Have had a habit of developing an anti aesthetic style over the past few years. This interest isn’t related to art but is a reaction to street art and graffiti. Have always hoped to at least find a niche with this approach. It is a throwback to a graffiti idea of ‘style’ though it has no relevance or understanding today. It is to be honest quite old hat yet I have persisted in this ugly quest. My approach has been to avoid the commercial road of street art and agreeability in relation to graffiti and style.
With the advent of street art there has been a tendency to water things down to there commercial elements. It is a purely commercial approach that allows an artist to also create various accessories in the same style like tea towels or phone cases. This approach has irked me so I went in the opposite direction in the hope of garnering at least a small following. The problem in Australia is everyone is looking at what is happening overseas then at best emulating it or trying to get something similar.
This isn’t to say there isn’t a unique market in Australia. There is but what I am getting at is the primacy of overseas work. We definitely have unique artists working independently in Australia across the board, I mean the street art buyers in general will prefer an overseas artist and work. Why risk your investment? Australia is risk averse which has some advantages and disadvantages. I have marketed myself to the average person as I wasn’t making a specialised art product. It is a niche approach but people will inevitably scratch their heads at something that is pretty ugly and a bit disorderly.
I had a very ordered and aesthetically agreeable show earlier in the year that I had developed in 2016. I sold privately but couldn’t get sales in a venue. To be honest I am disillusioned but quite determined to stay the course. I can’t bring myself to make pleasing work and to be fair I did a lot of these more commercial pieces so having a break is fine. Where to go from here though when you can not sell a product that is particularly unattractive and can barely sell the attractive version? My answer has been to scale down and concentrate on writing instead.
My graffiti work is still prominent as it is in prime legal areas but the smaller one off pieces on paper are just a way to express my feelings toward the largely commercial drive of street art and at times the clean graffiti aesthetic. I am working against the dominant narratives to my own detriment but it is quite refreshing. When I do a large graffiti work in a prominent area that screams of anarchy and anti-social behaviour I feel satisfied. Mostly I feel guilty for this pleasure but know it is necessary for my own fragile sanity.