Friday, June 20, 2014


So apparently Earth's tectonic plates are moving more quickly than they used to because the earth's core is cooler.

Could that be true for street art? Is it evolving more rapidly because it is cooler?

That would possibly be true if you agreed with the assumption that mainstream popularity equates to cool. I happen to think that the opposite is true.

Probably the saving grace is that alongside the socially popular work continues the stuff they don't like.  So it is that boundaries continue to be pushed.

And it seems this art is moved by the hotness, not the cool.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


#86 is a great route. Pun intended. Probably not that funny. But through scratched up shatter proof windows and to the drone of the tracks you can watch the world

Monday, June 16, 2014


Facebook, face it, two faced, on the face of it, face facts. Faces matter. We read faces, make faces up, slap them. Pluck, shave and redesign them. And sometimes, we just draw them...
Kaff Face

Talurk/Taylor White beautiful Face

Hare Face and ...?Yok face (someone help me out)

Loads of new and wonderful Faces

Alistair Moonie Face

S Face

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Why Change Is Good

I challenged my father to stay in the present for one car trip over the Westgate last Thursday, so he started talking about refugees and then he cried. I let him retreat back to the safety of reminiscing. 
I am guilty of hiding out in the good old days myself, as are most paint spotters. A stroll down Melburn's memory laneways is something many of us do (All Those Shapes, Dean Sunshine, Arty Graffarti, Melbourne Street Art). Everything we document has already been done and has therefore begun it's journey to decay, demise, or demolition. That's a lot of D's.
The best thing and the worst thing about street art is it's transience. The constant change gives us the chance to capture the ancient, the old, and the new in one image. But it also reminds us of what once was and isn't any more. Some of us tackle this loss bravely and others rally against it.
Sydney Contemporary Art Museum - installation filming the viewer, who becomes the subject 
Nostalgia comforts us in changing times, when what we see is not what it used to be. But we shouldn't resist moving on. In fact, we cannot reminisce unless we keep moving forward. Changing the present gives us a past. 

So why is there always a resistance to change? Why are we so scared when Google sets out to homogenize us? Why do we show off only to recoil when the Herald Sun notices ? Why do we get shitty about tags ?
Leaving for greener pastures
There is a fear of being taken over, subsumed by the machine that extends beyond the walls growing, decaying and growing again around us. I would like to propose that we fear change (and the people representing it) because it might make us irrelevant.  It is a fitting idea to contemplate during refugee week, don't you think?
Way back when

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nock der Kunst: The Chameleon Nokroe.

This is my third post about Nock/Nok/Nox/Knock. I feel somewhat privileged to get a glimpse into his life now, a few years on from my original posts (Nock and the SpottersThe Inner Depths of Nock). I also feel a swell of pride like I want to say to anyone reading this "I bloody told you so!".

Nock is in the world now. In Berlin, specifically. Creating, exhibiting, tattooing. I am so glad he is practicing his Ink work. An artist as exceptional at line work as Nock really should. What serendipity for me, too, because I need a particular tattoo right now. It is brewing in me relentlessly. It is personal, I won't bore with the details. But I will tell Nock and I hope he will interpret it for me, on me, one day.
Image courtesy of the artist
When I was given this opportunity to catch up with Nock I was at first unsure of what to do, I felt so out of touch. He has been everywhere since I last posted about him. So I asked him to tell me his life is mundane (because anyone who is not in Berlin right now secretly wishes this to be so). It isn't though. He wakes up, rolls over and watches his Chameleon feed, reaching for a cigarette and ...okay I don't even know if he smokes, it just sounds good. But I do know that he has a Chameleon.
Image of Nock's pet fish courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist

So Nock wakes up, in his super cool flat, does or does not have a morning cigarette, watches his Chameleon, and then shuffles out of bed to the studio. He paints, hits the river for a spot of lunch, sketches the afternoon away, goes for a beer with mates and walks through the night, creativity teaming as he slinks into his bed again. Yeah I hate his awesome life, I told him to make it mundane.
Remind you of his great work in Melbourne? Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist
I am so happy for Nock and excited that this lad from Victoria is out there making a mark on the world. There is hope for all of us. He has just experienced success in the show Cunts Du Kunst in Kreutzburg, one of the white-hot districts. He is off to Glastonbury next; he is probably there as you read this. He will be painting it up there and then he is off to Bangkok in August where he has a show planned. He has been there before, involved in Oasis of Freedom V65 Art Studio celebrations last February.

