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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

Vexta: Cosmos

One of the world’s leading female street artists, Vexta, is making a triumphant return to the art scene with her brand new exhibition, Cosmos, a visual exploration and emotional response to the current environmental crisis. The exhibition will launch on Friday 2 August at KSR Art Bar, 6-8pm and will be open to the public until Wednesday 21 August. This will be supported by a series of interactive events, including an immersive dinner, Japanese meditative tea ceremony, a transformative sound healing and an artist talk hosted by Co-Curator, Andrew King.


Cosmos will be filled with her iconic geometric symbology and eye-catching neon aesthetic: birds of wisdom and warning, figures flying and falling in amongst a tangle of natural elements, separated from the earth, yet still bound by it. Her latest works are a personal response to the present state of the environment and an emotive description of our connection to nature. As she explains: “This new body of work is really important to me because it takes my iconic flying imagery and raises it to the next level; making it more personal, more intricate, and ideologically drenched in the nuances of the times we live in.”

This exhibition takes its title from Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe, a book written by Alexander Von Humboldt — known as the father of ecology — which predated Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. One of the first Western thinkers to provide a holistic perception of the universe as one interacting entity, Von Humboldt described the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change back in the 1800s.

Cosmos is an invitation to look inwards, to connect with our feelings — to examine how healing our connection to our sense of self can heal our world.

Vexta is a self-taught artist from Sydney Australia. With a background in Street Art beginning in the mid-2000s, her bold and extravagant artworks have invaded our visual landscape from Melbourne to Mexico and everywhere in between, from large-scale murals to gallery exhibitions, she is a nomad of our modern times. She has exhibited extensively across Australia, Europe and North America.

www.vexta.com.au

@vexta

Mysterious Al – Blinking Into The Sunlight

World renowned contemporary urban artist Mysterious Al presents walk-through interactive art experience in a disused warehouse in Melbourne.

Following successful art exhibitions in London, Sydney and Los Angeles, Mysterious Al is back in Melbourne for his solo show: ‘Blinking into the Sunlight’, opening Friday 24th May 6pm – 9pm.

Rising to fame in the early 2000s in the UK, with the emergence of street-art alongside D*Face and Word to Mother, Mysterious Al has worked with Vans, Yahoo!, Carhartt, Volvo and Levi’s, even creating custom designed shoes with Adidas.

After the controversial backlash to his ‘Amy Winehouse – Bride of Frankenstein’, a chance encounter with some African masks at a London museum gave the artist new-found inspiration;

“I was desperate for a piss so popped into the museum to find a toilet. I went the wrong way and ended up in a room full of African masks. These crazy dudes were simple and crudely made yet they had so much character and expression. It was a time in my life when I was feeling lost and trapped within my work, and the vibe of these masks gave me a newfound energy. I made my first mask painting that night.” – Says Al.

Mysterious Al is returning to his roots to create an unforgettable, one weekend-only exhibition showing brand new canvases and installations.

His new solo exhibition will showcase over 30 new works through an experiential journey from darkness to light.

‘Blinking into the Sunlight’ is open to the public Friday 24th to Sunday 26th May at 16-20 Langridge St, Collingwood, VIC.

www.mysteriousal.com

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

‘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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Dangerfork New Releases – Loretta Lizzio, Rone and more…

Our friends over at Dangerfork have released a bunch of new prints just in time for Christmas!

‘Hungry Heart’ by Melbourne-based Loretta Lizzio is a fine art giclee print on premium etching 285gsm paper using archival inks. It is a very limited edition of 20 and each print has been hand painted in a gold ink with ink detailing.

Everyone’s favourite street artist Rone has also released a print, but this time things are a little different. his print will only be available to purchase for the next 24 hours. It’s strictly a timed release so you snooze you loose.

‘End of Spring’ was originally a large scale painting created for a museum in Berlin. The enormous level of detail that can be reproduced through giclee printing ensures that every tiny gesture of paint and texture is retained in its printed form. As with many of Rone’s images this has an almost spectral quality. Greys and pinks meld with an electric blue that shines almost iridescently. The longer one stares the more they will find.

‘End of Spring’ will be available until December 4, 3pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

‘A Glimpse In The Right Direction’ is a one layer split fountain screen print by the Australian (and well-travelled) artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers.

Kyle’s whimsical but detailed style blends seamlessly into any environment from streets to homes, much like the gentle blend of colours used in this print. He continues to explore the complex themes of life, death and survival in his work and this print is no exception. However Kyle excels at making these ideas accessible to the audience by using themes and images that have a connection to the everyday.

Dangerfork printed the original edition earlier this year for Kyle, but have only just now been able to offer a very small amount of Artist Proofs for purchase.

All these (and many, many more) can be found at dangerfork.com!

