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‘Alpha Beta Gamma’ – p1xels

Renowned Melbourne photographer, p1xels, is bringing an experiential Chernobyl showcase to a secret Melbourne location August 9 – 16 2019.
The walk-through exhibition, ‘Alpha Beta Gamma’ will uncover the nuclear ruins, through raw photography, iconic dodgem cars, a bespoke bar and immersive sound show.

The nuclear explosion that was the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, during the height of the Cold War, saw more than 53,000 people evacuated from within a 30km radius of the plant. Today, this exclusion zone is still one of the most radioactively contaminated areas in the world, with scientists predicting it will remain uninhabitable for 20,000 years.

p1xels’ work focuses on how nature is working to reclaim the once barren town, which the UN Chernobyl Forum described has “paradoxically become a unique sanctuary for
biodiversity.”

p1xels kindly spoked to us in the lead up to her exhibition:

What was the motivation behind visiting Chernobyl?
 
Chernobyl is one of, if not the largest abandoned human areas in the world. I have been exploring buildings that have been left in ruin by way of damage or, like Pripyat, due to a man made disaster. My visit was locked in in February after almost a year’s worth of planning, to go with the right people who understood what I wanted to get out of the visit.

What was the main thing you wanted to capture and why?
 
I was interested in the city, Pripyat, not the nuclear power station. I wondered what happens to a place when man leaves it alone for thirty years, structurally and also how plant life changes the landscape. That was one of the reasons for visiting in the summer. Much of the time we were pushing through the green dense overgrown jungle and all of a sudden a building would appear. There was a village I visited where we walked for ages to find houses and then a gap and more houses, realising that the main road through the village was now a mass of vines and small trees that had broken through the road.
 
One of the people who connected me to my guides runs a not-for-profit organisation, ‘The Clean Futures Fund’ and they work with the animals who live within the zone. I wanted to meet all of the animals, the dogs, the cats, but most of all Simon the Fox. We looked everywhere for Simon, but due to the heat he was nowhere to be found. I’d love to go back to meet him one day but on the other hand I like that all animals are wild in the zone. They do what they want and are not influenced by humans.


What was the most surprising aspect of the trip to Chernobyl?
 
How big Pripyat was, but how well planned and accessible it was for the residents. Multiple schools, gymnasiums, medical facilities, cinemas, Pripyat had it all!
 
What was the most confronting element of the expedition?
 
Being locked inside the accommodation overnight, Its a safety precaution but its strange how the psychological effect of being locked in a cage and not able to go anywhere with only the dull ‘bip bip bip’ of the geiger counter around you.

How do you respond to comments recently in the media that people currently travelling to Chernobyl are cashing in on others misfortune, and using it to boost their social media status? 
 
My position is that I love abandoned places, there is a stillness there for me and that stillness allows me to appreciate my life, the opportunities I have created, and that there are people who aren’t in a position to travel to some of the places I’ve visited or not here anymore who aren’t able to explore and see places like Pripyat. 

I can assure you I was considerate in every way while visiting Pripyat and I felt first hand the sadness in a city with so much potential and futuristic forward thinking planning to have come to such an unfortunate end.

I have received positive feedback on my images and the visit so I guess that there will always be opposing opinions but Pripyat is such a beautiful place that I feel it needs to be shared. My trip was exciting and beautiful and one that I’ll never forget. 

What do you hope the viewer takes away from the exhibition?
 
An appreciation of the images on show, the time money and effort I made to bring them into the public eye and the reality that the evacuation of 116000 people from their homes, not being able to return and leaving all their worldly possessions behind impacted so many and they are remembered through the generous guides who escort tourists through Pripyat and what the city looks like, not what has been seen on a TV show.

What’s next for p1xels?
 
I would love to be invited to photograph some of Melbourne’s abandoned spaces, I have a little list that I am hoping opportunities come up from through this exhibition. I’m rarely without my camera so I will continue to work with the incredibly talented artists and writers who invite me to work on their projects, travel wise I’ll be local to Australia. 2020 however has a number of international opportunities on the cards!

Alpha Beta Gamma is a free event and will open to the public 6pm Friday August 9 until
Friday August 16. The location will be revealed 24 hours prior to the exhibition over at @p1xels

NICOLE REED: SCENES FROM THE PEOPLE’S PARADISE – PYONGYANG

In March 2019 photographer Nicole Reed was invited to travel to Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, on assignment to photograph the city’s hotels.

