Interesting interview on Australian radio
RACHAEL :Â British artist Banksy is quoted saying that Melbourne’s laneways were arguably Australia’s most significant contribution to the arts since they stole all the Aborigines pencils. Would you agree with a comment like that?
TRACEY AVERY: I think part of Banksy‘s comment implies that what graffiti provides is a place for ordinary people to have a voice and that it’s a place where it’s not an art form that has to be recognised in a gallery but it’s an art form that can be recognised on the ground. I think people would recognise say in Hosier Lane that the works there more reflect an artistic sensibility and are social comment and are not just mindless vandalism.
RACHAEL BROWN: One might assume artists would applaud the protection of graffiti but Melbourne curator and artist, Andrew Mac, says it would fly in the face of what graffiti and street art is all about.
ANDREW MAC: The work is ephemeral. It’s not meant to last. It lasts purely as long as the weather and other graffiti artists allow it to last. When you interfere with what is an organic process like that, you actually make the graffiti stagnant and what makes graffiti thrilling and interesting to the public and to other graffiti artists is the fact that it’s a never-ending changing kind of living art form”
“Trespass Alliance: Inside Urban Art” is a new exhibition at the Andipa Gallery featuring works from renowned artists including: D*Face, a London-based multimedia street artist famed for putting defaced 10 pound notes into circulation and creating a 9ft tall ice sculpture of a spray-can in the Arctic Circle.
Also there is Swoon, a New York-based artist known for her life-size wheatpaste prints and cut-out paper portrayals of people going about their everyday life; and WK Interact, a French artist based in New York, known for his black and white painted murals of skaters, kung-fu masters, boxers and mountain climbers.
“Street” art, whose high priest is Bristol-based graffiti artist Banksy, is growing in popularity across the world: in a typical week, the Andipa Gallery will sell works to collectors in Mexico, Kuwait, Paris, Los Angeles and London.
London’s top attractions were outperformed by a distinctly down-at-heel venue. A temporary exhibition in an unlovely London tunnel described by one art critic, Shirley Dent, as â€œPiss Alleyâ€.
During the Bank Holiday weekend, 9,500 people a day descended on Leake Street, near Waterloo Station, to see the Cans Festival, the subculture blockbuster of graffiti art organised by Banksy. Nearly 500 of them added their own stencils to the pieces by Banksy and the 38 other artists from around the world he invited to take part.
And although the exhibition officially closed at the end of the Bank Holiday, the paintings are all still up there on the walls – and a steady stream of people has been turning up to see them. Some of the works have been stolen, too: a couple of grafitti pieces – neither of them by Banksy – were painted on to metal doors that enterprising street art collectors quickly nabbed.