Someone like Nock, out there in the world, must have some insider information and so I asked him where he thinks the Avant-Garde scene is right now. Surprisingly he told me Chernobyl. He said the art scene there is radiating (pun probably intended).  But yes, Chernobyl. Nock tells me: radical experiments and it is "just simply wild". I looked it up myself and felt it through to my stomach: 

This work is at the edge of everything we ever hope to explore, and a more perfect backdrop as an abandoned city you could not find, arghhh, the beauty out of the devastation. I couldn't help but think of Nock's Chameleon.

So maybe this is where we will see him next? who knows. This is a man on a creative junket with an eye for the future. I look forward to his regaling tales as he Inks me, if and when Melbourne ever see him again. He will return a bigger man that is guaranteed. Meanwhile if you want to make contact, he is busy but accessible and you catch him via his tumblr site.

Friday, June 6, 2014

not cool enough for Canberra

If I was to ask you to put the words: cool; hot; rad; hipster and Canberra into a few sentences I would forgive you for thinking this was a trick. Unless that is, you live in Canberra, or have been there at any stage in the last 24 months. In that case, you have no excuse but to know it: Canberra is cool. I am talking rad Graff, hipster barista’s (slightly less annoying than Melbourne’s) and hot design. Not everywhere, let us not get excited, we call it Cuntberra for a reason. However, Braddon, Civic, and New Acton are up there with anywhere new and ace that I have been.
This post all started with The Outsiders – yes the unbelievably good unauthorized event last weekend. I had thought I was not going to make it because of a commitment to be in “fucking Canberra”. Oops, it turns out when you share that on Facebook you tend to piss Canberrians off. If I had not seen it for myself I would have pitied their misguided patriotic pride in their dull city.
Well I made it to The Outsiders, and made it up to Canberra. Seven days meant five nights of exploration, and over a weekend, some serious tourism and trawling. 
I did think hard about why I doubted Canberra. After all, I had been thrilled to discover Civil and more in Lyneham way back when (see my post This Is Canberra) . Yet still I had that guilt you get for picking on the dork and then finding out they are really really nice.
The obvious conclusion I drew about this Canberra/Cuntberra issue was that it is full of public servants, it has weird bus stops and the housing is ugly (*some* of it). The old housing that is. The new architecture is out of this world. It shits on Melbourne.
I also thought hard about why it can be this cool now, after being so uncool for so long. It has always had sensational art, and recently, the Portrait Gallery - but it is no Hobart. It has the Arboretum and I reckon that is sweet - but it is no Kings Park.
I was at Lonsdale St Roasters when I got it. It is full of really smart people with multiple degrees and exciting jobs like satellite mapping. It is full of people who have been elsewhere and are from elsewhere. It doesn’t have a heap of Herald Sun readers. In short, it is the perfect primordial swamp from which an edgy entrepreneur can create those institutions that grow and together form a (sub) culture. So do not go thinking it is a stagnant festering pool with green algae and a foul smell, as tempting as that is. Canberra is NOT the Ginger of Australia, teased and taunted by the rest of us. It is an evolving beast and the process, or its rise to cool, is happening very quickly.
If you are not convinced, trust me I am not alone in discovering this. Even the New York Times has gotten in on it. If that doesn't convince you then check these blogs out: Hip, Cool and it’s called Civic
                    Canberra Hipsters? 
PS: Do visit The Parlour (the Parlour Wine Room) but under no circumstances should you EVER end up at one of the many dingy nightclubs elsewhere in the city…It is sad, you will be transported back to 1994 and will wake up with a head ache full of regret. That’s what they tell me anyway. Speaking of such a night, to my little baby Gay, if you are reading this, please do come to Melbourne, your people need you.