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Artist profile: BAILER

Bailer has been a leading proponent of the Melbourne graffiti and public art scene for over a decade.

Actively contributing artistically for nearly twenty years he has dedicated the best part of his adult life to creating public works and supporting other creatives. Growing up with a graffiti addiction constantly painting letter after letter line after line he now wants to focus on progression. Pushing his style outside the boundaries and confines of the traditional graffiti structure Bailer hopes to continually increase the scale of his works and to paint them on new surfaces. 

Mid mural, Damo had the opportunity to go one on one with Bailer, to talk about the current lay of the land in Melbourne, what makes him tick, and also what pisses him off.

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Damo: Thanks for taking the time to chat today. I just was wondering if we could start at the beginning. Who or what is Bailer?

Bailer: I guess Bailer was a separate entity to myself. I think you build an ethos around the name that you create in the graffiti world, so for a while Bailer was a name that I tried to live up to.

This was quite detrimental to my life as I was doing violent and extreme things. You create hype around your own bullshit and then you have to live up to it. You do a few stupid things and your dirty washing on line gets aired down the grape vine. It got quite strange at one point, meeting people who would say shit like “You’re not Bailer, I know him.” Or “I heard he was 7 foot tall.” This that and the other. Bizarre really.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m sick of having multiple facets, divided up: a real identity, a fake identity, a graffiti entity, a business persona etc. I’ve been trying to simplify my life cutting out many of the negative aspects and focusing on art, music and health. I have been creating artwork, rap as well as graffiti under the same name instead of constantly shifting between split personalities. I guess that’s what it is; a projection of the creative self mixed with the ego.

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Artist profile: Mic Porter

Mic Porter is synonymous with graffiti, urban and contemporary art in Melbourne. Having been beautifying Melbourne’s streets since the early 2000’s, Mic has recently returned with a vengeance. Speaking from his new studio in Melbourne’s inner north, we took ten minutes with Mic to discover a little more.

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Damo: Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your art?

Mic: My name is Mic Porter and I am a painter and sculptor, with a background in a few other mediums as well. I have been practicing for several years and really enjoy what I do. I am based on Melbourne but have travelled quite a bit and manage to experience many cultures. More recently I lived in Auckland for three years.

I don’t exactly know how to classify my style whether or not it is a style or not. I try and jump around a little bit from being like really loose and free with my line work and then make it really tight, either way I tend to be fastidious. I mostly create figurative painting and sculpture but I’ve also done a lot of installation sculpture.

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PORNO!

Melbourne is known worldwide for its graffiti, and has many crews with a number of big names. One of these names is PORNO. Having recently dropped his very first print, we thought it best to catch the man from his lair at Everfresh Studio to get the low down.

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Damo: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Porno: Sure. I write Porno… ISO, CDF, LED, STD, 321, ADC, INN, WS4, WSO, ID.

I’ve been writing graff for 22 years. I started painting in 1994. My painting was originally influenced directly through hip-hop, older friends, older brothers and the people I hung out with as a hyperactive kid.

I pretty much started DJing, B-Boying, trying to MC and was part of the start a crew called “ISO” which was a hip-hop crew. Many years later that I was only really interested in painting graff. I ended up working in signage and doing a design degree. From there on I decided I wanted to get into my own signage biz because it was the most relevant thing to painting at the time for me. I had worked for numerous signage companies, became a production manager, and became really interested in production, manufacturing and technology which changed a lot of my perception of my art and my processes.

Painting is how I first I started to intertwine with people of the culture. At one point I stepped away from painting all together for a couple of years (around 2006 or 2007). I got back into it around 2008-2009 when I decided I would set up my own signage business. I met with all the guys from ‘Per Square Metre’ and got back into graffiti painting with more positive people and a fresh outlook. I ended up setting up another separate studio after ‘Per Square Metre’ ended called ‘Safe House Studio’ where it was a similar sort of vein; a heap of graffiti artists and artists who ran their own businesses from there and worked together on numerous creative projects, murals etc. The studio got its title from a police raid which occurred within the first month of opening. One of the transit police officers claimed it was a graffiti safe house!

Eventually that closed down and I moved in at the Everfresh Studio, still running my signage business. Here, I’m surrounded by all these amazing paintings and people who are proactive enough to do what they want to do. It’s invigorating and essentially it’s really motivating.

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MAYO – STAR LYRIC THEATRE

Late in 2016, Rone held his solo show ‘Empty’ in Melbourne’s old Lyric Theatre, the last event to be shown there prior to demolition. Between finishing the show and returning the keys, Rone invited a select few into the space to collaborate and beautify the theatre a little more prior to the wrecking ball.

One of these artists, Mayonaize, internationally renowned tattooist and calligraffiti extraordinaire painted and documented a mandala filling the entire floor space. He documented this entire process through both film and photography. Damo went down to Everfresh Studios to chat with Mayo about this project.

