Since the beginning of the co-opting of urban art, there has been much debate about what art actually is and who gets to decide.
Actually, more likely, it’s been debated since the beginning of the creation of art in general, but we’re most concerned with urban art; graffiti and street art.
Spurred on by the chaos around Graffiti Removal Day, we’ve been having more conversations than usual about the “powers that be” interfering with an art form that is, at its core, all about freedom of expression.
Wanting to look at this topic from all angles, we connected with Melbourne…
Catching up with Askew One the other week, we had a huge chat about how street art impacts the environment.
While our conversation began with how wasteful spray cans are as a tool for painting, it spiralled into a whole movement-wide issue. The illegality of graffiti doesn’t exactly inspire writers to take their used cans with them when they’re done… The competitive culture amongst spray paint brands doesn’t inspire them to improve the design to minimise waste…
And then we got onto the festivals.
As a highly praised artist in both the graffiti and street art scenes, with exposure and…
In Queensland’s Sunshine Coast region sits the gorgeous little hippy town of Eumundi, home of the largest open-air market in Australia (that’s what they say, anyway), and just plain breathtaking nature which you can blissfully wander around, sans shoes, hopping between the pubs, cafes, bookstores and parks.
Plus, there’s art.
Eumundi street art is mostly the kind of public art you expect to see in little hippy areas, with a few very special additions by local and nationally renowned street artists, thanks to the Sunshine Coast’s Horizon Festival.
Since we last caught up with JESWRI, Melbourne went into intense lockdown, which saw mural projects paused and galleries shut. The pandemic halted all of his usual weekday activities and pushed his mental health to the edge.
With that dark energy, he painted through his feelings, revisited his roots and produced epic work that would become his Knowhere exhibition.
To discuss this and many other things, JESWRI joined us on Street Art Unearthed.
I had this one, which was called Knowhere. Basically, I found myself in an extremely dark place in my head. …
Imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and insecurity are rife within the arts community, and understandably so. Art is subjective, there is no possible way to make something that everyone will like, and trying to do so will only stop you creating your own stuff anyway.
But on the other hand, what you create exposes a part of who you are, and facing judgement on this is hard.
Sharing art with the world is scary.
So panic, inferiority complexes and myriad insecurities are understandable, and the best artists don’t have a magic immunity to this, they’ve just learned how to persevere.
Whether you’ve following street artists or the local news, you will have undoubtedly seen much debate and commentary going on regarding Graffiti Removal Day.
In a nutshell, the graffiti community is pissed. And the reasons are many. If you follow mainstream media, you’re probably getting a confusing message on what those reasons are.
Let’s run through the events.
On the 8th of February, the Graffiti Removal Day crew held a media launch in front of a mural of Shane Fitzsimmons, who is the Head of Resilience NSW, and the previous Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. …
RJ Williams is a graffiti artist and multidisciplinary creative operating in Sydney. Producing his first graphics for a t-shirt when he was 12, RJ has led a fascinating life. He’s produced products, snowboarded around the world, got immersed in the Los Angeles graffiti scene and launched numerous creative endeavours that have allowed him to live a life pursuing his passions.
For RJ, passion number one is graffiti.
With graffiti under assault by the government and conservative community, often painted in a poor light, RJ was keen to have an open conversation about what attracts people to graffiti, what the culture…
Oscar Wilde once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…”, I’d heard this umpteen times. I witnessed someone using it online when they were justifying mimicking an artists work and putting it up in their cafe. I thought it was a bull-shit quote from someone who knew nothing. Then, I looked it up.
Turns out, it was incomplete, and perhaps I’m not the only one who didn’t know the entire quote: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”
In its complete form, it’s definitely more on point. Sorry for doubting you, Oscar.
As we dig deeper into the world of street art, we’re forever learning about aspects of the craft that hadn’t come to mind before.
It’s easy to think of street artists like we do many contemporary artists, imagining some glamorous lifestyle and romanticising the act of painting walls.
But painting walls is hard. It’s physically demanding, artists are out in the elements, they’re working long hours, and usually up against deadlines that demand the physically impossible. Not to mention, in most cases, they’re using spray cans; inhaling chemicals and getting covered in paint and other particles.
This topic first came…
As the year gets into full swing, we are so unbelievably delighted that festivals are continuing to go ahead and it looks like (touch wood) we may be in for a smooth year with all of our festivals returning.
If you catch this article while we’re still in February, be sure to check out the February street art festivals — Hobart’s Vibrance is at the end of the month, so there may still be time to head on down to Tassie.
Otherwise, March festival season is looking great, with plenty of fun events to add to your list for a…