Knockknock

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Knockknock

  1. 1. KNOCKKNOCK}
  2. 2. 2Knock Knock magazine profiles street-level emerging andestablished Australian and international creatives, doingtheir thing, and doing it well.Created by Tom GrovesImages courtesy of the artists.Additional photographyTom GrovesEditingAli GrovesUnder no circumstaces may any of the content and/or imagesin this publication be copied without permission.Knock Knock Magazine © Tom Groves 2012Like Knock Knock Magazine on FacebookISSUE TWOhttp://www.facebook.com/knockknockmag
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  5. 5. 5CONTENTSSEAN EDWARD WHELANSOFT SCIENCEDMOTEEROS NIKAREBECCA MURPHYGHOSTPATROLDRYPNZVEXTAKIT BAKERI & THE OTHERSSKULKBIRDHATBATHCATANDROSOXTERRIBLE HORRIBLESLIMEJAKE ANTOUNYELZASIOYMTJUDIE SO
  6. 6. 6SEAN EDWARD WHELAN
  7. 7. 7Do you think cities burden the individualor liberate creativity? It seems likeyou’ve been inspired to exceptional heightsin Japan, but the figures you draw seem tobe weighed down by history and culture.I think that depends on how you definea city - main streets, shops, bars andrestaurants? A downtown and an uptown?Lots of buildings and government offices,public spaces and parks? A culture builton some kind of historic foundation? Ifthat long list is the frame work forevery city, and every city has it’sown way according to it’s contemporaryculture, then I think it can be veryinspirational place to pursue art.With that in mind, I think the city I’mliving in now has really propagatedmy creativity and helped sharpen myobservation skills - it’s a differentculture, in a different country and it’sgiven me a special opportunity to stopand look at things with fresh eyes.Everything holds potential inspiration- It begs closer inspection, speculationSean is currently living and working in Joetsucity, Niigata prefecture, Japan. His artworkis influenced by the traditional architecture oftemples, shrines and castles and explores therelationship between people, symbols, icons,objects and how they define culture.
  8. 8. 8or further investigation. So, thereis always something to respond to,celebrate, critique or question. Whatinterests me the most, is that cities -wherever they are in the world - havestories, mythologies and keep verygood secrets. Uncovering these is whatmotivates me to keep working.
  9. 9. 9What interests me the most, is that cities whereverthey are in the world have stories, mythologiesand keep very good secrets.{
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  12. 12. 12SOFT SCIENCE
  13. 13. 13How have digital elements of art, design,and gaming influenced your practice?From a very early age I think the digitalworld has been massively influential onmy practice, and video games are quite alarge part of that. I remember a lot ofearly experiences with Apogee sharewareon the family 486 and being completelyengrossed for hours and hours. I guess asa result a lot of video game iconographyfound itself into my personal works,things like pixels, swords and skulls;none of which is terribly unique but ISoft science is a Melbourne-based illustrator,artist and designer; making pictures formagazines, comics, exhibitions, films and for fun.Soft science graduated in 2010 from SwinburneUniversity, where it studied a BA in Games andInteractivity. Since then, it has been workingas a digital designer during the day anddrawing pictures by cover of night. Its drawingshave appeared in Desktop Magazine, ACMI,Lamington Drive and on Australian INfront.Soft science has been drawing since its earlylarval stage, deep below the earth’s crust. Itemerged in early 2008 and fashioned a protectivepod from its own saliva, which solidifies whenexposed to heat and forms a chitinous outer shell.It currently awaits the final metamorphic stageof its relatively short life-cycle. In the meantimethough it is happy drawing, painting, sleeping,playing video games and wearing shorts with thesocks pulled way up.
  14. 14. 14I often depict characters in conflict, or inpreparation for a conflict to come...{
  15. 15. 15feel pretty attached to those motifs andI think a lot of people who lived throughthe 8-bit era share a similar affectionfor that kind of imagery.A lot of the drawings I’ve produced overthe years have a kind of implied narrativethat seems to be game-like in nature. Ioften depict characters in conflict, or inpreparation for a conflict to come; I’venoticed a trend of drawing protagonistspoised to attack a much larger monsteror enemy, which I think owes a lot to theharrowing boss-battles I have witnessedover years of playing games as a child.Digital art felt like a very naturalprogression for me. I loved computersand drawing, so it just made sense. I hadaccess to an old Wacom Digitizer II tabletwhen I was about 14 or so and with it Ifound I was able to do things that I evencouldn’t dream of doing with colouredpencils or any media I was familiar withat the time.
  16. 16. 16As much as I still enjoy and valueworking with tradition media, the powerand versatility that come with workingdigitally are hard to resist sometimes.I guess the downside is that you caneasily spend eight hours doing nothing butadjusting colours to the most infinitesimaldegree and as a result end up missingyour deadlines.Design became a part of my practice muchlater while studying game development atuniversity. I took an off-course subjectthat looked at major 20th century designmovements and more-or-less fell in loveon the spot. Within the early days ofstudy I began noticing design everywhere;it sounds a little silly and cliché butit was seriously eye-opening for me. Iwould walk through the city and every signor billboard which I usually would havefiltered out as visual noise, became a kindof aesthetic communication puzzle that Ihad to decode. I think it explains why Ilove illustration so much as it tends tocombine elements and practices of both artand design.
