Cycling and mental health awareness project Headset open their first show, Wednesday 29th March 6pm – 9pm. The exhibition shows until Sunday 2nd April at M2 Gallery 4/450 Elizabeth St Surry Hills
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.
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.
After touring globe and beautifying the streets of eight different cities, contemporary art initiative POW! WOW! returned to its hometown in Oahu, Hawaii for its 2017 festivities. Taking place between February 11th and the 18th, artists headed over to the Kaka’ako neighbourhood to create a bunch of new murals and installations. As much as the festival is about art, it’s also about music, community and culture.
These images tell the story of the island life behind the murals, as well as showing some of the brightest and best artistic talent out there right now. Some images are from a trip to Papahana Kuaola, a non-profit organization in Waipao that provides aina based learning experiences focused on connecting the area’s past with a sustainable future.
Artists from overseas this year included: Careaux, Cinta Vidal, Dan Witz, Defer, The Draculas, Drew Merritt, Evoca, Glazed Paradise, James Jean, Joram Roukes, Kevin Lyons, Maya Hayuk, Michelle Tanguay, Mr. Jago, Oakoak, OG Slick, Ouizi, PichiAvo, Shok-1, Tara McPherson, Tavar Zawacki (Above), Telmo Miel and Woes, alongside local Hawaiian artists Beak, Ckaweeks, Dak1ne, Devour, Gavin Murai, Hoven, Jasper Wong, Jeffrey Gress, Kai Kaulukukui, Kamea Hadar, Kaplan Bunce, Katch, Lucky Olelo, Maek, Mason Rose, Mung Monster, Ran Noveck, Prime, Puff, Rolando Venegas, Solomon Enos, Soker, Uglykids, Whomu and Wooden Wave.
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.
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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The awesome force of nature that is Swoon headed back to Haiti to get stuck into her latest project, helping repair and rebuild the communities as part of the Konbit Shelter project. In her own words, she tells us about the work she is doing there:
“With great joy, we have begun to build our bamboo home in Haiti. Architect Joana Torres and I arrived last week, joining forces with the team in Cormiers. There’s a lot of excitement in the air, and much to be done over the next few months.”
German artist Christian August aka KID CASH belongs to the most active post-urban artists of his
generation. The exhibition titled VERY NECESSARY subsumes his work of the last three years and
leads to a new body of works which will be on display at Urban Spree Galerie for the first time. The
title of the exhibition refers to his work in public spaces and hints comically to the necessity of
showing these artworks in a gallery context.
‘The Second Coming’ is the second part of a two part series of works entitled KEEZUS that first debuted in 2014. The body of work draws on the exploration of the human condition, utilizing the stencil art process. It explores the theme of the ego, specifically the artists ego, and experiences.
It’s a dissection of what it is to be a stencil artist and will showcase the medium in a way that has never been done before. Each work concentrates on the inner battle we have with who we are, who we are perceived to be, and how they differ.
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Mark Bodé is set to launch a new Augmented Reality Graphic Novel, based on one of Vaughn Bodé’s earliest works, Cobalt 60.
In the late Sixties, Vaughn Bodé was one of the most influential and controversial artists in publishing. Creator of such iconic characters as Cheech Wizard, Da Lizard, and Cobalt 60, Vaughn’s Eisner and Hugo award-winning artwork caught on with the early street artists of New York, as well as with underground comic and satire publishers. This included National Lampoon, who ran his Cheech Wizard strip for years.
“I wanted to create a body of work that reacted to the Australian suburbs as a whole. They have informed so much of our national identity but seem to undermine a deeper understanding of history and landscape in this country. This work is a reaction to that.” – IAN STRANGE
“It was during his residency at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco that our abstract show was conceived, beginning with Love My Lovelies and carrying thru to works inspired by locations from Hasegawa’s native Hawaii the art is transformative and sublime.”
DK Johnston, curator
Known for his gestural imagery of bears and heroes, painter Chad Hasegawa elevates the medium of house paint into the fine art realm with his beautiful works of fine art. Taking influence from graffiti and mural art, the San Francisco-based artist creates his portraits and figures with a heavy hand akin to the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940s. Completely self-taught, Hasegawa has developed a multi-layered style of mixing tones and shades that is enigmatic on canvas as it is on the street.
Hasegawa first made waves in the street art world with his series of majestic bears, painted with chunky brick-like marks and drips that intertwine to make dimensional tonality. Leaving a career in advertising, Hasegawa focused on creating murals in San Francisco. Like the work of Claude Monet, his mark making is aggressive and abstract up close, but softer and unified when viewed from afar. Using bucket paint and a flat brush, he is able to create an abstract style that is as fitting in the street art realm as it is amongst the work of his favorite Ab Ex artists like Joan Mitchell, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell.
The artists who have influenced and shaped Hasegawa’s trajectory became the focus of his series painted while the artist in residence at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The artists depicted, such as Keith Haring and Joan Mitchell, had such an integral influence on Hasegawa, that he has painted their faces as if they were self portraits. His unique mix of oversized brushes and latex paint has made Hasegawa an artist to watch.
Profile by Lori Zimmer (Art Nerd NY)