Primary Suspects (Reka)

What would the Melbourne graff scene be without our beloved Reka? Itd have nothing on the contemporary Euros or Californians that’s for sure. I remember riding the Franga/ Dandy line back in 2002; everyday relishing the Reka characters adorning the embankment walls along the linesparticularly between South Yarra and Malvern.
The once elusive Reka has since inspired legions of nextgeneration writers and toys, whilst building an artistic practice that has seen him adorn the walls & galleries of New York, San Fran, LA, Berlin etc. One of the founding members of the EverFresh Crew and Skinny White Boys stalwart, Reka continues to aspire to great heights, luckily, taking us punters along for the ride! Now, witness the Primary Suspects show at the nucleus of Melbs fine art graffiti community: Backwoods Gallery  2nd until 18th March, Easey St. Collingwood:

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Alberto Nolac

We hit Signore Alberto up for a quick Q&A the other day and the man was happy enough to share his thoughts with us. Here we have one of the best in the business: a heavyweight of the European graff scene in general, and Italy in particular. Nolac comes from Vicenza, a pretty hiptothegame town between Verona and Venice, in Italys Veneto region. He recently kicked some arse in the global Meeting Of Styles event, this year hosted by Venice.

INFX: Was this years Meeting Of Styles in Venice the first time youve participated in MOS?

NOLAC: No, Ive been taking part to MOS since 2003.

INFX: Cool. Have you travelled with your art very much?

NOLAC: Yes, I travelled a lot. Ive been all over Europe and I had the chance to meet and paint with some of the most influent people involved in the graffiti world. In the 2010 I took part in an exhibition with the legendary Martha Cooper and in 2011 with the master TKid.

INFX: Martha Cooper, Eh? That wouldve been a real privledge. You use various monikers including SHOW‘, TACO‘, and ABE‘ (among others) –why do you write so many different names?

NOLAC: I write several tags because its useful to improve my skills and to develop my own style. Sometimes its even boring using and writing always the same name.

INFX: Nice, mix it up a bit Youve been using Ironlak a bit but do you really think it is the best paint? What are your favourite cans?

NOLAC: Sometimes I paint with Ironlak. Most of the colors are nice and the pressure level is as good as the old Montana Hardcore. They are very clean.

INFX: Where do you see yourself (and your art) in 5 years time?

NOLAC: Honestly I dont know. I have no plans, I mean, Ill be painting for sure but graffiti is not my job, its just a hobby.
Recently I havent been painting as much as in the past because my job get me very busy. By the way graffiti is and will always be a need to me.

Frrresh! A big thanks to Alberto for taking the time out to chat.

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Cosmic Nature – Beastman

Organic, geometric and full of magic, Beastman lets you see through the cracks. With a style that could easily be compared to the spiritual and visceral art of ancient religions, his work is simply mind blowing. In his solo exhibition ‘Cosmic Nature’, Beastman explores the nature of our reality and how small we really are on a cosmic scale. What this man can do with an aerosol can, will never cease to amaze me.

An exhibition of new paintings, Cosmic Nature opens this Thursday 8th December at 7pm and continues until 18th December at Kind of Gallery, Darlinghurst.

www.beastman.com.au/

War of the Walls 2011

December again brings the 2nd annual War of the Walls live graffiti battle back to Collingwood. Last years winner, the industrious ADNATE is also back to present the event, fresh from a tourofduty in Berlin. He joins industry judges alongside the definitive Crowd Vote that holds a lamp to the current batch of writers; 5 graffiti upandcoming Kings comprising RAD 11, Ohnoes, Mr Reliable, Eltoasto, and Broes. The 5 finalists will compete in an epic 2 hour aerosol battle, with hiphop and soul breaks on the make by DJ Tom Showtime.

From 7pm at The Void, 135 Wellington St Collingwood Saturday 3rd Dec. Tickets: Click Here.

www.warofthewalls.com

Writers Bench

Oriel Guthrie directs this documentary film tracing the development of the graffiti scene in Melbourne. Following on from her 2004 short Skip Hop, this film explores the stories and perspectives of those who grew up with the movement, and also those that are engrossed in its contemporary incarnation. It traces the Street Art scene in Melbourne from 1980 until the present day. The film explores its roots in political slogans, through to the development of styles that are uniquely Australian.

The film screens at ACMI weekly, on Saturdays 12th, 19th, 26th of November at 4pm.

Deb

Deb is one of the most popular street artists working in Australia today. Her female characters adorn many businesses and commissioned walls throughout Melbourne & Sydney, and she has held many exhibitions whilst still engaging in grassroots events. This week, INFX was able to hit Deb up for some words on her current state of affairs:

INFX Having been on the scene for a long time now, what would you say has been one of your biggest artistic (career) highlights?
Deb: Its hard to say because theres always so many projects going on, its really hard to highlight the most outstanding. Every time I have a solo show I put months of work into it, so no matter what other exciting jobs I have going on, these always feel like the best and most rewarding achievements as after each show, Ive just spent months pushing my style further. The Outpost Festival on Cockatoo island, Sydney, starting 4th November has been a big and amazing project to work on. There is so much amazing work to see over there.

INFX Cockatoo Island seems to be a heavy event. Youve said before that your characters somewhat amplify some of your own character traits how would you say theyve developed in recent years?
Deb: If they amplify some of my character traits its due to different times of my life and things I may be going through or feeling. They are also sometimes infused with issues around the world that bother or move me, or sometimes purely fantasy art. If you look through my stuff its pretty diverse and always changing, there are many themes, creatures, characters and colour palettes.

INFXBeing such a prolific artist during your years in Melbourne (with jaunts to Sydney & LA), and with widespread acclaim, what motivated you to move to Sydney?
Deb: I really dont knowI was becoming agitated in Melbourne, regardless of how my art was doing, I just felt like I really needed a change. I started doing more painting projects up here and thought Id give it a go. I live in Sydney for now but again I think Ill be wanting to move again,and next time will be overseas.

INFXYeah, and with shows such as Young & Free‘, Australian artists are doing well in the US at the moment do you see yourself Stateside anytime soon?
Deb: I think about it all the time I feel like Im meant to go there now and that it would be a bigger push towards the direction I see my art going. I will never be at ease till Ive gone and spent some time over there doing my thing; as I have wanted this move for years now. It will happen next year.

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And no doubt things will continue to happen for Deb. A big thankyou for the interview; and we wish Deb all the best in Sydney and abroad!

Tom Tom Crew

The Tom Tom Crew present a tourdeforce of hip hop culture, acrobatics, beatboxing and contortionist curiousities that leave you gripping your seat and chanting for more!

Id only just got the chance to see them at The Forum the other night; and the show has been running since the 4th October. It winds up on the 23rd too so there are only a couple of shows left. The crew is headed up by Tom (beatboxer extraordinaire and established graffiti artist). They formed at the 2006 Woodford Folk Festival and became an instant hit. You get the impression that there was a hiphop & breaks crew warming up alongside an acrobatics and trapeze troupe; and they suddenly realisedlets mix both acts together“. Since their inaugural show, the crew have toured globally, from the Adelaide Fringe to Edinburgh, London, New York, Berlin, Taipei, NZ, Belgium, and the Netherlands; as theyve crisscrossed the world in the last 5 years. This is a truly epic performance show, and a lot of fun. If you get the chance, theyre well worth seeing.