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  22. 22. 22DMOTE
  23. 23. 23How have the priorities of Graffiti artistschanged since you started in the 80’s?I can only say what has changed for mepersonally, and really, my prioritieshave come full circle and are notdissimilar to when I started. I don’ttry and make money from graff, I’m hereat the moment to just use my experience,and really think about it more thanI ever have. The structure of thelettering is important, not so much thetechnique. Living in New York has madethis easier for me, being surroundedby great writers and being influencedby their experience and mind state hashelped me. It was good to come herealso and be an unknown and sort of startagain. It has allowed me to reinventcertain characters within my persona thatcome to life through graffiti.As for the culture of writing, I’ve seena lot of changes and priority shifts.Graffiti in the late nineties was dyingDmote - a graffiti artist, painter, designer. Ihave worked in the design industry as an artdirector and illustrator, in fashion mainly, forover ten years. I live and work in New York Cityand am transitioning into a full time career asa painter. My fine art is my passion and I lookforward to growing old as a painter. I’ve had arenewed interest in graffiti living in New Yorkand have been taking it seriously again for thepast few years. For now i’m trying to push itfurther than I ever have.
  24. 24. 24out in New York, and the Germans weretaking over with heavily pictorial andtechnical pieces based upon these hugemurals, which, for the most part, hid theletters. This faded out but has now comeback around again, and the world is allabout ‘lettering and history,’ somethingwhich I thought might’ve been lost. Weare now living in the most progressivelyexciting time of the art form since itwas established in the mid eighties.Your career illustrates the hugetransformation of public opinion ofGraffiti - has ‘the dream’ of many graffitiartists enabled creative freedom orfiltered it?Graff has definitely become morecommercial in some ways; but then, it hasalso become more illegal and hardcore.The dudes that are on writers teams andare given paints are helping the culturea lot. I mean, when you have endlessmaterials, and don’t need to be preciousor worry about bad decisions, it makesfor the best work. These dudes aregenerally at the top of their game also,so it helps inspire young artists whilealso profiting the paint companies. Theonly advice I have to up-and-comers isdon’t expect to make money of this.I can understand someone trying to getinto skateboarding to make money, butgraff? No!
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  26. 26. 26We are now in the most progressively exciting time ofthe art form since it was established in the mid eighties.{
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  28. 28. 28EROS NIKA
  29. 29. 29How has your practice changed aftermoving from Athens to Sydney?Well in Athens everything is much more‘free’ when it comes to painting in thestreet. There are literally endlessspots – especially abandoned places.The police don’t bother to drag you tothe local station because they have moreserious problems to deal with, and Iguess it’s too much paperwork for them.For that reason you feel the freedom ofpainting in daylight and in even in morecentral spots, and most of the time getaway with it.Now Sydney on the other hand is not atypical European city where the buildingstructures factor hugely when creatingsomething in the street. Everything hereis well organised, and don’t even mentionthe police officers. My illegal activitieshave been reduced to a minimum, andwhenever I do paint, I always visit thespot beforehand to scope it out, and havemy concepts down on paper.I’m EROS NIKA, an urban artist from Greece,raised in Athens. I moved to Sydney in late2010. I started with traditional graffiti in 2001and since then I can’t think of anything moreenjoyable than painting with friends or alone,in the streets or for exhibitions, with brushes orusing spraycans, I love all these things. As you’llnotice I have a big obssesion using the colorblue. I think my work reflects my personalitysomehow and that’s why I love using bluebecause its very calm color like myself.
  30. 30. 30Is there a difference in the generalpopulation’s approach to street art inAthens as opposed to Sydney?I have good feedback from both cities sofar. The difference here in Sydney isthat you can’t paint without permission.Even if strangers talk to you there’salways someone asking if what you’redoing is legal. Working on the OutpostProject was a great experience for methough, I had a lot of people passing byand talking to me which was enjoyable.In Athens you have countless placesto paint, and you catch many peoples’reactions in the streets. You mightbe painting an alleyway and comeacross some people, and they won’teven bother talking to you or callingthe police cause they are keen withthis image nowadays.
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  34. 34. 34REBECCA MURPHY
  35. 35. 35Your paintings really have a style oftheir own, from famished female zombiesto beautifully intricate portraits ofgirls - what has influenced your stylethroughout your career?As far as artistic influences go, probablythe ones that resonate for me most areart nouveau, ukiyo-e, pop surrealism,graphic novels, street art, and tattooart. I studied graphic design for a whileso I soft spot for clever design as well.Old medical texts and illustrations,various mythologies, scientific theory,popular culture. It’s hard to pin downeverything that has an influence - it alldoes really.Your paintings of beautiful but grotesquewomen are often motivated by emotion -what is it exactly that you aim toexplore through your work?I was introduced to the concept of art asa tool for psychological diagnosis whenI was 7 years old. Even then I loved theidea that the things you create can holdNamed one of the most exciting female graphicartists in the world by Curvy magazine in 2010,Sydney-based artist Rebecca Murphy createsworks that have been described as a littleromantic, floral and syrupy but also a bit gory,bloody and creeped out. Preferring to work inacrylics and archival ink on canvas, wood, andpaper, her influences vary from Art Nouveauand Ukiyo-e woodblock prints to Pop Surrealism.
