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12 x 12 Interviews: Rone

In the lead up to WATIM’s 12 x 12 exhibition opening, we have interviewed a few of the artists including Sean Morris, Troy Archer and Mark Alsweiler. For the last in the series, we caught up with one of Australia’s most recognized street artist, Rone.

Firstly, for our readers who aren’t aware of your work, tell us where you’re from and what you’ve been painting lately.

I’m from Melbourne, have been stencilling since 2001, but really got into putting up posters with the guys from Everfresh since 2004. Over the years Iv’e covered a few subjects but what I’m known for is female portrait.

Alot of artists from the original street art era either stopped using stencils or changed their style, whereas you have always been on the same road. Was this a conscious decision?

Yeah plenty of my friends & peers progressed into more traditional graffiti or stopped all altogether. I tried my hand at it but knew I should stick with what im good at. I’m all about making a good strong image as quickly as possible. Using paste ups meant I could put up a dozen of huge works in one night rather then one that could take hours to get right if hand painting it.

Why have you always chosen the female face to work with?

I think the female face’s work great on the street when they are starting to decay. There is something about that contrast of beauty and decay or how fragile beauty can be.

In your last show at Backwoods Gallery we noticed you styled and shot your own models for the hero images. What was that process like?

It was great to actually work from my own source imagery. I drafted up a series of looks based on the stages of grief (shock, denial ect) and then once I had convinced Kirsten (the model) of what I was doing I got a photographer friend, Tony Mott to shoot it and also a make up artist (Hannah Marshall). They really didn’t know how it was going to look in the end, so I was using up quite a few favours to make it happen and honestly I only had a concept of stencils over the bill posters but was not sure if it would work out or just look like rubbish.

What have you got planned for the 12×12 show?

I have continued what I was doing in my Backwoods show but smaller. Trying to get the look of decaying images like you find on the street.

Do you have any plans or projects coming up you can tell us about?

Yeah i’m pretty much have my calendar full until Feb next year. I’m part of a few group shows in the states, one in San Fran with an all Australian line up and then Miami as part of Art Basil and early next year there is talk of heading over to Hawaii for the Pow Wow event.

See more popular artists with their upcoming projects here.