Tag Archives: streetart

Poster Boy, SAMO & Mr. Eternity:

The power of the word is omnipresent, we can all view it in unique perspectives, and although many witness it , at the same time; our moment is personal. The word ‘universe’ translates as ‘one-short phrase’. One Word, in a biblical sense created life. Words are used daily to encourage, to hurt , to build prejudice, and so forth. Advertisers use words with the motive to sell; Evangelists use words to save souls and graffiti artists use the word to engage.

PETER DREW

Peter Drew; Adelaide born artist has plastered the country with elegant portraits of Aussie’s that enable us to question the meaning of being Australian; a concept beyond a backyard BBQ.

“When your sneaking around the City at night you feel like a kid again.”

Drew is a peace activist that pastes a sense of reason into the hearts of the commuter. A casual glance at his picture-word statements is a thought provoking experience. He recognises that the street is an equaliser and draws the spectator into a dialogue of connection. Drew questions identity and inclusion. In a hi-vis vest, the artist has plastered up to 4000 artworks with a glue bucket and a broom.

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What began as local phenomena, has boomed into an International experience; his reaction has become a political dialogue. He is an Artist with a message.

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

The NGV is currently hosting an exhibition that highlights the rise of New York Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat whose career began with writing simple and convoluted statements on city walls, under the identity of SAMO. Influenced by Andy Warhol, the artist leapt from advertiser to agitator, using the concepts of ownership and branding in a broader concept.

Basquiat entered the art scene as an urban nomad notorious for couch-surfing and graffitiing the homes within which he stayed. With word and form the artist took ownership of the material, ownership was translucent, a tender shift from theirs to mine, with a simple C within a circle around it and it was copyright; it was his.

Within the Warhol tradition the ‘Radiant Child’ used graffiti to promote his brand and identity, the ME generation was born, already bored with life. Basquiat however, possessed a passion that his mentor lacked; a statement involving the treatment of the ‘Black People’ in American.

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History of the Black People 1983
ARTHUR STACE

Mr Eternity was a media title endowed upon a graffiti artist that wrote the word ETERNITY in perfect copper plate using chalk and crayon around the streets of Sydney for over 20 years. He kept his identity secret, until he was caught in the act. On the New Years Eve of 2000, the Harbour Bridge blazed with the word ETERNITY in honour of its humble artist.

Arthur Stace was a broken man when he walked into a Church for some tea and rock cake. He was an alcoholic born into domestic violence and palmed off to foster care, he fought in WW1 and lost the mental battle. Waiting for his cake and tea he was subject to a sermon that resonated within him and he became transfixed with the concept of eternity. He left the Church in the dark and broke down into tears, beneath an urban fig tree. This was his turning point, he never drank again.

“You’ll soon be back in the gutter again.” 

Local police scoffed at the ‘new man’. He was back in the gutter but this time , not to lay in it, but to save souls and feed the homeless; he was on a mission. His practice was to rise at 4am, help the homeless and graffiti the word ETERNITY though-out the City.

 

Melbourne Tourist tips

Waking up on the Summer morning ,sipping coffee as the birds dart in and out of the garden, is bliss, even if the rest of the day will be spent in an office.

For warm weather the best time to come to Melbourne is between November and April. Australia is not built for cold weather, it is a beach culture, we endure July in houses that are poorly insulated. During Winter, the southerly winds off the South Pole shred through thin walls and coats, but in Summer it’s a cool change that swings a scorching heat into an icy gail. Melbournians wear layers because random weather changes are expected.

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Summer, long weekends and Easter

When the sun is out the locals are basking. There is a mass exodus to the coast in January, Easter and Public Holidays, if your planning an Ocean Road tour during these times book early. Bayside beaches fill up and most Tourists head for St Kilda but South Melbourne and Brighton Beaches are more relaxing.

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Inner city Melbournians, get up early on Saturdays and have breakfast together in Cafes, the best places fill up quickly. On a hot afternoon, the South Melbourne market has  great outdoor seating under a large golden canopy, enjoy Mediterranean cuisine and a glass of wine. Expect to eat dishes from all over the world, each new flood of settlers has brought their food culture with them and each gets its day in the spotlight. Currently everything is ‘infused’ with something Asian.

If the weather turns foul, which means the ‘cool’ (freezing) change came early, head to the NGV Gallery at Federation Square and take in some Australian Art. The City is proud of its Artists but Sport is given most sponsorship. The Art is world-class but under promoted.

The Docklands is a relatively new development with ‘state of the art’ architecture, just behind the Southern Cross Station on Spencer St. It has a futuristic opulence , a skating rink and the Southern Star.

Trains and trams are the main form of transport and very well mapped, it’s easy to follow.The MYKI card works for locals but is not visitor friendly as you have to buy it to get around. Transport inspectors can be a bit intimidating so it’s important to get one. Currently the City has all night transport on Friday and Saturday nights.

Great places for dinner are Smith, Gertrude and Brunswick Streets in Fitzroy. It’s a fabulous block of ambitious ambiance. A historical area where hustlers and artists have had ‘their day’. but currently it is urban cool.

Melbourne has great theatre but if you want to catch a local act for under $30, after dinner there are some quaint venues; The Butterfly Club, La Mama, The Owl and Cat and The Meatworks, (just to name a few) are close to town and have their own character.

Bars are numerous and many are tucked into the lane network that are the life beat of the town, most often decorated with great Street Art. Roof top bars are great on hot nights but most places have outdoor heating when it’s not great.

The highlight of Summer is the Australian Open and the best place to watch it is at Federation Square in a sun-chair. Despite Australian pride of designer beer and class wine most public places are dry. On New Years Eve drinking is banned on public Bayside beaches so cancel the beach party.

Melbourne was once called the ‘Garden State’ as we like our trees. When its too hot for the beach there are great Botanical gardens and the Ripponlea Estate offers shade and a cafe. The changeable weather has created a fashion consious culture and there are plenty of shopping strips and malls to cater for discerning tastes or a bargin.

Summer essentials are thongs and light coat. We all talk about the weather; we complain when it’s hot and when it’s cold.