Damo: Could we initially start by you introducing yourself and talk a little bit about you background and your artistic practice?

Mayo: I am known as ‘Mayo’ or ‘Mayonaize, my backgrounds are in both graffiti and tattooing. I am basing everything these days off of more calligraphic approach and trying to push that lettering thing as far as I can. At the same time I am trying to not to pigeon hole myself, but it doesn’t seem to be working. It could be a bad thing… I’m not sure.

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Damo: Why Mayo or Mayonaize?

Mayo: I was desperate for a new graffiti word. I used to write any words – words that had meanings or connotations I didn’t necessarily want to be tied to later on down the track. When I thought about it I realised that I didn’t want to get stuck with some word like ‘snake’ or something. I feel that some people have got words that don’t suit them. I watched the film ‘Style Wars’ and Duster said, ‘Graffiti, it’s like a game, it’s like here are your letters go do something with it.’ It really stuck with me. I came across the word Mayo thought I’d try make something out of it. It just turned out that ‘mayo’ was a funny word to use in graffiti, I kind of liked the word and the sound of it. Then I did an exhibition and this was how I was going to stop the cops from catching me, I was like ‘I will just call myself ‘Mayonnaise’.

So then it just turned into ‘Mayonnaise’. Instagram came along and I used ‘Z’, because ‘Mayonnaise’ wasn’t available. I kind of keep Mayonaize for the legal stuff I do and ‘Naise’ for keeping them them off my scent (laughs).
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Ian Strange – ‘Home’ and ‘Shadow’

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Premiering today, 15 February 2017, on the Australian ABC iview ‘HOME: the Art of Ian Strange ‘ is a six part documentary covering Ian’s career to date.

This documentary will also be a fantastic lead in to Ian’s upcoming Sydney show,’Shadow’ launching on 2 March 2017 in Sydney.

Check them out if you can!

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‘Make Yourself at Home’ – Goodie

‘Make Yourself at Home’, a solo exhibition by Melbourne based artist Goodie, explores notions of comfort, safety and routine – ideas commonly associated with ‘home’.

Processes are perpetually underway to render things familiar, form habits and configure certainties, in order for us to feel comfortable. We are continually coming to terms with the relationship between our bodies, other’s bodies and the space we inhabit, which function in a way as secondary bodies.

Nevertheless, what is familiar is only a recurring strangeness. ‘Make Yourself at Home’ considers the curious relationship between the mundane and the bizarre. The recognisable is married with abstract, private with public, inside with outside, while ideas and mediums reverberate within each other and happen simultaneously on multiple levels. The show is a pattern of hypotheticals and realities, incorporating installation, painting, works on objects, objects in works, works on works, works on paper, collaborative noise works and poetry.

We sat with Goodie in the lead up to her show….

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Damo: Can we just start with you introducing yourself and a little bit about who you are?

Goodie: Hello I’m Goodie… Who am I? I’m predominantly a painter I suppose. But I also work in installation and a bit in film, poetry, illustration, anything. I’m just a human being.

Damo: What’s your background?

Goodie: I’m originally from Canberra however I was born in California. I lived there for the first 2 years of my life. I then grew up in Canberra and moved to Melbourne about 3 years ago.

Damo: What was it like growing up in Canberra?

Goodie: It was good. I always thought it was a good place to grow up. A lot of time to just walk around and the legal wall system in Canberra is unlike any other state. In Canberra there are around 25 legal walls, so there are heaps of places where you can go to paint. But I think the main thing is it’s just really easygoing. You walk down the street and you bump into a bunch of friends. I found coming to Melbourne was a bit like a sensory overload.

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Martha Cooper x VNA Limited Edition Box Set!

It’s been a long time coming… We’ve chased Martha from New York to Berlin, Miami to South America and finally, we are proud to bring you the Martha Cooper x VNA Limited Edition box set.

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We’ve sourced paper, run test prints and bounced proofs back and forth over the course of 6 months to produce an amazingly detailed black & white screen-print of one of Martha’s photos on the cover of issue 34.

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It’s taken us a while to confirm all the components of this set (an edition of /150) – from the special signature camera pin badge, to the screen-printed cover and lovingly signed photo prints – and both ours and Martha’s quality control has been super high throughout – there is even an exclusive list included in each set with caption details of each of Martha’s images in the magazine.

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We’d like to thank Martha publicly for her assistance and co-operation throughout this lengthy and difficult process, as well as special shouts to Louis @ Spraying Bricks, Nina @Joshua Liner Gallery, Rik @ Ripe Digital and Joshua @ White Duck Screen Print – without whom this would not have come together.

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So now, the wait is over, the prints are signed, the sets are numbered and the boxes are packed and they are finally available to buy exclusively, online, from 2pm GMT time today.

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Get your set before they disappear!

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Martha Cooper photograph courtesy of Susan Welchman.