WOW! It’s been way too long between posts! I feel bad that I’ve not been sharing all the goodness that is Melbourne over the last few months, so here’s a catch up of what I’ve missed and other cool stuff happening in and around Melbourne. Also my New Years resolution for 2015, more posts on Vandalog! 🙂
Streets and Walls
There’s never a shortage of new stuff going up in Melbourne, here’s a selection of some of my faves snapped by Melbourne’s finest paintspotters over December. In summary – Lister was in town briefly, he painted and did a few ad takeovers, some super fresh graff by some local and visiting legends. My faves are Jack Douglas’ monster, Senekt’s fluro body parts, RASHE’s pieces, a couple of dope Putos pieces and of course the absolute burner by Bales and Skale.
June was another busy month in Melbourne. My round up for the month includes trains, walls, shows, a rad new publication and some other bits and pieces of goodness.. I’ll start with my favourite train for June. This one ran on June 6th – thanks to The best of Melbourne Graffiti for the pic. This guy has been killing it lately!
Some shots from Burg’s show at the Vic below, more here. Burg’s street characters are some of my faves with twisted and expressive faces appearing all around Melbourne.
Knock Knock Magazinereleased their latest issue, Issue 4 -The Travel Issue. Knock Knock is an online magazine focusing on talented creative people, this issue features articles on Ben Quilty, Mark Drew, Geoffrey Lillemon, Dave Cragg, Sobekcis, Sheryo & The Yok, Onur Gulfidan, Rosek, Haribow, Maaden, Beatrix Curran, Kate Florence Knowlden, Val Kelmer, Jess Howell, Robyn Aubrey, Arman Nobari, Embassy, Spoonty and DoubleTrouble. A great read and a well put together production. Check out these screen shots from Issue 4:
Another massive month in Melbourne in April with some great events, shows and work on the streets. This month I’ve also decided to include a bit more on graff and also some work off the streets in some of Melbourne’s awesome abandos.
There’s been an explosion of panels running in Melbourne recently, including a couple of whole cars. Whilst some of the pieces are not the best in quality it’s still rad to see so much graff on trains again lately. Are the authorities asleep? Or is it our lack of trains to meet demand to blame so they HAVE to run them? The best of Melbourne graffiti Facebook page is a good place to keep up with what’s running, they cover anything running each day on the Melbourne rail network (good and bad). Here’s my favourite flick from the page for April. Continue reading “Melbourne Monthly Madness – April 2013”
Adnate‘s work is some of my absolute favourite in Melbourne right now and has been for a while. He has been hitting the streets hard lately, both solo and in multiple collaborations with AWOL Crew and others. Adnate started out painting graffiti and letters over 10 years ago. More recently he has moved into painting beautifully detailed characters, which also still incorporate some of his tags and lettering, which I love. His characters are not only amazingly detailed, most of them also have a story, which make them even more special. Last year Adnate had his solo show “Lost Culture” at RTIST Gallery and exhibited alongside the rest of the AWOL crew at their collective show “Fabric”. Adnate has also traveled the world painting and exhibiting in cities such as Barcelona, Mumbai, New York, Paris and Berlin.
I sat down with Adnate recently and this is what we talked about.
LM: I mentioned above that many of your characters have a story, which I learned by talking to you at some of your shows and while watching you paint. Tell us about some of them?
Adnate: Most of the subjects in my paintings are of people that I have met and personally photographed. It’s important that I know the subjects as I am always trying to communicate certain emotions and stories through my portraits.
With the aboriginal portraits, which I feel are my strongest, I spent the last years getting to know local and national Indigenous Australians. It has been a crazy journey meeting and learning about these incredible people, particularly the current and past climate of their survival.
LM: Apart from your solo and AWOL group shows, give us a recap of what you got up to in 2012?
Adnate: Last year was the first year that I went bigger and higher with my portraits. It’s a great feeling being elevated that high in the air whilst painting and although I only managed two walls on this scale for 2012 they were definitely a highlight. When painting on the ground you get all sorts of distractions but being up high it’s just you and a few birds (one almost flew into my head recently).
I had some great opportunities to travel around Australia too. I got to travel through the western desert and met some of the oldest indigenous Australians alive. You wouldn’t believe what’s out there, that’s what you call “real country”.
LM: I read in a recent interview on artshub your work is “Inspired by Renaissance artists such as Da Vinci and Caravaggio, Adnate taught himself classical chiaroscuro techniques to communicate drama and emotion in his subjects”. This is quite an evolution from tagging and letters, what brought about this change in style?
Adnate: I worked on making my own style for 10 years and it was time to try something new. So I flipped my work on its head and began trying to reach a level of portrait realism that’s second to a photo. I’ve never been a big sketcher, so when I was painting letters I did so in a free flowing manner from the beginning to the end. Now with portraits I reference a photo, spending just as much time studying the photo as I do the painting. There is always a point in which I battle with the painting and the photo to make things as realistic as possible. It’s a completely different method of painting that I am used to and I think that’s what I love about it. It’s important to stay stimulated and challenge myself wherever possible.
LM: Tell me about some of the other work you do using your art?
Adnate: Over the years I’ve done regular youth work using graffiti art as a way to sway them off drugs and hard crime. I’m currently doing most of this now in a Juvenile Prison that houses the most volatile and “at risk” young boys and girls in the state. It’s an awesome job and the best part is getting to know these guys, they all have the craziest stories to tell and its really rewarding when you get to make their day. Plus there are some really talented writers and artists in there, which is definitely inspiring.
LM: Tell me about your background. How did you get into graff?
Adnate: Well I didn’t grow up on a train line, so my first memories were being a little gromit skater and studying all the designs on the clothes and decks. When I hit high school I begun to travel around Melbourne on the trains, in particular the Hurstbridge Line and I got to see all the WCA productions. This blew my mind and I quickly dropped off from skating and graff became my life.
LM: What does your name mean?
Adnate: ad·nate [ad-neyt] adjective Biology: grown fast to something; congenitally attached.
I get asked this all the time and to be honest I didn’t choose it for the meaning but simply for the letter structure. I was 16 when I choose it from a dictionary and I loved it because it was a word that gave me lots of kicks and flares with my tags.
Since forming in 2006 the AWOL Crew have been producing some amazing work. (The crew is: Adnate, Deams, Itch, Li-Hill, Lucy Lucy and Slicer). This is the collectives first group show since they painted the NGV studio (National Gallery of Victoria) mural back in 2011.
With backgrounds predominately in graffiti it’s great to see the guys pushing their artistic skills. Each artist with their own signature style, but also as a group, the collaboration between the crew for Fabric, seamlessly combining elements of each others work into pieces is hands down the best work I’ve seen from the crew.
The exhibition itself was also somewhat unique and different to most shows. The show was announced a while ago and was to be held at a secret location (announced the day before the show). Not knowing what to expect when I arrived made it even more special. The space was amazing. An old gas works warehouse suited the show really well and provided the perfect backdrop for the art.
Make sure you check out the video. Also, here’s a few shots from the show.
Awol Crew, from Melbourne, produce some beautiful collaborations. These two walls display how the members of the AWOL Crew have very different personal styles, yet can pull them all together. Slicer describes it all as “a collaboration of all our unique diverse styles. Adnate’s realism style portraits, Itch’s surrealist style characters, Deams’ bold graphic letter forms and Slicers chaotic tags and line work. a pure AWOL wall”.