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Stupid Krap's latest artist interviews, news and releases.

ADI - FALSE IDOLS / The Stupid Krap Interview

Ben Frost

How did you first find out about Stupid Krap?
I think I was just hunting around on the internet and i stumbled across Stupid Krap, this was a long time ago I might add. Loved the name, it stuck in my head for it’s blatant honesty.

'Mario' by ADI - available NOW in our store

'Mario' by ADI - available NOW in our store

Tell us about your relationship to icons of popular culture.. is it a love or hate affair?
Both. These pop culture icons are the foundation of my childhood and hold very fond memories of a peaceful time in my life. I would get up very early every morning, venture into the living room, position myself in the beanbag and proceed to watch King Leonardo Lion and his Subjects, the Toothbrush Family, Milton the Monster Show, etc etc, much to my mothers annoyance I might add, she gave up telling me off and just let me be. 

Pikachu Playset - by ADI - 

Pikachu Playset - by ADI - 

However, In more recent years whilst contemplating insane (particularly westernised) human behavior, I began considering the implications of such useless observations on the developing brain. This new wave of teaching by such insightful creatures as Peppa Pig and Tele Tubbies I believe is not allowing room for natural thought patterns of creativity. Instead it seems to create a vacuum of obvious non thought or a state of mental paralysis. Our language and behavioral patterns I feel should be taught via interactions with other humans or tribe. This education seemed to encompass a more thorough learning of nature and the symbiotic relationship within the grand picture. The outcome of this is a loss of a spacial existence and connection with nature and other external forces. Henceforth this material and singular approach to our new system of living should include symbolic deities for this anthropocene epoch, so begun the creation of False Idols, our new gods.

Memphis Mouse by ADI - Available now in our store

Memphis Mouse by ADI - Available now in our store

You have only just recently switched from painting to 3 dimensional works.. what prompted this fresh new evolution?
This change came from a body of street art I have been working on for the last 4 years or so. Using iconography mainly through totemic symbology and narrating stories of our interaction and destruction of the natural world. 
I would be in my studio glueing together these huge paste-ups prepping them for installation on the street. Whilst staring at these totems layed out I would think these would be very cool 3 dimensional. It was a bit hit and miss initially. I trialled many different materials and concepts before I hit upon timber, it fell into place very quickly then. I began initially doing a series of War Deities directly reflecting the street work and then of course hitting upon the idea of the False Idols.

Pikachu No. 1 - wooden assemblage by ADI

Pikachu No. 1 - wooden assemblage by ADI

Tell us about how the 'Memphis Style' has influenced your work.
Modern Memphis is a design style that came to life in the 80’s. It is bright, patterned, geometric, bold, in your face. It juxtaposes visual objects and materials that you would think could never work and slams them together with class and elegance, (I think anyway). It is a style that would definitely not be to everybody’s liking however. I have taken these aesthetics then deconstructed and simplified these pop culture icons, utilising bold colours, patterns and geometric shapes to create a recognizable and hopefully very cool totemic idol!

Kaonashi - by ADI.  - Available now in our store

Kaonashi - by ADI.  - Available now in our store

What kind of things do you personally collect?
I collect vintage toys, contemporary vinyl toys, art works, artifacts, kachina dolls, occult books, even a few figurines like MOTU, Star Wars, way too much….

What projects do you have coming up soon?
At the moment I am mainly working toward a show to narrate the story of my False Idols by creating an aesthetically adjusted environment to capture the story of them.

Check out more of ADI's work:
instagram: @adibrierleyart
www.adiart.com.au

- interview by Ben Frost

'The Return of Vampire Jesus' An Exhibition by 1337

Aaron Craig

So tell us about your exhibition, the themes and the meaning behind 'The Return of Vampire Jesus'.
This body of work is made up of stenciled pieces and works created with traditional printmaking techniques. Some of the themes that run throughout the exhibition are playful, while others are in a more serious vein, and perhaps a little confronting.  The title stems from my love of classic horror movies, and an inside joke about Jesus being mythical creature, not unlike some sort of Dungeons & Dragons monster.

How do some of these themes reflect your views of the state of contemporary society?
I think that in a lot of my work there is a cynicism that stems from the world we live in today, and comments on the things that we can’t seem to avoid like religion, consumerism and stereotypes. With things like social media bombarding us with imagery and opinions every day I feel like the important messages can be lost unless there is an element that makes you sit up and pay attention. Some of my imagery may make people uncomfortable, but I also hope that that is the hook that makes people discuss the things that matter.   

You've been a finalist in the Stencil Art Prize here in Sydney several times, tell us about your passion for stencils and what you enjoy about the process.
I began using stencils because I used to be frustrated that my hand drawn or hand painted works weren’t realistic enough. Stencils allowed me to incorporate photo realistic imagery into my work. Over the years my style has evolved to something a little less photo-like, and the focus has become more about use of colour. The Stencil Art Prize is always a diverse showcase of stencil talent, and a great place to meet other artists and network. I’ve been lucky to have been involved.

Who are some of the artists that have most influenced and inspired you?
I am often drawn to artists who comment on society and pop culture. Australian artists like Ben Frost and Anthony Lister, or international artists like Ron English and Robert Williams. In regards to my stencil and print work, I draw a lot of influence from psychedelic rock posters from the 60’s and artists such as Victor Moscoso. I like the way they would create works with colours that vibrated against each other.

