cant help bit think that this might be what NYC is really all about. Not the glitz and glamour and "oh New York is so fkn coool" and all the "art scene" bullshit, but about individuals, artists, having the opportunity and ability to present new shit in such a broad, dynamic environment – and being embrace for it. Not only did I see some amazing work tonight, but I also saw the "Pipe Dreams" of two artists literally manifested upon the walls of this grand old metropolis.
I love this city, and I love its artists, new and old, and I loved this fucking show.
Check out more of the photos from the show below – apologies for not being the best, I had to resort to my point and shoot after my dslr craped out … but I hope you enjoy them!
A few weeks back, we were invited to Oz Comic-Con in Perth . Having never been to a comic/fantasy/sci-fi convention, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Comics are awesome, so why had I not been to a Oz Comic-Con before? I guess I thought this would be an event for hardcore science fiction fans and people who would make my comic knowledge feel like the small, pathetic, underfed creature it is.
As we neared the Perth Convention Centre we began to encounter Batmans, Pikachus and anime characters. Holly hell, people really dress up? I was SO excited! Upon entry we were greeted with what looked like a full house; stalls, shelves upon shelves of comics and a cast of patrons that were a mishmash of every cool movie, comic book and TV show I’d ever seen. All this and I hadn’t even got to where the Comic-Con special guests were. Macgyver was there, Macgyver!!!
I could prattle on about how great it was and how deep my regret is that I had not attended a Oz Comic-Con before but times is short yo. I gotta get started on my costume for next years Comic-Con.
Who: William Shatner, Jason Momoa, Richard Dean Anderson, Justin Randall, Nicola Scott, Patricia Quinn, J.G Hertzler and many, many more talented people. What: Oz Comic-Con Perth Where:Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Rd, Perth WA 6000 When: Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of March 2013
Whilst I was in Singapore, I had the chance to head to Kult Gallery (I’ll be writing more about Kult and Singapore in my next few Sojourn posts) – and It just so happened that on the day I visited, Ben Frost was busy setting up for his first solo exhibition in Singapore.
From the press release for the show …
"Australian pop artist Ben Frost presents an exhibition of new artworks exploring our society’s obsession and relationship with mass-consumerism.
Painting directly onto fast food and pharmaceutical packaging, Frost asks us to look twice at the products we have grown to love – and also grown an addiction for. From McDonald’s french fry packages adorned with skulls and praying families, to Simpsons characters painted onto Viagra boxes, he presents a humorous and often challenging reflection of western culture. "Advertising is a drug," Frost says.
"A perfectly designed drug that keeps us dazed, confused and focused on the product at hand. We’ve formed an exuberant addiction to carefully designed colour combinations, cartoon character associations and dynamic buzz words that promise us the world – but deliver us much less."
By taking the packaging of these products and adding his own elements, Frost recontextualizes their messages into more interesting, challenging and subversive meanings."
Ben Frosts work is a unique commentary on our times – taking popular icons and meshing them in juxtaposition with every day foibles and pharmaceuticals, the resulting work adheres to Frosts ongoing pursuit to expose propaganderous postulations in our modern world.
Take a look at the rest of the photographs of both Bens work and the exhibition opening at Kult Gallery below (provided to us by Kult themselves!)
A few weeks back popular Sydney based street artist Deb curated a huge group show, collating an incredible bunch of male artists from the nation and world wide. ‘Man Up’ was a charitable showcase with 100% of proceeds going to the Cancer Council of Australia to fund prostate cancer research.
Amongst the staggering array of work were pieces by Mark Bode, Mike Giant, Ben Brown, Ken Taylor, Ben Frost, and Edward Woodley. The works dotted the walls in monochromatic hues coming together to form an exciting and no doubt successful show. Making buying more art feel even better.
As you all know we a had a massive night Friday with four big openings in the one night.
VS was our second stop of the evening after TwoOnes show, and both Marc Huntington and Matt Griffith of ArtBoy Gallery did a great job in helping to put these two artists together in the same room!
With battle lines drawn, maps of the conflict and each section of the wall dedicated to a part of the ongoing struggle, the war of art was, we can say for a certainty, definitely a draw – or at least, a good dose of M.A.D.!! Kaitlin Becketts creatures, and Matt Stewarts urban warriors continue the ultimate struggle ….