  36. 36. 36deeper truths than you can consciouslyexpress. My aim is to tell stories,to create an emotional resonance withthe viewer.Has living and working out of your studioin Sydney had an effect on your artand style?I’ve been here for about 5 years now,which is the longest I’ve ever stayed inone place and slightly longer than myart career. Living and working in thesame space allows me to spend as muchtime as possible in the studio, whichis something I take full advantage of -I’m in there anywhere between 12 to 16hours most days. And that definitely hasan effect - it lets me explore, refine,experiment, and take on projects thatwould otherwise be impossible. I wouldn’thave it any other way.I was introduced to the concept of art as a tool forpsychological diagnosis when I was 7 years old.{
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  42. 42. 42GHOSTPATROL
  43. 43. 43Sketchbooks are very personal documents,when you release these to the public whatgoes through your head?I like the idea of showing all the roughstarts of ideas and experimentation thatis the basis for all my art. My effort tomake my sketchbooks available is a callto other people to do the same. I lovelooking at other peoples sketch books andstudios. I hope they inspire people todraw. I’d like to think that they helpbreak down the idea that artists areelite and art is hard to create or enjoy.From my murals, drawings, sculpture andanything in between, it all starts in mysketch book.ghostpatrol: artist and world builder.
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  51. 51. 51From my murals, drawings, sculpture and anythingin between, it all starts in my sketch book.{
  52. 52. 52DRYPNZ
  53. 53. 53We’ve been appreciating your painterlywork for a few years now, can you tellus the story behind these clumsy anddelicate characters?There is a long winded story behind themessage behind my work. That message/story has become irrelevant lately, butleaving that behind has allowed me tofocus on smaller observations that nowonly loosely relate to my obsession withthe dis-evolution of the human species.In saying that though, if I had notfocused on that aspect for so long Iwould not have though of the intentionaluse of clumsy mark making would work likeit has. The focus on aesthetic has becomea pain, recently I’ve found that beingignorant to a single message has helpedmy work evolve further and allowed meto have more fun and play with multipleideas and different mediums. I do findmyself illustrating my small mindedtwisted point of view, and I’ve been toldmy work seems to be a series of selfportraits, and I can’t help but agree.Post-Graffiti Pop Surrealist, Jon Drypnz is aNew Zealand based paint mover. Since 2005 hehas been creating murals and bits of vandalismwhich imitate experiences, and the people whosurround him. The output is characters calledDrypppls. They try and explain and expand thenotion that, ‘the human race is in a state of dis-evolution, revealing exaggerated aspects of thehuman condition and our common traits.’ Thereis no reason for any of this to exist.
  54. 54. 54How important is keeping up work in thestreet after finding such successes in thestudio and gallery side of your practice?I just do what I want when I want. Iconsider myself a selfish artist so when Ifeel like doing work on the street I finda wall and do it. Other times the studiohelps my urge, but my work is erratica lot of the time and so my process andplacement of my work is as well. I don’treally have a formula so each time Ipaint, whether its on the street or inthe studio, its a little bit different.To actually answer your question though,I find it important to continue to do workon the street, but the reason being is tokeep my sanity. I say its just for myselfbut I enjoy doing street work becauselike a lot of other people its a place towork out ideas or frustration quickly.For the most part, the work I do hassubliminal meaning, but when I paint onthe street the work often has some socialcommentary and reaction to current eventsthat I wouldn’t spend time working within the studio, making it an importantpart of how I deal with my seemingly‘helpless’ position in this world.
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  58. 58. 58I find it important to continue to do work on thestreet, but the reason being is to keep my sanity.{
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  60. 60. 60VEXTA
  61. 61. 61I’m Vexta, I’m a neon painter, street artist andfine artist. Right now I’m a bit of a vagabond -travelling between cities, embarking on creativeadventures. Partly I think I’m addicted to art,haha, It’s a necessary part of life. I’m interested inart that pushes forward into the new. I guess as anartist you take whatever it is you have around youto construct this thing that’s important but perhapscan’t be expressed in language. My paintingsexamine these intangible aspects of our lives suchas dreams and transient states; the world aroundus and our place in it.How would you describe your artisticpractice?I paint pictures in the street, on canvas,on paper, on walls, on old pieces ofwood and bones, lately I’ve also beenmaking fluro tube light sculptures andexperimental sound pieces. Specifically,I like to pull apart figurative work andconstruct symbolism in abstraction.
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  64. 64. 64Can you describe the significance ofstencils in your work?(Are they irreplaceable?)Stencils aren’t irreplaceable in my workat all – in fact in my latest body ofwork I hardly use them at all – I seem tobe moving more and more into straight uppainting. Though I like the clean linesand the flatness of the paint you get whenyou use stencils and I also like theimperfection, the over and under spray.I consider them another type of brushreally. I definitely use them more on thestreet and less on canvas.
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  66. 66. 66...I like the clean lines and the flatness of the paint you getwhen you use stencils and I also like the imperfection...{
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  68. 68. 68KIT BAKER
  69. 69. 69How do you approach your commercialphotography practice differently to yourpersonal creative projects?I have dabbled in social, portrait andfashion photography. Over the last fewyears I have also exhibited in variousgroup shows, the latest being JoyCollectives exhibition: ‘Me Next Please’.I enjoy working for clients and tobriefs, but I definitely prefer thefreedom of just shooting whenever andwhatever.I am a 19 year old Sydney-sider and I lovegetting candid photos of daily life. I always havea camera (or two) on me and enjoy searchingfor unexpected and intriguing moments toshoot. The thing that I find interesting is that aphoto captures a single instant and might notreveal what just happened a second before orafterwards. I think it’s important to keep a bit ofmystery in my photos, to keep people guessing.