Image: Nicole Reed

Her upcoming exhibition ‘Scenes from the People’s Paradise – Pyongyang’ comprises a collection of striking images taken throughout the trip and launches at SUNSTUDIOS Melbourne on July 4.

Fascinated by the city’s unusual colours, Soviet-influenced architecture, grand extravagant structures and the darkly clothed figures moving amongst them, almost like actors on a deliberately symmetrical stage, Reed was challenged as a photographer to capture moments she naturally observed within the confines of what she was permitted to photograph.

“There is a certain amount of disconnect you have to achieve to be comfortable in a place like Pyongyang. Arriving there, I had to forget about the DPRK’s status in the world and concentrate on getting to know people at ground level. Our guides were very intelligent, witty and fun-loving types, but stern when the situation demanded.

Pyongyang was once called the People’s Paradise: a place for the North Korean people to be proud of, a jewel to show off to the outside world, and a lure to repatriate Koreans who had left the country.

It is certainly beautiful on the surface, but Pyongyang is also a place that is virtually impossible to capture with truth, which I have come to terms with, as you can only photograph what you see, well, some of the time, if you are allowed.”

Opening Night
4 July 2019
6pm-9pm

SUNSTUDIOS Melbourne
Skylight Gallery
95 Buckhurst St. South Melbourne 3205

@nicasa

Mayonaize – ‘Memento’

This Friday, join Melbourne’s infamous Mayonaize as he opens his solo show ‘Memento’ at the incredible KSR Art Bar space. The space itself is a historic site – built around 1850, and at one point was a butter factory, now incorporated into the Rialto Piazza.

Mayonaize is a contemporary fine artist specialising in a unique calligraphy script style of lettering. Since moving to Australia in 2001, graffiti has been a major influence on his eclectic oeuvre,creating a well established profile within the Melbourne street-art scene with a multitude of public works.

His pieces are distinctive for his deliberate handwork and swift,
yet precise execution of a complex and elaborate style of monochromatic text.

He lives and works in Melbourne, also working as a highly sought after tattoo artist working out of Tattoo Magic in Fitzroy.

‘Memento’ opens 4pm Friday 17 May at the KSR Art Bar Space. 525 Collins Street, Melbourne.

@mayonaize

credit: p1xels

credit: p1xels

credit: p1xels

credit: p1xels

credit: p1xels

credit: p1xels

credit: p1xels

Blek Le Rat – Rat N°5

The godfather of street art is at it again, our good friend Blek Le Rat has finally released Rat N°5!! A beautiful 23x31cm six colour screen print on 300 gsm Arches paper, Rat N°5 features a rat carrying two baguettes and the French flag dripping down the page. In a signed limited edition of 300, with a COA signed by the artist, this one is going to sell quick!! Get in while you can here!!

@blekleratoriginal

‘The Mountains We Climb’ – Ed Bechervaise

Urban contemporary artist Unwell Bunny (also known as Ed Bechervaise) opens his new exhibition ‘The Mountains We Climb’ on September 28th 2018, at Marfa Gallery in Melbourne.

‘The Mountains We Climb’ is a new body of work in which Ed explores Japan and its sensibilities. It has layers of feelings, from the chaos of Tokyo to the stillness of Kanazawa Hills. Each image is broken down into fragments, with slabs of colour, texture and tone that symbolise the experience, whether by night or day, dusk or dawn. This is a time capsule of travel, but also of the struggle and exploration each of us go through in growing as people and evolving beyond what we know.

‘The Mountains We Climb’ is about pushing the limits of understanding. Exploring that place that brings discomfort and pushing the elements of your processing ability. Ed has done this with his exploration of abstraction and reinterpretation, pushing forward a more sophisticated pallet. Deconstructing the elements he has recorded and reshaped through memory and feeling of Japan. Finding new cords with colour and with textual mediums that join together to form landscapes. With its global sensibility and edgy urban undertones, Ed’s motivations are both to be pleasing aesthetically while also disruptive emotionally, triggering questions in the viewer, which is both inward and outwardly focused.

