The Opening Hours went to view the Deluxx Fluxx arcade at the Brooklyn Museum this past weekend. The Arcade that is one part of the exhibit features custom pinball machines and various retro arcade games, Large neons and Faile & Bast graphics top to bottom end to end. There is a tonne of work that has gone into the newest part of the display the arcade itself however the show has also travelled with the now well recognized work called ‘Temple’ a large installation featuring detailed mosaics, various porcelain relief works and totem like sculptures adorned in faile’s notorious type treatments. Every detail is considered, this is one serious installation that we feel very privileged to have seen in person.
I think we’d be confident to say Post Graffiti Pacific would have to be on of the best curated and presented group shows we’ve seen in Sydney in a long time. So often are group shows just literally a room with a random selection of artists hung on the wall, especially a show that is related to the graffiti and street art scene.
This is what Olivia Laita and the artists Askew, Benjamin Work, Berst, Elliot Francis Stewart, Misery, Route52 and Gary Silipa were all striving to convey in not only the work, but how the exhibition was presented. With the (relatively) new Ambush Gallery space in Chippendale boasting 4 rooms which make up the entire space, the artists were given the chance to divide the space up, whilst also connecting each artists section seamlessly and as a whole really proving to us that these are not JUST the typical graffiti and street artists the media portrays them as. Rather, artists who’s work is contemporary but has roots in those communities.
“In embracing the concept of Post-Graffiti, and to further crystalise their roles in and relationships to the new urban contemporary art movement, the seven Post-Graffiti Pacific artists also use their work to emphasise their cultural backgrounds as New Zealanders. Through Post-Graffiti Pacific, they intend to platform themselves as representatives of Post-Graffiti artists who hail from the greater Pacific region.”
The exhibition continues from 12-8pm until Sunday 19 August.
For more information and an interview we did with Askew, click here.
To see the full set of photos, click below.
Melbourne artists Michael Danischewski and Andrew Johnson are joining forces to exhibit a new series of photographic works. These Things Take Time concentrates on quiet observations reflecting forged memories within unknown landscapes. These images evoke an understanding of travel and personal growth only encountered with the freedom and inspiration of time on the open road.
Both photographers work primarily with analogue process to enhance their aesthetic, a skill they’ve both refined after countless hours under the haze of darkroom lights where they first met in their youth.
Having spent the years since honing their craft, These Things Take Time is a celebration of free spirit and reflection of youth. It’s a showcase of years well spent taking opportunity with a camera over shoulder and pocket full of film…
‘These Things Take Time’ by Michael Danischewski and Andrew Johnson
Where: RVCA Gallery, Melbourne
Opening: Friday 24th July
Sunday Walls is a new monthly event at The Lord Gladstone, curated by the Good Space team and The Opening Hours which hosts a rotating roster of the best graffiti artists around Australia. Last weekend featured the likes of Sofles, John Kaye, Buttons and more.
Each month we’ll be bringing you these events, featuring painting all day, live DJ’s like Joyride and more, plus the epic food and beers that The Good lord offers. Stay tuned for the video recap by Billy Zammit, and the announcement of next month’s event. In the meantime here’s a little taste of what went down…
Good friends of The Opening Hours Yok & Sheryo are always busy. Forever travelling the world painting walls and exhibiting their work. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, they have recently been involved in the prestigious Coney Island Walls event curated by Jeffery Deitch. See below for various murals and a video of the Coney Island project.
The second annual First Coat festival happened recently in Toowoomba, Queensland. A gathering of some of Australia’s finest street and graffiti artists, along with a couple of special international guests Madsteez and Askew One. See below for the full wrap up video.
This collection pays tribute to those who personify the cactus – by embodying strength vibrancy, sharpness & resilience – and who aren’t afraid of being a little.. Prickly.
Above all the show is meant to be a lot of fun. In this show the artist moves away from animals and people, and moves towards a plant-oriented body of work, focusing solely on the audiences reactions to colour and texture. Prickly evokes feelings of nostalgia, stimulates the imagination and continues her use of ‘Childhood’ as a theme.
‘Prickly’ by Sha’an d’Anthes (Furry Little Peach)
Where: Good Space, Sydney
Opening: Wednesday 15 July
In the lead up to the Post Graffiti Pacific group show, curated by Olivia Laita at Ambush Gallery, we had a quick chat to Askew One as they prepare for the opening of this monumental break through show.
‘Post Graffiti Pacific’ group show
Where: Ambush Gallery, Sydney
Opening: Thursday 16 July
We are super excited that this exhibition is being held in Sydney. Why did you choose to have the show here and not somewhere else?
To be completely honest, Bill and John at aMBUSH are the first people to extend an invite for us to showcase this movement, it’s that simple. Olivia and I were out in Sydney a bit late last year to work on a project they organised and during some afterwork drinks one night we got into a really in-depth conversation about what how we see ourselves as artists or more specifically how we want to define ourselves, what is our legacy?
It seems like the core topic of this show is on the minds of ALOT of artists like yourselves. How does this new term or definition effect you as artists, and also how did the old way of being pigeon holed as “graffiti” or “street artists” effect you?