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  76. 76. 76I & THE OTHERS
  77. 77. 77Your beautiful paste ups of figures andanimals have a lot character about them thattells their viewers a lot of thought, loveand time went into each of them. How do yougo about creating work for the street asopposed to the studio and do you create sitespecific works, or put them up wherever yousee a spot that catches your eye?For the most part my street work has beena simpler version of my studio work, butrecently I have been working on bridgingthat gap and spending more time on mypaste ups, whether it be cutting intricatepatterns, or illustrating and colouring byhand. The work I do on the street is a giftto the city and the local community andI & The Others grew up on a farm in NSW in theeighties and spent the best part of her childhoodentertaining herself with her colouring box,butcher’s paper, string, mud, stones, feathers andwhatever else could be found.Still making use of found materials, she nowlives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Hercreative practice is an eclectic meld of visual art,illustration, street art and graphic design.I & The Others’ studio work is reflective of herattitude towards her environment. Making use offound materials necessitates her personal desireto not consume more than is necessary and hercreative desire to transform something old intosomething new while adding her own personalstory or sentiment to the object.
  78. 78. 78although there is always a chance of thework only lasting a day or two I like tothink if I spend time creating somethingbeautiful it will last and be appreciated.I always intend to create site specificworks - my phone is full of photos ofwalls and doors! But more often than not Iend up finding spots on the night when I goout pasting - especially for the smallerworks. The larger ones require a bit morethought and I will usually have a spot inmind for those before I head out.This year you co-initiated a new projectcalled ‘Street Advent’ involving a varietyof Street artists from Australia andabroad to participate in a Street Artbased Advent Calendar - preparing works tobe displayed on a blog, counting down thedays of Christmas. What inspired you totake this curatorial role and how did youthink it all went?My mate Matt and I were having a beer onenight when the idea for Street Adventjust kind of came to us. We’d both curatedgroup shows before and we wanted to dosomething new and different, somethingthat would excite the artists. We hadbeen talking about ideas for a show andthe concept of a street art based “adventcalendar” evolved from there, it wasactually all very last minute and throwntogether!
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  81. 81. 81Curating a show without a gallery andwith very few limitations was fun andit was great to have involvement fromartists in Europe and the States as wellas all around Australia. We were a bitskeptical of all 25 artists meeting theirdeadlines (each artist had to put theirwork out on the street on a different day)but everyone was really committed andit actually ran like clockwork. It wasreceived with a lot of enthusiasm fromartists as well as the general public andwe plan make it an annual event.What projects are you currently working onand what can we expect from you this year?The next project for me is a large piecein a laneway in Brunswick. A group ofartists are giving the laneway a bit ofa makeover and I’ve been allocated alittle nook to “re-decorate”. After thatI’d like to dedicate some time to studiowork and start working on a solo show. Iam planning to spend the winter in thenorthern hemisphere. I have my fingerscrossed for a residency in Florida andthen hope to paste my way around NorthAmerica but a solo show here in Melbourneis definitely on the cards for the endof the year, as well as Street Adventin December. I’m sure there will be ascattering of group shows to participatein throughout the year too.
  82. 82. 82SKULK
  83. 83. 83Are your motivations for creating workon the street the same for the gallery?Definitely not. My street work is aproduct of exploration and use of freeexhibition space; motivated by my driveto communicate with the public; andfree from restraints, bot conceptuallyand aesthetically. I am interested inthe changing canvas of the street andits pressures.In regard to my work intended forgalleries, it’s a very different process,I work in a controlled and preciseenvironment, motivated by the judgementof the institution and the art world atlarge.The street for me is a base of explorationand direct response, and the studio aplace to polish-up these ideas and imagesinto something more direct.I am SKULK. I illustrate, screenprint and paint.I have an art studio in Marrickville at ‘SashimiStudios’, but work on the street also. I havea very natural drive, to create, to engage, toexplore. I believe I will never stop.
  84. 84. 84Your work often depicts obscure charactersand people, what has influenced you to workin this style?I enjoying working with the figure, andthis has been my focus for the past 3years. This stems from my fascination withpeople, and the creatures that we are.My style has emerged quite informally overtime, influenced by other artists, friends,places, ideas and dreams. Artists such asBLU have had a profound impact on my work,both on and off the street.The street is a base of exploration anddirect response...{
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  88. 88. 88BIRDHAT
  89. 89. 89Every street is an adventure and every road becomesa trip / Every turn we take and every decision wedon’t make, Even the decision we don’t make, willbring us into the secrets of their town / Everycorner we turn will lead us, every corner we turnwill lead us down the labyrinths, And every desirethat we earn will guide us alive, living, loving &searching.- Refused are Fucking DeadThe “streets” exist as a passage-wayand thoroughfare to our destinations,in this respect they are a vein to ourdesires. They ferry us towards commonideologies and in this sense they expressa happening or spectacle. For withinthe movement of the self comes forth anintention, within that intention all isgained or lost.We journey through the physicallandscape. Its effects on the self growand form ideas over time; these ideasbecome a spirit of self and leave markson the greater environment. Our feetleave prints. Those prints exist asI’m Birdhat, I produce public based art andinstallation assemblages. Where I make andleave my work varies. I use Street Art as a basefor self expression. Therefore it is something thatcan be executed anywhere. A big part of myrationale is self -expression in the same sense asthe cave painters of yesteryear (a primal senseof desire - a ‘need’) and also as a response tosociety and modern day living. I see street art associal critique.
