Archive for the 'Backwoods' Category
Last week hundreds of people came down to Backwoods Gallery to see off one of Melbourne’s most prolific street artists, James Reka. Before moving to Europe next month, he put on a pop up show that tied together all of the loose ends of his decade long career. Featuring a final fresh body of exhibited work alongside selected works from 2004 to 2006, fans came down in hordes to pay their final respects to one of Melbourne’s finest.
The new body of work was exclusively painted on rusted found objects such as spray cans, corrugated sheet metal and antique gold-mining pans that were found walking the train lines and salvaged from abandoned warehouses. Referencing his beginnings as a graffiti artist, the walls were strewn with scrunched butchers paper to create texture and act as an urban framework for the works. It was a process-driven concept, with Reka organically using every aspect of the spray cans to create artworks, from turning the paper labels into collages to painting the shell of the can itself.
In addition to this new body of work, Reka pulled a large collection of old works out of the vault from some of his original shows in the early to mid 2000s. Many of these canvases haven’t been seen for six or seven years and produced a huge, esteeming response from the crowd. Displaying works that have been painted over a decade apart, the audience could see Reka’s transformation from being known as having the strongest graffiti inspired line-work in Australia to his now renowned free-form canvases. Whether it is one of his iconic characters from the early 2000s or an incredibly intricate new work, Reka’s style is revered within the community and has continues to influence younger artists. There is no doubt it is commendable to already have such a strong retrospective of work and such a huge turn out of admirers in what is guaranteed to be a long and illustrious career.
Australia is losing one of their best to the bright lights and bigger walls of Europe, but there is no doubt that Reka’s legacy will continue both on the laneway and gallery walls for years to come. Gone, but not forgotten.- Text by Georgia Frances King.
Some images courtesy of Everguide & Kompound blogs.
A selection of works from the exhibition:No comments
ONE NIGHT ONLY.
I have also selected key works from 2004-2006 that are also on display before all my work gets put into storage. Last chance to see these gems. Here are a few pics of my new works on found objects that will be available for purchase tomorrow night. Hope to see you all there before I leave to Europe in July.
A big thanks to all who made it down to my Primary Suspects show. The exhibition closes Sunday this weekend. So if you were unable to see the show. Nows your time. Check the Backwoods website for opening hours and more info.
I will be doing a massive post on the the artwork and installation very soon. In the mean time here’s a bunch of photos taken on the opening night>
When a suit goes to work, they take their briefcase. When I go to work, I take my cans. Primary Suspects is a reflective exploration into the lifestyle of street vandals and the effect that it takes on us, both mentally and physically. From brushes with the law, confrontations with other graffiti writers, climbing onto rooftops and exploring the underground, the streets have become our desks.
We all have the same motivation: getting up, even if it means getting literally caught red-handed. There is a never-ending cycle of personalities and personas within this world, all with hidden identities only expressed on walls. Urban architecture is a game for us: we just want to write our name on your property. Our tools may be different to other professions, but we all strive for the same thing: recognition. It consumes us.
Primary Suspects expresses this contentious career choice in a body of work made up of canvases, found objects and video installation. The moment-to-moment nature of my profession is reflected in the loose, dynamic brushstrokes that dominate the portraits of myself and my colleagues in the act. Many of them are speckled with hundreds of thousands of primary coloured dots. In fact, everything in my life is. I am constantly reminded of what I do and the life that I chose. And I am proud of that decision.
While I’m out walking the train tracks or painting myself, I often come across rusted, discarded spray cans. Over the years I have amassed quite a collection and have decided to bring them full circle and paint portraits on them of the graffiti artists who may have once used them. In addition to this, I have contrasted the mundane life of a 9-5 office worker with the stimulating life of a vandal through a short looping film of myself dressed in a suit, getting sprayed in the face with four fire hydrants filled with primary coloured paint. That represents my job, and I dedicate myself to it just as any other person would. When my life is striped back to its bare elements, it becomes a mixture of red, yellow, green and blues. That’s what I am made up of. I am a primary suspect. - Reka
Public opening Friday 2 March
Running - 2nd - 18th March.
3-6pm Thursday3-6pm Friday12-6pm Saturday12-6pm Sunday
Please email info(at)backwoodsgallery.com for a catalogue request> or for more information visit the Backwoods website
Im happy to announce that the short promo video clip I made for my upcoming show at Backwoods > PRIMARY SUSPECTS is now online…
Big thanks to Alex Mitchell and Mike D for the support. Pretty funny shit …No comments
Im happy to announce my next solo exhibiton in Melbourne this year. The show is titled “Primary Suspects” and will exhibited at Backwoods Gallery opening on Friday 2nd of March 2012. The last 2 months I have been working solid on this body of work. Here are a few shots of cropped elements from some recent works in this show. I will shed more light on Primary Suspects and the works soon. Not long now… exciting times.No comments