@dangerfork

“The Hug” Limited Edition by Adam Neate

NEATE_HUG LENTICULAR_STILL WITH VIEWER

Coinciding with London’s Frieze week, Elms Lesters just released especial limited edition by one of their most prominent artists, Adam Neate. Continuing their ongoing series of 2D Dimensional multiples, “The Hug” is another release in which both the artist and the gallery are testing out new techniques and materials to bring the most exceptional product possible.

Limited to only 18 pieces, this edition is a dynamic motion lenticular print mounted on aluminium plate. Measuring 50 x 67 x 0.5cm (2.5cm inc. aluminium hanging frame), the piece is ready to hang and changes depending of the angle of viewing, mixing the vibrant pigments and creating countless different combinations of color schemes. The motif of a hug is something that the artist has been revisiting frequently in his work, and this particular image was created by mixing graphic and subtle photographic elements. This ambiguous ‘shape-shifting’ composition changes from blue / yellow tonal background, gradually morphing into vibrant pink / green tonal background. The edition is now available through Elm Lesters online store and will be ready for international shipping by the end of October 2017.

ElmsLesters.co.uk
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‘Happy Never Ending’ – D*Face

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On Saturday, September 23, Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) will premiere the long awaited new solo exhibition from world-renowned UK-based multimedia street artist D*Face, entitled “Happy Never Ending.”

As one of the most prolific contemporary urban artists of his generation, D*Face (a.k.a. Dean Stockton) has been at the forefront of his practice since his initial breakthrough in 2005. Working with a variety of mediums and techniques, he uses a family of dysfunctional characters to satirize and hold to ransom all that falls into their grasp – a welcome jolt of subversion in today’s media-saturated environment.

His ambition is to encourage the public eye not just to “see” but to carefully consider the surroundings of our day-to-day, and society’s increasingly bizarre fascination with celebrity culture and mass consumerism.

“For me this work is about the tragedy of losing someone you love. Not just in the physical sense of death but also in the metaphorical way that romance has become such an artificial thing in recent years. Courtship used to be a craft, something careful and considered; marriage was an everlasting bond of trust and commitment. Today though, romance is comparable to a shop bought commodity – instantly attainable at the touch of a button or swipe of a screen. In a constant search for someone or something better, people treat others as if they were mere objects – infinitely attainable and instantly disposable.” – D*Face

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By rethinking, editing and subverting imagery drawn from decades of materialistic consumption – currency, advertising and comic books, D*Face transforms these now iconic motifs, figures and genres in order to gain new insight into today’s conspicuous society. Describing his work as aPOPcalyptic, D*Face seeks to pick up where the masters of 80s American Pop left off – to establish a very real, albeit tongue and cheek criticism of our consumer dominated world.

“With this new series of work I wanted to re-kindle the lost romance of a bygone era, back when, even in death, the memory of a loved one could last an eternity and a marriage went beyond just a symbolic gesture. For the show I want to construct a mini chapel where we can actually hold a real ceremony and a graveyard in which I want people to leave momentos to the people they have lost. If romance is truly dead, then I want to resurrect it for the modern age

The influence I’ve taken from pop-masters like Roy Lichtenstein allows my work to give the clearest possible narrative. At the same time, it offers something more, something beyond the surface of the work – a darker side to pop that resonates with society of today.” D*Face

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The opening reception for “Happy Never Ending” will be hosted Saturday, September 23 from 7-11pm in Gallery 1 at Corey Helford Gallery. The reception is open to the public and on view through October 21. D*Face is recently ordained and in connection with the theme of his show (to resurrect romance in the modern era), he will perform a real marriage ceremony during opening night in front of a chapel installation inside the gallery.

@dface_official

Peter Phobia’s “I’ll Bring You Flowers“ solo show @ Sound of Snow, Berlin

PeterPhobia_TAU_Flowers_Keyvisual

Berlin-based non-profit art association The Art Union, recently announced „I’ll Bring You Flowers“, a solo exhibition by Vienna based artist Peter Phobia. Opening on September 15th @ Sound of Snow as part of an exchange program between Vienna and Berlin based artists, the exhibition will be coinciding with this year’s Berlin Art Week.

Peter Phobia is an artist who is predominantly focusing on drawing, with works ranging from small pieces on paper to large murals. Using limited color in his work, and mixing text with visual elements, his work is “an open invitation to reflect on current topics in society”. In body of work prepared for this show, Phobia focuses on social media obsessed society and the way these channels become the source for political information and education. By using the aesthetic of 70s and 80s the artist evokes melancholy for “times passed” when the line between the truth or fact and lie or scam was much clearer. Through scribbled notes next to the pictures he is urging the viewer to stop blindly falling for superficial offers and fake attractiveness. For this occasion the artist painted a 400sqm mural and will release an exclusive 3-colour screen print in an edition of 50.

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