  90. 90. 90memory and as history. That mark, whetherit continues to exist for a month or alifetime becomes something organic. Itis perceived, eaten and becomes entwinedwith the public. For it is owned by thepublic.Graffiti is a movement formed from thestreets imbedded in the history of hiphop and street culture, and acts asvisual attack and sabotage. ‘Hip hopculture developed its own DIY outlaw artaesthetic that was particularised bygraffiti art. These elaborate, cartoonishpsychedelic paintings created with(frequently shop-lifted) spray canswere affixed to any unoccupied public“canvas,” primarily subway trains,commercial buildings, and the walls oflarge apartment complexes.’ That was andcontinues to be the “forum” as it acts associal advertising and free interchangeof ideas. It is and has always been publicforum for it exists within public domain.Street expression is a contemporary ideafounded in ancient ideology. We havepainted on cave walls for thousands ofyears. It’s only now that a culturebecomes a sub-culture. The spirit of selfexpression is seen everywhere, in theclothes we wear the way we talk and actand in our core desires. Graffiti artistsproject this expression onto the physicalenvironment. Creating a “spectacle” a‘ever-increasing mass of image-objectsand co-modified experience detached fromevery aspect of life, fused in a commonstream in which the unity of this lifecan no longer be re-established’. There
  91. 91. 91is only one course of action.Graffiti art exists as a reflection onurban street life and generally acts asa threat to modern day consumption. GuyDebord (December 28, 1931 - November 30,1994) Author of Society of the Spectacledefines Recuperation as ‘the process bywhich the spectacle intercepts sociallyand politically radical ideas and images,commodifies them, and safely incorporatesthem back within mainstream society..It is the opposite of détournement, inwhich conventional ideas and images areco-modified with radical intentions’ . Itco-exists as social advertising with themarketable as a tool and symbol like ahammer or a Molotov cocktail. You gottawatch that.“Sabotage will set us freeThrow a rock in the machine”-Refused1.Ken Goffman. Counter Culture Through The Ages.from Abraham to Acid House (U.S.A 2004).2. Richard Gombin. Analysis of Consumerism (1971).3. Robert Chasse, Bruce Elwell, Jonathon Horelick,Tony Verlaan. Faces of Recuperation in SituationistInternational #1 (New York, June 1969).
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  94. 94. 94BATHCAT
  95. 95. 95Your characters have a very distinctivefeel to them, often adorning walls andfences, what is the story behind yourcharacters and what has influenced yourstyle?My characters have grown a lot in thelast few years, coming into my ownstyle was hard at first but eventuallyI found it, but not really sure how! Ifeel it’s a mix of ‘80s and early ‘90scartoons, comics, skateboard art, cultmovies, weird tales and the messed upworld around us, turned into my own weirdfantasies. My characters are often evilbut also cute, characterizing the goodand evil in all things.Bathcat is an emerging street artist fromWollongong, studying Fine Arts at COFA. Hisart is influenced by the nature of mankind andall his surroundings. His styles range fromexpressive painting to folk art with spraypaint,acrylic and oil paint. Bathcat’s drawings areraw and crude with no pencil used...straightpen. He likes the risk of not being able to changethe mistake, “I’m’ just forced to go with it. Idon’t take much time to think about what I’mdrawing, I just let it happen. I draw whateverI’m thinking about right there and then; thisis what makes my work raw, but it also has aplayful feel.”
  96. 96. 96Having work both on the street and inthe gallery allows for some flexibilityin the context your work is received,do you approach your street workdifferently to your studio/gallery work?My studio and street work are similarin the ways I use spraypaint and stylebut other than that they are verydifferent. My studio work allows me togo deeper into my ideas and producework with no boundaries, often beingobscene and crude. My studio is abubble where I can be wild and freeturning into a type of creative animalwhere I use mixed media to create myworks from acrylic paint, spraypaints,oils, inks and anything laying aroundat hand. Where as on the street I useonly spraypaint maybe sometimes abrush. With my street work I dont wantto offend people so much that they lookaway, but I still want to be true tomyself so I make my characters moremischeivious than violent and crude.Art or Die and Be Extra Good....mix of ‘80s and early ‘90s cartoons, comics,skateboard art, cult movies, weird tales andthe messed up world around us...{
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  102. 102. 102ANDROS
  103. 103. 103You recently curated one of the firstpurely live art gallery shows in Sydneycalled ‘Painting Grounds’ consistingof about a dozen local artists. Whatwas it like getting everyone togethercollaborating and what was the result?Painting grounds was a project I hadbeen wanting to do for a long time now.Working with other street artists toget a mad exhibition together and alsoutilise the space I had at TortugaStudios in St Peters to have a big liveart event for the opening night whichconsisted of around 12 artists.It was really great working andcollaborating with everyone! Most of thepeople who I was working with in theexhibition were friends who I have workedon past projects with and a few who I hadnot worked with before.I was surprised with peoples response tothe event and how many people wanted tosee more like that going on in Sydney.Andros is an illustrator/street artist fromSydney who is inspired by street art/vinyl toysand things out of the norm. He draws from hisimagination and dabbles in doing collaborationswith artists worldwide and has been artmakingfor around three years now.
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  106. 106. 106After such a successes with ‘PaintingGrounds’ what have you got planned nextfor Sydney and what are your goalsfor 2012?I would love to plan “Painting Grounds2” this year and make it a huge event,even bigger than the last, hopefullygetting more up-and-coming streetartists involved.Also I would like to work on some moreexhibitions doing live art and havingcollaborative work displayed. Gettingoverseas artists involved too isimportant as it exposes Sydney to whatis going on overseas and it would benice to see something new and unique.Also would like to get more merch suchas shirts and prints out this yearand do some more travelling aroundAustralia and possibly overseas.I was surprised with peoples response to the eventand how many people wanted to see more like thatgoing on in Sydney{
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  108. 108. 108OX
  109. 109. 109Having completed your fair share oflive art walls in Sydney, what are youthoughts on this side of your art andhow do you approach it compared to yourstudio and street work?Live art really changed the way I lookedat my practice in a lot of ways. I spenta year working as an artist full timefilling my days with various commissionprojects and putting together a soloshow all on my own in my little studio.By the end of the year I felt a littleisolated, and the time I spent on eachwork was getting more and more drawnout. One day I was asked to curatepart of a group show and decided to doa large-scale live work with a friendof mine to fill one of the empty roomsduring the opening. At the end of thenight I was drunk, happy and had a bunchof conversations with good friends, andI had also managed to create one of thelargest works I have ever done, and in anamazingly short amount of time comparedto my studio work.I am OX, I’m principally composed from theremains of a burnt out dwarf star and a 1.25 ltrbottle of Jack Daniels. I fell to earth some timeduring the dark ages. At first revered as thehorned god of storms and hangovers by ancientNords, I quickly fell into obscurity following theinvention of more believable deities. I have madeart in various forms since I can remember. Istudied film and animation then later movedon to illustration, sculpture and more recentlylarge-scale live and street art.