As mentioned previously by Facter, FORM gallery offered its walls up to some of Australia’s bright young street artists last Thursday at its opening of the ‘Living Walls’ show.
FORM was conceived in conjunction with the ‘City Walls’ venture, which endeavours to promote and stimulate collaborations between local businesses, councils and artists in street art throughout the city.
The show consists of a nice variety of media and method. Beastman’s pieces occupied the first space with its symmetry and pristine cut-backs – this guy is a serious overspray nazi. Further into the space a huge series of Anya Brock’s pieces confronted the masses aiming for the bar.
If you are wondering why theres so few images of art on walls in these pics, check the crowd shot; every Nan and her dog were out to view some sweet pieces!
Who: Amok Island, Andrew Nicholls, Anya Brock, Beastman, Chloe Spiers-Atherden , Chris Nixon, Jae Criddle, Jodee Knowles, Sean Morris, Shannon Crees and Steven Christie. What: Living Walls Exhibition Where: Form Gallery, 357 Murray Street, Perth, Western Australia When: Friday 29th June – Saturday 25th August, 2012, Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm
We entered a world of paintings, projections, mixed media, drawings, videos and cartoons from Danny Wild, Jason Galea, Greg Holden, Gore, Leagues, (who had redesigned some vinyl record sleeves and put a canvas up in a tree) and Instant FYG (Inst managed to arrange a series of smaller cartoons into the shape of a bong, as well as construct parts of the human anatomy from Tally-Ho packets!). There was also a continuous sound-activated projection, coded by Wild, that morphed various shapes and colours in response to loud noises, which in turn gave rise to random hand claps throughout the evening.
An undeniable penchant for ‘80s VHS manifested itself in the form of an interactive VCR/CRT installation wall, complete with “Zonkadelic” paint job. With a seemingly random selection of video tapes scattered throughout the nooks and crannys of the sculpture, guests were encouraged to press eject on a video player, swap the tape over and see what then popped up on one of the old school TVs.
To cap the night off, we were presented with the premiere of the latest ZV film. A visual whirlwind of hypnotic graphics, self-help advice and skateboarding, which even included a new installment from everyone’s favourite Posca-nosed pal, Mr. Scribble.
The huge crowd, which spilled out into Budd Street, kicked back in the balmy night air with Mexican beer and the sounds of a freestyle synth jam that emanated from within. As wispy clouds above blurred the sharp lines of a crescent moon, so too it seemed our reality had become momentarily blurred – Zonk Vision guided us to new dimensions, and Well Wisher was an unforgettable journey.
Okay. So. I don’t often do reviews, I honestly don’t usually have time … but this show deserves one.
It’s 11am Friday morning, and my head is full of neurofen. I have my coffee in hand and I’m attempting to assimilate the epic brain-art-orgasm that was last nights "Le Venin" show by Da Mental Vaporz at RTIST Gallery.
So, did one the top graff crews in the world, which includes artists such as Bom.k, Blo, Brusk, Dran, Gris1, ISO, Jaw, Kan and Sowat, bring the goods?
After arriving, I queued up for a few tasty cocktails, did the ubiquitous "yo, how you doing man" rounds, and walked into the gallery. It all looked pretty insane, with a wide range of works represented by all the artists. I saw the head curator, Jeremy Gaschk, looking pretty damn happy, but also like he’d just run a triathlon - I thought, these things get hectic, but this was no more than usual, right? Right?
Wrong. Oh, so wrong. I then got a glimpse of exactly why I can only describe this show as "epic" – glancing around the corner, I noticed a big hole in the wall that I hadn’t actually seen before, and, lurking behind the hole, was another room – also filled full of some of the most insane shit I’ve seen. Okay, got it. This show wasn’t like any other to be held at the gallery – and then I really understood what went into it.
Fuck me, what a colossal effort.
There looked to be well over a hundred pieces all up – oh, and that wasn’t including the third room that mysteriously appeared upstairs in a large loft area that I’d never seen or heard of before.
The loft area held a massive replica of what I assumed was a model of their life raft on the flyer. There was a small treasure chest hat looked oddly familiar (Something from Daeks show perhaps?) as you got up the top of the stairs, and then there it was, looming massively.