Yeah exactly, it has been a big point of discussion amongst us, especially as we have all deviated away from just painting graffiti in the traditional sense and started making work that the public can only perceive as ‘street art’. I guess for us, that term irks us a bit because in the 90’s it seemed like a term that was born to create a distinction between us – people who painted more letter-based work which the public hated and another set of artists who started working on the streets as well. From our point of view, the streets were where we did all of our learning and developing and it seemed like a lot of people suddenly came from art schools and the comfort of their studios. The street artists often made something more public-pleasing than us, more identifiable to the average person and did so away from view rather than taking the risk to create in-situ like us and so there was this divide. Obviously this divide is way less apparent today, it’s much less defined because so many people from traditional graffiti writing have evolved to consider themselves artists in a broader sense and make more varied work. The current big trend is towards studio practise and large scale muralism and a lot of the people really thriving in that movement come from a background of painting trains and streets, still not from an art school background. Furthermore, we come from Auckland which is a true Pacific city and the Polynesian capital of the world. Our upbringings, influences and attitudes have been shaped by this very unique experience. As we explore this more it weaves it’s way more and more into our work. We feel this gives us another vital point of difference in the global context.
Graffiti is obviously a big part of who you all are. Is there ever a part of you that would like to leave it behind? Is that even possible?
I think we all have different outlooks on this, for example I think some members of our collective stopped painting graffiti in that way earlier than others. For me personally it’s still a huge part of who I am, who I know and how I’ve experienced this world. I’d never turn my back on it completely but I have had to shift my focus a lot. Whereas I used to be concerned with painting graffiti everyday, I’m OK with doing a lot less now and channeling that energy more into my studio practise. It’s just the stage in life I’m in. this deserves attention, I find it engaging and in some ways I think graffiti is much more honest from a younger person. There’s a lot of angst, bravado and energy when you’re young that is hard to maintain forever. I also feel some attitudes in graffiti are very rigid and stifling to creative and personal development, like a strange form of conformity that I find doesn’t adhere with how I view the world anymore. I used to hold some really passionate viewpoints that I laugh at now.
Does the actual work in the show and that you produce currently still represent your past graffiti, or has it evolved into something completely separate?
I think it’s different once again for different artists. I think the likes of Misery and Elliot Francis Stewart have made that transition in a way that still clearly adheres to their outdoor work. Although I’ve seen the progression of Gary Silipa, Benjamin Works and Berst’s art personally and know it’s connection, to someone that just knows them from their old pieces it could be seen as a much bigger jump. Route52 has always been shooting photos as well as painting graffiti. I think with my stuff I used to keep a much bigger separation being the two but my studio work has been influencing my outdoor work more than vice versa.
Does being located in the Pacific region of the world, more specifically New Zealand, have an effect on your work and process?
Oh absolutely. It’s something we probably overlooked a lot when we were young because our view was always so outward looking. We basically looked everywhere for influence but our own backyard for a long time. When we really reflected on this collectively and asked each other a lot of questions about what was distinctive about our scene, a lot of the powerful stuff can be seen in the documentation of our outdoor paintings. It wasn’t motif or thematic elements, it existed in our surrounds and the people mostly – the stuff we took for granted. Once you turn the microscope on that you find it much easier to understand what makes us different.
What can people expect to see at this show?
I’m really proud of the show, so proud of Olivia for curating this and blown away by what my friends have created. Everyone has produced very well realised and finished works, each a progression and distinct leap forward from their last. We are stoked to have the opportunity to show this in a great space and with people like aMBUSH who through their understanding and appreciation have enabled us to do this in an ambitious and grand way.
Will all of the artists be in Sydney for the opening, and have you got any other events or projects lined up for while you’re in town?
Nothing else lined up so far. All of us will be there in person except Misery and Berst who have commitments here in Auckland.
Lamington Drive is pleased to present Currency — a solo show by Kate Banazi.
Concerned with the virulent standards by which we judge ourselves (and those around us), Banazi looks to our constant pursuit of perfection and the price we pay for this unattainable goal. A reflection on the fluctuating value of our own self-worth, Currency examines imperfection in a world lost amid the noise of impossible ideals. Ideals imposed by our environment and, more importantly, ourselves.
Currency features a collection of silkscreen prints on Perspex. Refraining from retouching any of the silk screens, Banazi accepts the artworks in their unedited beauty. Celebrating blemishes, praising flaws and enjoying the unpredictable process of creating the work — an experience that was both challenging and liberating.
An exploration of tessellating shapes and curves, each print is layered with a variety of patterns that blend and mesh, coming in and out of focus as the viewer moves throughout the space. The sum of these individual elements elicits a visceral sense of awe and respect for each piece’s uniquely flawed beauty, allowing Banazi to play upon the notion of what our aesthetic ideals are and who gets to decide them.
‘Currency’ by Kate Banzai
Where: Lamington Drive, Melbourne
Opening: Wednesday 8 July
Tree Spirits is a culmination of work that Ears has produced during a month long residency at Juddy Roller, using the entire gallery space as his studio to produce a mix of large format and smaller mixed media paintings on canvas and wood panel.
Tree Spirits delivers of a series of imagined landscapes that reference mountainous Australian bush lands, accompanied by floating portraits warped by playful line work offset by sparse graphic elements.
In his latest body of work, Ears uses bold colours and geometric lines to create compositions born of a street context yet taken further into ideas of symmetry and form, utilising the tension between the man made world and the natural environment.
‘Tree Spirits’ by Ears
Where: Juddy Roller, Melbourne
Opening: Friday 3 July