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  112. 112. 112Live work taught me the value of speedand scale and really snapped me out ofthe habit of umming and ahhing for hoursover the specifics of a work. I tookall the lessons I learned doing liveart back to my studio work and focusedon speed and simplicity in my work,creating bold yet ambiguous statementsthat can be translated to a large scaleand visa versa. It was really the livework that pushed me more towards streetwork in the end. I had grown impatientwith painting, so spray-paint was reallythe only path for me.Your illustration and paintings havea unique and bold style often usingrecurring motifs of skulls and Vikings,what influences your selection ofcharacters and themes?Repetition of imagery is important tome in a couple of different ways: itcan help establish one’s identity asan artist; more importantly, you getto know the lines you are making moreintimately; and, if you are doing itright, the hidden meanings you infuseyour imagery with will leak through tothe audience more effectively.
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  115. 115. 115I use skulls in my work a lot, and I mustadmit that I do them mostly because theyare rad: I like to both draw and look atthem. A deeper take on it might be thatI feel they best represent ‘humanity,’I don’t really associate them with‘death’ them as a lot of people might.I see the skull as a great leveller– everyone has a skull, man, woman,black, white, fat, skinny, rich or poor– everyone has basically the same skull.So when I portray a skull it is kind ofa portrait of humanity.So, while the skull is ‘everyone,’the Viking is the part of me thatfeels we are still all very basic,and despite our modern advancement weare still brutish animals with no realunderstanding of good and evil. I alsoreference a lot of ancient religiousconnotations within this frame, tryingto get at the point that believing inZeus and fucking Odin and shit is justa preposterous as any modern religiousbelief; that condemning others for theirbeliefs (whether scientific or religious)comes from a place of uncertainty; thatmaybe we should all just be happy withthe knowledge that we are ignorantanimals composed of meat and bone andought to stop giving each other such afucking hard time.It was really the live work that pushed memore towards street work in the end.{
  116. 116. 116TERRIBLE HORRIBLE
  117. 117. 117Why do you choose to work in the streetwhen there are outlets to exhibit yourwork legally in galleries, where peopleare likely to buy it?The freedom. With what I do, how I doit, where I do it. It’s all up to me, itlets me make work that might be specificto that spot or work that might be muchdifferent to what I usually do. I likebeing able to put ‘art’ where peopledon’t expect to see it. To show peoplewho aren’t really interested in art inthe first place. You can sort of detachyourself from the work, rather than itbeing a painting by an artist shown inan exhibition, it’s an image by whoknows from anywhere. I vary my reasonsa lot, between livening up walls,spreading my own personal propaganda orjust to interfere with what people see.What is your work about?Nothing in particular. I let otherpeople decide that. I’m reallyinterested in symbols and what theymean to people, both traditional andcontemporary, ranging from religioussymbolism to more contemporary clichesand pop culture. When you put all thesesimilar icons together, they clash andrather than having a definite meaning youcreate a foundation for people to comeup with their own meanings.I am Terrible Horrible or TER HOR. I paint. Itry to paint a lot. I work wherever I happen tobe at the time.
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  120. 120. 120SLIME
  121. 121. 121What has influenced your style?My style has changed quite significantlyover the last few years, so I have hadvarying influences. However, in thelast year or so in terms of style andinfluence, I have been mainly interestedin oldschool public styles as well asmore Euro stuff and have seen my own workhead in a different direction. Anotherfactor that has influenced my style isthe actual production of my work, I havefound my newer pieces more enjoyable topaint which is all that matters at theend of the day.I became interested in graffiti at the end of 2007and sketched/pieced irregularly with differentwords until the start of 2009 when I got mycurrent word, and began to put more effort intomy work, trying to develop a style that I enjoy.I think I keep painting not just because its fun,but because I really enjoy the exploring aspectof it, and looking around abandoned buildingsand spaces and taking photos of the adventures.Even though a lot of people say this, I honestlydon’t think I see myself quitting anytimesoon, not just because I love it but because i’mconstantly confronted with pieces and tagseverywhere around me and after seeing one piecefeel like I would just be sucked back in haha.
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  124. 124. 124JAKE ANTOUN
  125. 125. 125Often your photography depicts an absenceof interactivity, whether that be by notshowing your subjects faces, shootingabandoned buildings, or shooting subjectsat a distance, creating a barrier betweenyourself as the photographer and thepeople and places you capture. Whatattracts you to this style of photographyand what message do you intend thesephotos to evoke ?I think what attracts me to this styleof photography is purely on a basisof that my photos are snapshots ofeveryday moments, however they arepresented in a way that people usuallydon’t see them in, making them appeardramatic and leaving people with a senseof curiosity. I take these photos toshare my own personal experiences oftravelling around Sydney, as well as theexciting moments i’ve experienced whilsttrespassing prohibited buildings/railcorridors, leaving people to interpret myphotographs however they wish.I’m Jake Antoun, i’m 18, and I just graduatedfrom school. I take photos that range fromeverday life moments to photos of insideabandoned buildings, providing me with a storyto tell through photographs.