Behind the … boat, raft, installation, flotsam and jetsam, was a projector screen. I didn’t watch the entirety of it, but I did sit there for a bit and watch video of the crew as they burnt the fuck out of things with home made flamethrowers. Oh hell yeah, that’s art right there! Either that or I’m just a pyro and love watching shit burn …
I loved a whole heap of shit, if you look through the pics below you’ll get an idea of how diverse it was, and yet there was a feeling of commonality running through the entire show. These are guys that have worked together for many years, collaborated and inspired each other, so there was always an feeling of an undercurrent that joined the work.
Probably, however, my favourite piece, surprisingly, was a $5000 work of pure art. You’re thinking massive canvas, big piece – but, no. It was a small sketch on a pizza box, produced in North Melbourne as the guys hunkered down to work. For me, work like that is the closest you can get to "Street art" on a wall in a gallery. Sure, the price tag may be somewhat of a piss take, in what is, admittedly, some insane rational, it would be worth every cent.
I am, admittedly, a fan of smaller illustrated pieces, and at this show, there was an entire wall filled with smaller works one of the guys remarked to me "All of this came over in our suitcases" – jesus dudes, did you even bring any clothes with you? haha.
From canvases big and small, illustrations and multimedia – there was, literally, something for every taste – a different style to suit every art lover.
I’m not going to talk too much more about the actual art, you need to just go and see it for yourself, I myself am planning on getting down in the next week to have a good look around while I’m not spilling booze all over myself as I attempt to take crappy photos – I don’t usually go to check out shows more than once, I don’t have time, but I have to see it all again.
I was lucky enough to meet a fair few of the DMV crew, and to chat about a bunch of things. Heard about what some of them have planned for the rest of their stay, and talked art and shit. Not only were they talented mofos, all of them, but they’re also affably likeable, highly creative, expressive and, well, just like any other artist on the night of their show – slightly exhausted, completely exhilarated and totally proud of what they’d achieved – and they should be.
It’s been almost (but not quite) a year now since RTIST opened its doors, and for what is still in the scheme of things a relatively new gallery in the scene, they have really started to come into their own. Beyond the great drinks they provide, beyond the cool, beyond the awesome snacks and catching up with friendly faces and the whole , the thing I am most impressed about is their ability to help channel an artists work onto the walls of a gallery. They have a different style about their openings than most other galleries in Melbourne, yet it works for them and for the artists they represent.
The music was mad too – Kodiak Kid is always pumpin, and it appeared as though he was joined by visiting international guest K-Lab (who is supporting Qbert at Brown Alley on his tour). Oh, and there was a dude playing some kick ass accordion just for that French vibe haha.
One other thing that I should mention – and that is the talents of head curator, Jeremy Gaschk. Gaschk started at RTIST with nothing less than a dream, and a massive goal to bring some of the worlds finest artists to Melbourne. That we even get to see shows like this on a regular basis is due in no small part to both his passion and his dedication, and his own love for graffiti and street art culture. The man and his crew work like a motherfuckers, and we reap the rewards by getting to see things that we’ve always wanted to see. Like D.M. fucking V. In Melbourne. In my fucking hood!
In many ways, the work that RTIST Gallery does in putting together shows like this reminds me of my love for unknown grungey bands back in the early 90s. I’d listen to their music, and would sit there hoping to hell that they’d just tour … yet I had very little doubt that these "alternate" groups would not be touring all the way down here – until, all of a sudden, a promoter turned up and I got to see them.
RTIST is one of those promoters, but it really does has its own niche going, and they are fuckin killing it! Along with Toby Armstrongs adept hand in keeping the cogs of the business running, the whole gallery feels as if it has meshed and evolved over the past year into a cacophony of cool on St Edmonds street. Let’s not fail to also mention people like Carl Allison who does some of the most amazing videos for the gallery (we can’t wait to see this one), Robbie Warden who always takes awesome snaps (and the only snaps of me I ever like), Jess, Grace and all the rest who help make the shows run so smoothly..
At the end of the day, RTIST Gallery specialise in street, urban and graffiti derived art, which is never an easy feat to convey on the walls of a gallery, yet for all of that they constantly innovate and create a "wow" factor with their shows. If next level wasn’t such a stupid fucking buzzword, that’s what I’d call it.
So, anyways, this is why I don’t write reviews very often – because I know I’ll gush, and I know I’ll ramble (the problem with being your own editor is that you don’t want to edit yourself!), but to be honest, this show, and these guys, totally deserved a proper review.
