The great thing about having learned my craft through ‘graffiti’ is that I’ve developed a strong work ethic, am comfortable trying new ideas and am not afraid to climb up onto a roof and get the job done, a very underrated skill for a contemporary artist (the downside to missing traditional academic study is talking about my personal work is difficult. I lack the vocabulary to engage in high-brow discussion with the ‘bow-tie’ crowd).
I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and work with some brilliant small business people like Grant and Jayne from Hidden Alley. They are about the friendliest people I’ve met in recent years and this is reflected in the sense of comfort at the bar. It’s just opposite the South Melbourne Markets, do your shopping and stop in for a beer or a coffee.
This little image gallery shows the process paint sketches which led to the final piece on the gold background.
I’m not a natural planner, I struggle to sit down and do meticulous preparation for paintings, perhaps that’s a discipline I would have learned if I had academic training in art. I much prefer working with spraypaint to traditional drawing materials, I can test a concept quickly and I think this method of preparing for paintings will stay with me for a long time now.
The Palace Hotel is a traditional style of pub in Melbourne. While there’s a few big screen TV’s to watch sports on, everything else focuses on building a great atmosphere for socialising. It’s also free of pokies (poker machines), that plague of money sucking zombie makers that have turned suburban pubs and clubs into boring soul-less boxes.
Hidden upstairs at the Palace is a beautiful open dining room for private functions, the type where you can easily picture a long wine soaked lunch with super-important people and it is here that there’s a private room. Completed with two humourous murals based on the classic ‘dogs playing poker’ pictures hanging in pubs the world over.
The Palace Hotel in South Melbourne has a secret room upstairs, with two new murals to compliment the space. I’ll post better photos once the mini-renovation project is complete.
This is the largest (non-graffiti) painting I’ve completed to date. Painted on two large, light weight ply doors the piece is 2m high x 164cm wide.
Since my short period working in advertising I’m acutely aware of the tricks used to mislead people about body image and beauty. I started by painting a portrait, similar to what you may see in a full page ad in a fashion magazine, then destroyed it. The result is a sequence of textures and layers, not unattractive, but not a celebrated reflection of aspirational beauty.