If you have walked around Newmarket lately then perhaps you will recognise the wall art above (you can find it in Tweed Street), although I have to apologise because these photos only give a tiny impression of the originals.
Queeny, the first piece to go up on this wall, is by Component whose art includes work for the Auckland/Thames-based trio Midnight Gallery , prints and T-shirts as well as street work . See “Video of big size Queeny” as a work in progress here.
Tiki by Sophia Minson is based on her stunning oil portrait of musician Tiki Taane. Sophia said that “After nine years of painting with oil on canvas and having my work collected and exhibited in galleries around the world, this project marks the beginning of a new ‘public art’ facet to my work. I’m excited to see my artwork outside the gallery for the first time and available to the New Zealand public on the streets at such a massive scale.” Watch here to see a video of The BIG urban paste-up of Sophia Minson’s artwork in Newmarket.
Who decides street murals have value as art? Can anyone do it? Are they revolutionary? Does art have the power to shock us anymore? These are some of the questions tackled in a series of radio lectures entitled Playing to the Gallery broadcast on the BBC. I have really been enjoying the 2013 Reith Lectures given by Grayson Perry, who has been asking a series of provocative questions about the role and value of contemporary art in the 21st Century. You can download the podcasts of all the broadcasts here.
This brings me around to the fact that we have bought a number of new books on Street Art and Graffiti for the library recently. Some of the books we have acquired are:
- The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti by Rafael Schacter. This is interesting because it features the work of three New Zealanders. Askew One, who is based in Auckland, and is described as “New Zealand’s most established and successful graffiti artist“, and the duo of BMD who have worked in New Plymouth, Taupo and Wellington.
- Street Art and the War on Terror: How the World’s Best Graffiti Artists said no to the Iraq War by Eleanor Mathieson and Xavier A. Tapies.
- Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz
- Street Fonts: Graffiti alphabets from around the World by Claudia Walde
- Revolution Graffiti: Street Art of the New Eygpt by Mia Gronhah
- Burn After Reading by RomanyWG