As I said before, it was fucking was epic, and beautifully executed … I mean, wow – what the fucks next?
Check out the full photo roundup below – if any of them suck, its not my fault, I’m not a photographer, and its hard to take photos with only one hand … mans gotta drink, yo!
James Dodd’s solo exhibition, Pacific Rift, the opening of which was held at Lindberg Galleries in Melbourne on the weekend, is a beautiful collection of sun-soaked works. Taking Pacific regional Australian graffiti and reinvigorating the art through photograph and stencil, Dodd takes us into his liquid, dream like world; and the journey is quite something.
Each piece holds its own sense of story, something seemingly indescribable, yet worth the vivi,d colourful and pattern rich expedition!
“I have chosen a couple of limiting parameters for this project…This body of work has been as much about colour as form. The choices are an extension of my ongoing use of vibrant fluorescent colours as hijacked from bill posters and street advertising.”
This solo exhibition is my second with Lindberg Contemporary. The work that I have produced represents a return to stencil driven outcomes. Encompassing experiments that link the work to ongoing investigations, the show consists of a number of installed and painted works executed over the last 6 months.” – Dodd said.
The show runs til the 25th of September so if you didn’t make the opening night there is still plenty of time to get down and get immersed!
Who: James Dodd What: Pacific Riff solo show Where: Lindberg Galleries, Level 2, 289 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC When: The show runs from the 2nd September to the 25th September, 2011
“Anthony Lister’s work references street art, pop art, expressionism and all things “low brow". His 2011 exhibition at Metro Gallery promises to be a special event – an amalgamation of influences, including graffiti, stenciling, installations, pop art, comic book imagery, cartoons and his recollections of childhood”.
Lister draws his inspiration from many realms in order to transmit his messages and most pieces apparently don’t usually possess any kind of master plan as to how they will be carried out and executed. If you’re a fan, just as Invurt is, be sure to find the nearest teleportation device (we’re big on teleportation these days) to attend this diverse exhibition and showcase of an artist conceiving high calibre works for over ten years.
"Lister’s portraits are decorated with naive imagery and words. These works, the ‘Cap Me’ series, present images of how Lister’s street portraits often appear two or three years on from creation. Other artists tag, or add to street art work, a technique called ‘capping’, which is fundamental to the Street Faces exhibition."
Who:Anthony Lister What: Street Faces solo Exhibition Where:Metro Gallery, 1214 High Street, Armadale When: Show opens Wednesday 24th August, 6:30pm-8:30pm and runs til 17th September
“It is all happening between the 4th of August and the 3rd of November at Name This Bar on Oxford Street”.
Whenever we hear of something artistic that Tiger is involved in our curiosity gets piqued, the last Tiger event Invurt attended we had a freaking blast – and the fact that this is an ongoing alliance of sorts with ‘Name this bar’ makes us all the more excited/ Invurt welcomes ‘Art battles showcase – Choose your own weapon’ to the live art scene!
“This year’s Art Battles will comprise of seven different bi-weekly themes, surprise guest judges and a public critique on each battle. The series will run 4 heats with 2 semi-finals with the final showdown to culminate in a huge grand finale”.
If your interested in getting involved with other uber cool creatives, check out the full details of this competition/event via the Art Battles website and if you just want to get amongst it all, head down to Name this bar on Oxford Street.
Its all judged by the public, so if you want to push yourself that little bit further, then step outside your comfort zone and get to it – bring it on!
Who: Australian artist community, Name this bar in conjunction with Tiger Beer What:Art battles – Choose your own weapons Where:‘Name this Bar’ 107 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, NSW When: The whole shebang started on the 4th of August, but it’ll run until the 3rd November – so plenty of time to check it all out, and, if you’re game, be involved!
The other night we were able to briefly get down to the opening of the Midsummas Festival arts program – a part of which included Toy To The World. Such a cool show in general, and the TTTW portion was especially great. What was surprising, was just how many people had done Popobe bears for the charity event – over 75 of the beasties – and there were some amazing customisations.