Discover more at www.unwellbunny.com or Marfa Gallery http://www.marfagallery.com/exhibtion/

D*FACE: ‘HOME IS WHERE THE heART IS’

Internationally celebrated street artist D*FACE has been at the forefront of his practice since his initial breakthrough in 2005. Having grown up amidst the streets of London, he cultivated a keen interest in graffiti art and its disaffected mindset from an early age. As a teenager his artistic attentions turned to skate culture and the iconic skate deck designs of Jim Phillips and Vernon Courtlandt Johnson that he found in Thrasher Magazine. Inspired by their punk DIY aesthetic, D*Face attended an illustration and design course before beginning work as a freelance artist. Taking the public domain of the street as his canvas, he blended art, design and graffiti in a manner that pre-dated the emergence of street art as it is known today. Here the artist gained a great deal of attention, quickly rising to fame for the vivid nature of his designs. Despite now working in the gallery as well as the open canvas of the streets, D*Face continues to approach his work with the same anarchic energy that drove him to begin his career from the outset. His vibrant pop style and D*Dog logo have become synonymous with British street style and are recognized the world-over.

In addition to collaborating with the likes of Shepard Fairy and Banksy, D*Face has collaborated with Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II on a project that involved the customization of banknotes and coins and their secret reinsertion back into public circulation. In 2005 the artist was also commissioned by the Vatican to produce a portrait in commemoration of Pope Benedict XVI’s instatement.

“HOME IS WHERE THE heART IS” is D*Face’s first ever exhibition in the Pacific Northwest. The exhibition will highlight some of his most iconic works to date including his depictions of recognizable females in the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth II.

The majority of D*Face’s work is centered around the heart throbbing, push-pull affections of love and loss, most notably visible in his series of painted romance novel book covers. Using the name of the book as context, the paintings compliment the artist’s inter- pretation of the titles. Other notable works in the exhibition will include his iconic use of Coca Cola bottles and the repetitious use of the word “RIOT.” The word is a reference to the anti-authoritarian roots of street art culture and represents the self-described “poor man’s grenade,” an object associated with dissent. The RIOT series explores the use the objects as means to instill change through protest and revolution.

“I want to encourage people to not just to see, but to look at what surrounds them and their lives, re- ecting our increasingly bizarre popular culture, re-thinking and reworking cultural gures and genres to comment on our ethos of conspicuous consumption.”D*FACE

Opening reception on Thursday, August 2nd from 6pm-9pm at TREASON Gallery located in Pioneer Square, 319 3RD AVE S, Seattle, WA 98104.

More info available: WWW.TREASONGALLERY.COM

‘Utopia’ – Adam Kinninmont

Since their beginnings, our friends at Backwoods have always fostered local and young artists. As they move into the future, Backwoods Forewoods aims to stay true to this ethos, fostering relationships with the next generation of up and coming Australian artists. Through this program, Backwoods Forewoods will spotlight young and local talent through a series of weekend exhibitions designed to support and promote our favourite emerging artists.

Backwoods are pleased to launch the program with their long time friend of the gallery, Adam Kinninmont, and his collection titled ‘Utopia.’

Adam Kinninmont, formerly known as Swerfk, is a Melbourne-based graphic artist. In his earliest memory of drawing, he is a four year old, pausing a Disney cartoon in order to trace over the character on the screen. This childhood exposure to TV animation and comic books, and later the skate and graffiti scene of his youth, has all played a role in the development of his artistic vision and unique graphic style. Since completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Printmaking and Drawing at the ANU in Canberra, Kinninmont has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally. His focus has recently shifted from graffiti to fine art graphic work. ‘Utopia’ is his first exhibition under his real name.

Kinninmont’s latest series claims its title somewhat ironically. In this body of work, the Western mirage of a sublime suburban existence is dissolved, and seen to be degraded, used, worn down over time by the grind and grit of everyday life. These street moments are composed from his own observation and exploration of Melbourne suburbia, in particular the older industrial suburbs of Collingwood and Brunswick. They are inspired by his interest in art deco and European style architecture, and of the tradition of architectural design illustration, which provides the backdrop for the ephemeral graffiti conversation irrepressibly expressed onto the scene. With inspiration drawn from the late Howard Arkley’s bright, highly stylised Melbourne suburbia paintings, Kinninmont’s illustrations have an added element of unease and mischievousness, a nod to the lively street culture here. Characterised by a bold 80s colour palette, his energetic, gestural style is balanced with technically executed detail and stylised abstraction. The presence of people is noticeably missing from each scene, leaving the natural and designed elements to be admired. However, this is no House & Garden magazine dream: you can see the cracks. – Helani Laisk

@akinninmont

@backwoods.gallery

‘A Forgiving Sunset’ – Scott Albrecht

First Amendment Gallery is proud to present ‘A Forgiving Sunset’, a solo exhibition of new woodworks, works on paper and steel sculptures by Scott Albrecht.