Tell us about the art scene in Brisbane and the studio space that you work out of.
I work out of a studio and gallery space called LoveLove located in Milton on the edge of the CBD. It’s an artist run space, and has some fantastic artists working from there. The gallery scene in Brisbane is healthy, but the scene on the street leaves a lot to be desired. The council in Brisbane has been focused on eradicating any work on the street for several years. There is still a lot of work to be seen, but you have to keep your ear to the ground to find out where to look.

What do you think of the Sydney art scene and your past experiences with the local community here including Blank Space?
I have always been welcomed when I’ve shown work here in Sydney, and now have a network of solid friends to help me when I make the trip down. Compared to Brisbane, Sydney runs at 100 miles an hour and it can take a day or two to get acclimatised. I’ve seen some fantastic exhibitions at Blank Space in the past, and it’s a privilege to be able to exhibit here.

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What events or projects do you have coming up soon?
After the exhibition here in Sydney I’m looking to curate a small group show in Brisbane later in the year, and then just knuckle down and get busy with university. I’m in my 2nd year of Fine Art, and there’s always a lot of opportunities in the form of art prizes and group shows that i’m sure will pop up. The key for me is to just stay busy.

HOLIER THAN THOU - A Solo Exhibition by Holly Fewson

Aaron Craig

This Saturday will see the first Sydney solo exhibition by Holly Fewson.  We caught up with her to ask her a few questions about her new work and inspiration.

Tell us a little bit about your personal and creative background and how you arrived at some of the themes for your new exhibition.
I moved to Sydney from Perth the week after I graduated high school and stayed. I studied at the National Art School and have always been a 'drawer' - my painting practice has naturally evolved from that. The themes for my exhibition are all super female and personal and my creative background is similar. My own drama and explicit experiences have lead me to create more casual images for this series.  I have been gentler with my approach to representing womanhood and sensuality than I have been in the past. It's about manifestation.

The convent is an interesting metaphor for the female experience, what is your perspective on religion and the structures it sets up?
I am not big on religion and its dogma. Religious institutions notoriously suppress sexuality and general human liberties. I like the idea of a community getting together to discuss philosophy and sing weekly but the reality of the thing is not as cute and simple as it ought to be. I guess the glamour and the virtuous facade of religion parallels expectations of women in a lot of ways. I care deeply about morality and have found myself considered deeply immoral. The whole tip is a paradox. 
 
Describe your studio/art-making environment.
I painted this series over the last two months in my fathers shed. I made make shift easels and worked on all of them at once with a tin of white house paint and some charcoal that I kept stepping on. It wasn't tidy. I listened to Elvis, Electric Wizard and Gamelan.

In this series you've used mostly mixed media on board, what is your art-making process?
My process is automatic. I usually begin with a figure,  I will paint a face and build a gesture that rolls with the emotion of their features. I bounce off of the face for the whole image and it usually defines the circumstance I imagine later upon completion. I don't begin with an idea. It's just a series of reactions to what I have already put down. I dress them like dolls and paint faces like youtube makeup artists contour. I will use charcoal like a pen when I am confused. I feel more confident with a powerful line or two. 

Which artists, alive or dead, have inspired your art practice?
Botticelli, Bjork, Beyonce, Romaine Brooks and Jenny Saville. Street artists like Fafi and Miss Van meant a lot to me when I first started drawing women in my teens. Jodee Knowles and Anthony Lister. Frida Kahlo is my number one, Cezanne's portraiture work, also Klimt, Sheile and Kokoshka. 
 
What do you have coming up in the near future?
So many things. Probs heading to Los Angeles next month. I want to make some real rustic frames before Christmas in sets of four. I will do some some excessively proportioned pieces next. I feel like I have got nuns out of my system now. I'm real excited about what coming up, I'm ready to do some bigger shows.

Holier Than Thou opens Saturday July 25th from 4-6pm,
Blank Space Gallery, 374 Crown St, Surry Hills
Exhibition continues until August 1st.
www.blankspace.com.au
 

BLANK GENERATION - 6 Solo Exhibitions over 2 Months

Ben Frost


'Blank Generation'
July 25th - Sep 11, 2015
Blank Space Gallery, 374 Crown St, Surry Hills. NSW

www.blankspace.com.au
 
Artist Ben Frost returns to Sydney to present a hand-picked selection of his favourite Australian and international artists in a series of 6 unique solo exhibitions over 2 months.  Each Saturday a different artist will be presenting their work in their own one week exhibition at Blank Space in Surry Hills.
Ranging in style from figurative painting to street art, 'Blank Generation' represents a diverse and relevant cross-section of what is happening now in contemporary Urban Art.  Mixing established and emerging, for each artist this will be their first ever solo exhibition in Sydney - despite some having shown extensively interstate and around the world.

The artists:
Holly Fewson (Sydney) opening reception Saturday July 25th, 4-6pm
1337 (Brisbane) opening reception Saturday Aug 1st, 4-6pm
Denial (Canada) opening reception Saturday Aug 8th, 4-6pm (two week exhibition)
Phoenix (Melbourne) opening reception Saturday Aug 22nd, 4-6pm
Hayley Arjona (Melbourne) opening reception Saturday Aug 29th, 4-6pm
Skel (Sydney) opening reception Saturday Sep 5th, 4-6pm