Cam Scale – ‘State of Mind’

Growing up in Sydney and influenced by the trackside graffiti throughout the suburbs, Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist Cam Scale was motivated to create his own art. “I grew up drawing. My parents encouraged me and tried sending me to art classes when I was young, but it wasn’t until I hit high school I showed a real interest. A close mate and I used to hang out creating mischief, mainly blowing stuff up, until we discovered graffiti,” says Scale. “After that, I was hooked. I tried to maintain some form of grades at school, but much of the time was spent out until the early hours, and then battling to stay awake in class!”

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After an attempt at graphic design, Scale realised that he wanted to be drawing the pictures, not moving them around. A ten-month graffiti binge around Europe followed, and upon return Scale moved to Melbourne and began an illustration course. As an artist, Scale admits, “Melbourne just had all the opportunities and a fresh start.” The rest as they say, is history.

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Considered a renowned graffiti writer and large-scale photorealist, Scale has now called Melbourne home for almost a decade. His first major solo show, ‘State Of Mind’ explores the viewer’s attitude towards graffiti, street and urban art and delves into the previously unexplored parallels of the urban and contemporary art world.

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“The show has taken a few twists and turns. The concept of the show has evolved into something I thought I’d try a bit later in my career. Initially, I was trying to photograph and paint people that I met naturally when working on the street; trying to understand their attitude towards the work and then painting them. That concept developed and blended into painting other artists as well, with them contributing to their own portrait. I wanted to not only try and capture their essence, but include a bit of themselves; trying to show who they are and why they do what they do. Exploring the state of mind behind their work.”

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These collaborations with the likes of internationally recognised fine artist Anthony Lister, or fellow Juddy Roller alumni Slicer, prompted Scale to see his art in a new way, allowing him to identify new and improved methods and reassess his own work. “I wanted to depict all ends of the spectrum, from renowned people at the pinnacle of the scene right through to those who have a legitimate reason to wear a mask and hide their face. The transition between an artist’s roots and the evolution of their work driven entirely by their own attitude that is so fascinating. Throw into the mix the opposing elements of curators, cleaners and law enforcement; that adds a whole new level.” One policeman recently stated on national television ‘graffiti is a gateway crime to murder’ to this, Scale is amused. “I know a large number of writers and artists that have started off in graffiti and gone on to variety of different extremes with their lives and work. I’m yet to meet a murderer.”

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‘State of Mind’, a sixteen piece mixed media body of work, has allowed Scale to explore the parallels between fine art and graffiti, collection and removal, and to view ‘the industry’ in a new, unexplored way by introducing the viewer to all facets of the urban and contemporary art world.

Shaun Hossack, Creative Director of Juddy Roller, one of Melbourne most infamous urban art galleries says this body of work explores untold truths about graffiti and street art culture. “Often these two acts of creation are at odds with one another but Cam has produced a body of work that seamlessly weaves the two together to show the importance of both practices and how they relate.”

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“Cam’s show will be a real turning point in his career and also in his practice as an artist. Being locked away in a studio for three months has allowed him to go deeper into his work conceptually, but also from a practical point of view. His technique has become much more refined. This is going have a real impact on his mural work when he goes back to the streets. I can’t wait to see that what’s next for him. Cam is definitely an artist to watch.”

‘State of Mind’ opens at Juddy Roller on 8 July 2016. For sales enquiries, email info@juddyroller.com.au

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