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  128. 128. 128As a young photographer, gainingexperience and clearly developing yourown style, who or what would you say haveinfluenced you to get to this point withyour practice today?I picked up a camera two years ago notknowing anything about photography,but have since learnt that it involvespatience and luck (being in the rightplace at the right time). A majorinfluence for me has been following localand international photographers onlineblogs as well as working with other localSydney photographers such as raptorbloodand pseudoze and gaining an insight as tohow they work with a camera.
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  130. 130. 130YELZ
  131. 131. 131How has living and working out of NewZealand has influenced the way you work?Like a third of Kiwi’s, I’m notoriginally from New Zealand. I grewup in Holland, which is alright, butNew Zealand kicks ass when it comes toflora and fauna, and the landscape isso diverse too. This has definitely hadan influence on some of the themes andcharacters in my murals.Because there’s hardly any people here,and it’s such a young country, I see alot of opportunity to be the best you canbe at a lot of things, rather then justthe one. I love painting in the street,but that’s how my friends and I liketo hang out on a sunny/windy/drizzlyWellington day. It doesn’t define me asan artist, but it sure makes me workhard trying to keep up with the likesof Drypnz, Editor, Cast, Ghostie, Pntr,Blok, and Malarky. However, I also followcharacter designers like Nico Marlet andHarald Sieperman, and some of the otherwork I do, and want to do more of wouldbe more along those lines.Hey I’m YELZ, I’m an Illustrator residing IWellington, I stick funny little characters onlamp posts and paint murals on walls withwhatever I can afford too... sometimes they lookalright. I do this because I need too, and I thinkpainting on the street is a great way to go aboutmaking some dodgy friends.
  132. 132. 132I studied illustration, but if you’dtold me my first paid art gig was goingto be an art teacher, teaching graffto little hoodrats and taggers aroundWellington, I would have laughed in yourface. But last year I did get hired by ayouth organization, I think they hiredme cause I can’t tag very well, becausethat’s all the kids used to do in ourworkshops. Painting a mural from sketchto finish took over 10 weeks of planningfor the first one, it was a big step forWellington’s City Council to believe that11-17 year old kids could pump out a 40metre mural with spray cans.We’ve now done over three large scalemurals, the latest one in Christchurch,some of the kids had never been on aplane before, let alone been to the SouthIsland so that was really a highlight forthem, as well as painting of course...Street art is received with gusto inWellington, it’s the creative capital,and the council are supportive.{
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  135. 135. 135What motivates you to produce art forthe street, and how is it receivedin Wellington?The street motivates me to paint, andmy friends motivate me to paint faster,better, bigger and higher, and withsteez. But I haven’t got any clearspecifics down yet on my style. No oneway to paint, or how to paint, which cansometimes be frustrating, and also verychallenging and exciting.I had a really experimental year lastyear, and I really enjoyed playing aroundwith roller paint, squirt bottles andshit like that, though I’m getting torealise my stuff is a bit too graphic tobe entirely rollie-polie.Street art is received with gusto inWellington, it’s the creative capital,and the council are supportive. But wepaint well and with love, and there’sa lot of different styles within ourcollective (Pirates) so there’s somethingfor everyone. I think painting a lotof roller pieces help, people areless likely to hit you up whilst yourpainting, and by the time you bust outthe can to flick through your outlines itstoo late. Nice.
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  138. 138. 138ASIO
  139. 139. 139I once read that patients heal faster with a viewof natural scenery. So, I thought I’d bring somenature to the city - and hopefully some truth andbeauty as well.When I visualise a landscape ... the sceneappears jagged and imperfect. My focus isdrawn to points of detail that describe the scene:vines, leaves, trunks, etc. These points of detailconverge in my minds eye to give a completedescription of the scene. The whole as the sum ofits parts. This is my experience of the world withmy eyes closed. When my eyes are open theydart around visual space, and my mind sewstogether a scene from all the points of detail.I try to replicate this process on paper. Byfocusing my camera on small details and thenjoining the printed images together, I build adescription of the larger scene. The ‘arrow oftime’ is distorted, as no two points of the scenecould possibly have been recorded at the sametime. I like to leave the white border around thephotos so that when the works are seen in thestreet, the voyeur can see that the whole is thesum of its parts. I believe that this method forcesthe viewer to use their imagination to makesense of the image which consequently creates amovement and life-force in the piece.What is the concept and process behindyour installed landscape imagery?Amongst other things, the general conceptof my installed landscapes, is to providea vehicle of escape for the punters in
  140. 140. 140the city; to replace the urban landscapewith a natural landscape in order to a)provide some relief for the souls of thecity b) to jog minds into thinking whatmight have been there a hundred yearsago. I begin the process by meditating.From this I will have a good idea of whatI want to shoot. I then proceed to findthe location that ticks all the boxes.When I’m there I meditate once more andbegin to visualise the final composition(what to include, what to exclude, howtall and wide I’d like it etc). WhenI feel zen, I begin shooting. Uponcompletion I pack my things and thankthe universe for providing. From here Ichoose the exposures that I would liketo use and print and order them, readyto head out. Before head out I like tomeditate to cool my nerves. When i finishpasting I blow a kiss and clean up thestreet around it. That’s my process. Takeonly pictures, leave only foot prints.Take only pictures, leave only foot prints.{
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  144. 144. 144YMT
  145. 145. 145Your artwork is full of fine detail,patterns and symbols, what has influencedthis style and refined way of working?I’d definitely have to say my biggestinfluence is my obsession with anatomy- the construction and deconstructionof the human body. I like to relate mywork to this idea through my obsessivedetailing and patterning. The cells andmolecules of the human body are so tinyyet they construct something so largeand multifunctional. In an abstract waythis is what I aim to express through mywork: that through my tiny detailssomething larger, more complex and multi-layered is constructed and created.YMT is a Sydney based contemporary artist,who works in a variety of mediums, rangingfrom drawing, collage, glass, mural work,textiles and mixed media. Her work displays abalance between design, pattern making andher obsessive detailing with the structures, andformation of human anatomy.“My art has become an expression of rawhuman emotion, influenced by my surroundingsand my experiences in life. My drawings notonly reference anatomy but appropriate manysymbols, patterns and themes that reflectthe abundance of cross cultural influences inAustralia today.”
