Bailer x Conrad Bizjak – ‘Something to sink your teeth into’

For those of you in Australia suffering the Sunday blues, to take your mind off tomorrow being yet another working day, check out the newest wall to hit St Kilda, compliments of the masterminds Bailer AND Conrad Bizjak. Thanks to p1xels for the images and to Bailer for the exclusive words.

photo: p1xels

Conrad and I had been studiously sketching our own version of Picasso’s Guernica to adorn another large wall not far from this one. This was an idea we had talked about realising over the past few years. We had hoped to encapsulate some of the realities of St Kilda life in the same manner that Picasso so brilliantly captured the horrors of war in one of his most powerful works. After some some disagreement with the owners of the building we were set to paint, the idea stalled then failed to come to fruition.

3E7A6686-CreditP1xelsphoto: p1xels

However, the wheels were in motion and we still needed to create something. I found a better wall for us to decorate and we began the design process again, in the wake of the previous failure.

This time we took all external influences out of the equation.

We decided to work on our own separate parts of the wall, focusing on our artistic strengths. Then somehow connect all the elements.

3E7A6935-CreditP1xelsphoto: p1xels

My own art practice is and always will be informed by/rooted in my graffiti background. As I continue to develop my own visual language pushing further away from letter construction, elements of graffiti such as form, placement and colour all play a vital part.

Conrad is the opposite. He has a background in fine art, in particular surrealism and is developing a more street style language every time he paints on a large scale.

We both however believe that the process of creating is just as important as the outcome and needs to be apparent in the finished piece; it needs to look like a painting not an airbrushed photograph.

photo: p1xels

So we came up with the concept for the wall in about five minutes. I asked Conrad what he has been wanting to paint most of late then told him how I wished to continue creating graffiti inspired forms that contain no lettering.

photo: p1xels

So the tidal wave full of arrows was my contribution and the camera faced Tiger was Conrad’s. This idea was a good base but we agreed to let it evolve while we painted. Artworks seem to feel forced if they do not progress naturally. Copying an image onto a wall does not feel like art to me.

We spent the first day painting from the ground with paint rollers on poles, stopping to check the scale from a distance and discuss ideas.

photo: p1xels

What was the relevance of this mechanical, camera faced beast leaping through the waves? It seemed to us to represent a portion of the the beast that is mainstream media. Conrad suggested a beam of light shining out the front of the camera. I thought it only natural to place a small boat in the beam. As though it is in the spot light. A tasty little morsel of a story for the media to sink their teeth into and rip to shreds…”