‘A Forgiving Sunset’ exhibits Albrecht’s most recent body of work offering an evolved approach to his unique graphic languages. Largely rooted in typography, his work reconsiders the relationship of message and viewer. With each work being made up of dozens, sometimes several hundreds of individual pieces that are cut, sanded, painted and re-assembled, often at varied depths, the works shift the conversation to a more visual language of relationships starting with form and color.



The narratives of Scott’s work often pull from or reference his own experiences and distill them into a more universal interpretation to allow the viewer to relate their own experiences, and in turn showing how we are more connected by these shared events.

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PHANTOM PAIN by YUSK IMAI and DANTE HOROIWA


“During one of our many discussions in the studio, we came across a hidden sensation, something that is always present, yet its causes or even the meaning of its existence still felt very abstract, but we agreed in describing it as a dull but constant pain.

This is our attempt to interpret this well of abstract sensations, and during this process we hit many notes, but one in particular kept showing up over and over for both of us, death. Maybe the fear of it, maybe what it leaves behind for the living, whatever it is, it exists.

This phantom pain keeps us going, fuelling our actions in life, always present, like gravity flowing through us and all things, always wise, reminding us, ironically, that everything is impermanent.

We hope that you may welcome this pain with warmth, and that it may feel less abstract now, as it does for us, through our exhibition Phantom Pain at Backwoods Gallery from June 8th to June 24th 2018.”

– Yusk Imai and Dante Horoiwa

YUSK IMAI

Yusk Imai is a contemporary artist who was born in the U.S.A. in 1982, to a Japanese descendent family. At the age of 6 months his family migrated to São Paulo where he currently lives and works.

Since 2007, Yusk has exhibited extensively within galleries, at art fairs and on the street across Europe, U.S.A., Australia and South America. The flat perspectives and dramatic curves demonstrated in Imai’s work is reminiscent of Art Nouveau greats such as Gustav Klimt.

Imai’s paintings and drawings lure us into state of self-consciousness and questioning. These ostensibly post-apocalyptic works tread warily between sci-fi apparitions, threatening premonitions and horror stills. Like a séance, they speak to Dali’s technique for creative thinking; a thinking that was founded on the moments in which we begin to fall asleep. When this sleeping pattern is interrupted and we are awoken, we find the subconscious rise to the conscious as a definitive form.

DANTE HOROIWA

Dante Horoiwa is a self-taught contemporary artist who was born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1988, to a Japanese descendent family. Recently, Horoiwa has exhibited his paintings at the El Centenario Museum in Mexico, with further features in United States, South and North American galleries, as well as large scale murals on the streets of East and West Europe.

His work frequently deals with themes closely connected to the foundations of human existence, which are universal to all living beings. Using a placid colour scheme of neutral shades, Horoiwa’s paintings, drawings and murals possess a mysterious, spiritual and soulful tonality. His work delves into the depths of human experience to explore the seen and unseen, using familiar devices such as long hair, textiles, plants and threads to connect the various forms, and evoke our sense of something magical and supernatural.

Exhibition catalogue available on request from: sales@backwoods.gallery

@imaiyusk
@dantehoroiwa
@backwoods.gallery

Taylor White – Physical Phenomena

Taylor White presents her latest solo exhibition, Physical Phenomena, opening at ABV Gallery, Atlanta, on Saturday 26th May. 

“The human form is an exquisitely expressive conduit through which we may depict conversations, explore fields of consciousness, and realize the cathartic points at which the soul confronts its physical form. I am endlessly inspired by the movement of the body, particularly as it represents itself through improvisational dance. I consider the dance floor a fantastic microcosm in which one can observe a very deep aspect of human connection; one that explores trust, boundaries, and relationships, and the graceful instinct of the human body to move through space.”

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