Basically, a whole bunch of artists got a whole bunch of bears, and customised them so that they could be sold for charity. There were also some prizes involved – with Mark Lyons in 1st place, Dean Swanton in 2nd, and Kaitlin Beckett in 3rd – congrats to all, it must have been a hard job selecting them, we would have been stumped to pick only three! The pics below dont do them great justice, but if you like any of these get down to 45 Downstairs and check it out – there is a silent auction for all of them, so just put down which one you’re interested, how much you’d pay for it, and it goes in to the draw – and some of these really deserve a good amount for the amount of time spent on their creation alone! All of those funds will then be donated to the AIDS Council, so yeah – go and do it!
Things are fairly light on this week as I’m having a pretty heavy week at work – but theres always time for a few articles here and there – like this one! The other week we had news of a show, Nice Piece Of Art, from Jessicat and PT up in Sydney – we weren’t able to attend ourselves, so Jessicat kindly sent through a few pics from the opening.
Lots of crazy cool girls up on the walls – heres a couple of highlights ..
Check out the rest of the pics from PT and Jessi cat’s exhibition, Nice Piece Of Art, on our facebook page.
In my totally hung over state and after a busy afternoon (I may have possibly had one too many the night before whilst watching my friends band the Freak Technique), I headed down on the tram on Sunday evening to check out the inaugural Melbourne Tiger Translate event.
So I decided to put a few of my thoughts down into a small review – again, excuse my point and shoot pics – I’m not exactly what you’d call the worlds best photographer haha … enjoy …
I’m totally art-ed out from the past week, with way too much happening! I did manage to get to a few openings and events though, namely the A3 Small Art show, Toy To The World and the Cardbordia show that I was part of with a bunch of other cool crew … but I’m also looking forward to seeing the other shows whose openings I missed on Friday over the next few days – namely Kami & Sasu, about:blank and Scottie “Bonsai” Neoh’s one at Fed Square …
Anyways, I got a few shots along the way (I’m a crappy photographer so don’t hold it against me if they aren’t that shit-hot =P, so I figured I’d do a couple mini-reviews and post up a few of them up …
I made my way down to help out with the opening of Urban Intervention last Friday night at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery, and was pretty impressed by the whole affair (sure, I’m helping volunteer for the festival so maybe I’m a biased, but fuck it, I like what I like). The curating, by Anna Briers and Kelly Madigan, was excellent, the attendance was fantastic and the whole interactive nature of the show itself was, as Junky Projects mentioned in passing on the night, something different that hasn’t really been seen much of here in Australia, or even elsewhere around the world.
The sculptures in the show were varied, from the political to the ephemeral, there were some great light paintings, a cool walk-through installation off to the side, and it was just generally great seeing this part of street art on display to such a wide cross section of the community – and those at the launch were as varied a group as any I have seen at these events so far.
As I mentioned before, one of the parts of the show was the launch of their interactive Urban Intervention Art Trail map, a very cool trail that leads you through the streets of Collingwoodcool and Fitzroy and covers a bunch of its artistic treasures, some existing and some that were created for the show itself. As its an interactive map, people are encouraged to go through and tag and add their own work to it – so if you have something up on a wall around Melbs, get to it.
Here are a couple of not-so-professional-shots from the opening night …
Melbourne Art @ Culture Critic also has a mention of the show here.
On a side note here – one thing that has impressed me over the last week or so of Sweet Streets has been presence of the Yarra City Council at this, and various other events of the festival (I’m pretty sure it was Cr Geoff Barbour that been representing last Friday night). I am often pretty skeptical on the views of both government and local councils in regards to their approaches to street art – on the one hand there are tough penalties for even carrying a damn spraycan around in a bag, on the other they use street art as an attraction (yada yada yada you’ve heard it all before), and I guess I’m the kind of person that always thinks “Instead of constantly buffing that wall all the time, why not get some artists to come and paint it for a tenth of the cost of constantly painting over it, and a hundred times the coolness factor of a boring blank wall?” – but, that said, its genuinely great to see a councilor get up and do an opening speech, and actively be a part of the discussion, and looking towards implementing fair and reasonable guidelines and practices in conjunction with the street art community.
Its nice to see them taking a progressive approach that I still dont see in too many other places, apparently its part of that State Wide review thats been going on to assess the cultural value of street art in Victoria, or whatever that all means, so we’ll wait to see what the report comes of all that before commenting on it more.
Anyways, this is a gentle tip of the hat to Yarra City Council for their willingness to actually engage the street art community, and not just write it off as “those fkn vandals,” and to start looking at the work adorning the streets as a significant part of Australias artistic, cultural and creative heritage.
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.