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  148. 148. 148I have always explored the idea ofanatomy because it relates to my personalexperiences having grown up with complexmedical problems since birth. It hasbecome a normal part of life for me -becoming familiar with medical terms,body functions and illnesses. A lot ofmy work incorporates the designs of cellsand bacteria as they would look whenviewed under a microscope. The design ofthese is quite beautiful and unless youknew about it, it would just look like anaesthetic design or pattern.My work is always heavily influenced bythe diversity of cultures that surroundus in Australia, having been raised inSydney, surrounded by many cultures.These cultures have definitely leaked intomy work subconciously. I take inspirationfrom indian henna tattoo designs, thevibrancy of their culture - whereeverything is ornamented and heavilypatterned. Other influences include: asiansilk designs, african tribal masks,the mexican day of the dead festivalo,batik printing, indigenous art with itsbeautifully patterned quality and my ownGreek heritage.
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  150. 150. 150JUDIE SO
  151. 151. 151Judie So (also known as WOLVES&OWLS)creates colour and monochromatic imageswhich showcase a vast collection of intricatedetailing. Through a delicate blending ofmediums, ranging from hand-drawn illustrationto elements of graffiti, her work engagescuriosity and nostalgia.Your role as Art Director at &Dimes, aproduction company that hosts popularclub nights in Sydney has allowed youto bring live art into the Sydney clubscene, what kind of artists do you lookfor when looking for live art productionteams and what do you think it brings tothe night?The kind of artists I look for varydepending on the type of event. Igenerally search for local and emergingartists in Sydney that not only createimages that are visually appealing tomyself, but for the demographic that theywill be creating their art for.Practicing live art in a club environmentmay expand creativity, inspire people whoare interested in the creative arts.
  152. 152. 152Do you believe ‘live art’ has become anart genre in itself, essentially beingart for entertainment?Sure. Whether for entertainment or not, Ibelieve it has turned into a subculturethat encourages creative individualslearn to produce larger murals oftheir sketches and see how it’ll allcome together whilst being watched byaudiences documenting their work.Has your involvement in curation, workingalongside many of Sydney’s top artistsinfluenced your own art, design and style?Definitely. It has strongly opened upmy perspective on the whole worldof curation and organising live artevents. Working with different clients,each artist coming from vast creativebackgrounds, has made me aware of whatthey can create with their minds, whichinfluences my art practice.
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  157. 157. 157THANKYOUBig ups to all those involved in theproduction and distrobution of thissecond issue of Knock knock Magazine.A special mention must go to Ali Groves,Fletcher at Invurt, all the TortugaStudio’s kids, and of course thebrilliant and talented artists featuredwithin these pages.Looking forward to bringing you an allnew mag-amazing issue in the next fewmonths, stay tuned on the facebook page.Peas out,Tom Groves
  158. 158. 158Knock Knock Magazine is on Facebook- Like the page for updates on ourproduction process, videos and jokes.For information on submitting your ownwork to Knock Knock Magazine and forany information on advertising in themagazine contact:whatsthematterwiththeblom@hotmail.comUnder no circumstaces may any of thecontent and/or images in this publicationbe copied without permission. Knock KnockMagazine does not encourage nor doesit endorse any illegal installation ofartwork featured in the pages herein.Knock Knock Magazine © Tom Groves 2012
  159. 159. 159SEE MORESEAN EDWARD WHELAN: http://sean-edward.com.au/SOFT SCIENCE: http://softscience.com.au/DMOTE: http://dmote.net/EROS NIKA: http://www.erosnika.com/REBECCA MURPHY: http://www.rebecca-murphy.net/GHOSTPATROL: http://ghostpatrol.netDRYPNZ: http://www.drypnz.com/VEXTA: http://vexta.com.au/KIT BAKER: http://kitcarlobaker.blogspot.com.au/I & THE OTHERS: http://www.iandtheothers.com/php/SKULK: http://skulkdesigns.blogspot.com.au/BIRDHAT: http://www.birdhatart.blogspot.com.au/BATHCAT: http://www.facebook.com/pages/BafCat/255368731182738ANDROS: http://www.facebook.com/mcandrosOX: http://theoxking.tumblr.com/TERRIBLE HORRIBLE: http://terhor.tumblr.com/SLIME: http://www.flickr.com/photos/slimeuno/JAKE ANTOUN: http://www.jakeantoun.comYELZ: http://ilikeyelz.co.nz/ASIO: asio-01@hotmail.comYMT: http://www.facebook.com/YMTdesignsJUDIE SO: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wolves-Owls/264697450242206
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