“Inner Myths”, a collection of new paintings and sculptural works by Shida is a dynamic record of Shida’s development as an artist who envisions infinite worlds. Influenced by the work of Frank Frazetta, Paul Gauguin, Mikhail Vrubel and Nikolai Kalmakov, for “Inner Myths”, as Australia’s most prolific young street artist, Shida reinvokes two centuries of art history in his characteristic style. Shida is considered an asset to Australian contemporary art, who is constantly challenging himself against the sources of his inspiration.
Shida took some time out to talk about his upcoming show….
Melbourne based artist 23rd Key has just submitted two mind-blowing stencils into Australia’s ‘Archibald Prize‘. She took time to chat with Damo about how this all came about.
DW: Thanks for taking the time to chat. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, what led you to becoming a stencil artist?
23rd Key: No worries. I actually kind of fell into it- I made my first stencil when I was in high school. Being from Melbourne, stencil art was still emerging at the time, my brother knew some of the basics and taught them to me. I happened to really take to the medium though, I found the process of cutting/making stencils really cathartic and have been doing it ever since- I enjoy doing it now more than I ever have. I got to a stage where I’d made so many artworks that I decided I needed to do something with them – being an artist was never something I thought I’d be, ‘when I grew up’.
DW: Often there can be a story behind a name. Is that the case with you?
23rd Key: I struggle a lot when it comes to names, even when I used to play roller derby, I found coming up with a name harder than learning how to skate. The first show I was ever in I went under the pseudonym ‘Keys’, it was basically just because it sounds like my real last name and was my nickname for a long time. Twenty-three has been my favourite number since I can remember and is actually the date of my birth, so I kind of just put the two together. It’s a pretty poor story I guess, hopefully the work I make makes up for it.
Our favourite Aussie export (after VB and Vegemite) has returned to the land down under for a little spraycation in his home town of Melbourne, where he’s been throwing up rap sprays to accompany his latest show, ‘Untold’, at Backwoods Gallery.
Melbourne based Fred Fowler completed his Master of Contemporary Art in 2012, a decade after establishing himself as one of Melbourne’s pioneer street artists. Complimenting his origins in graffiti, Fowler applies a sophisticated, abstract style and a process driven approach. Visual poetics and subtle symbolism are expertly blended across his paintings, etchings, sculptures and installations. ‘In Decorating The Apocalypse’, Fowler’s debut exhibition at Backwoods Gallery, commercial iconography clashed with graffiti tribalism. For his upcoming show, ‘New Landscapes’ opening on June 20, Fred has expressed the effects of modernity and colonization across the Australian landscape. Fred kindly took some time to talk with VNAussie Damo about ‘New Landscapes’.
Graffix Creative, Revolver Upstairs and DangerFork present the 2014 Winter installment of the ever popular Seasons of Change show, with two of Melbourne’s best graffiti writers, Skary and OG23. Displaying their work collectively for the very first time, this one night only show presents the two artists in their element, displaying works from in and around their elusive blackbooks. Along with the show itself, the tradition of painting Revolver Upstairs/Colonel Tans outdoor wall was in full swing this week, with the duo busting out an amazing collaborative wall, which will be on display for the next 3 months.
Check out this preview video for the show, shot and edited by Mr. Graffarti.
Full video released soon!
James Reka is a young contemporary Australian artist based in Berlin, Germany. His origins lie in the alleyways and train lines of Melbourne’s inner-suburbs where he spent over a decade refining his now-emblematic aesthetic. His character work has come to represent the beginnings of a new style of street art: clean, unique and not necessarily on the street (much to his mother’s joy). With an amazing show opening tomorrow night (6 June) at Backwoods Gallery, Reka took time to talk to Damo.
Two of Australia’s biggest hitters, Will Coles – best known for his subversive sculptures, and Luke Cornish, aka E.L.K – famed for his photo-realistic stencil work – have come together to create a new show of epic proportions.
The show opens at Art Equity in Sydney on the 29th May and runs until the 13th June.
Backwoods Gallery is pleased to present UNTOLD, featuring new works by the Australian born, Berlin based artist James Reka. In his first Australian exhibition since relocating to Europe, Reka explores the changing color palette and textures of his new home in Berlin. UNTOLD is an exhibition comprising large paintings on linen, found objects and sculpture, inspired by his observations of Berlin society as it stirred from its winter hibernation.
Last year, following an acclaimed exhibition in San Francisco, which culminated in the iconic Peace Mural and an energetic contribution to Miami Basel, Reka returned to a Berlin in the middle of winter. With the city in hibernation, Reka fell into a routine of people-watching, observing the passage of time and searching and abandoned factories and military bases for found objects. His observations and the objects that he found along with a series of photographs that he shot during Berlin’s transition from winter to spring became the inspiration for UNTOLD.
The collection tells the story of changing seasons against a backdrop of abandoned factories, rooftop painting missions, gritty streets and underground parties. It is a celebration of life in a city stirring from hibernation, of cherry blossoms and of society taking to the streets. UNTOLD is also the return home of one of Australia’s most internationally recognized urban contemporary artist. It is a collection of untold stories and impressions that he wants to share with his home town.
A/D Day 2 began with Feature Artists: CJ Hendry, Mr. Penfold and Meggs – I was admittedly pretty keen to see this, particularly as it was the first time I had had an opportunity to hear Meggs speak after his relocation to San Francisco. This session complemented the Next Gen session of yesterday – allowing creatives to learn what can come of hard work, sacrifice and following your dreams. These talks would have provided food for thought for a number if people in the room – CJ Hendry sold her entire wardrobe to have 12 months off work, study, everything, to pursue her dream. Now, she is killing it with a US show scheduled for later this year and sell out shows here in Australia.