The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Author: George Francis King

Imagine taking dozens of Australia’s best street artists, putting them on a heritage-listed island with a couple of cartons of spray paint and letting their competitive nature take its course. The initial chaos would turn into an organized survival of the fittest, with Anthony Lister and Ben Frost each captaining a team of bravado-filled can masters. They would battle daily, eat live seagulls, be voted off the island and compete for the coveted immunity stanley knife. Throw in a film crew and you would have Survivor: Graffiti Island. Comprehensive recap of the event, by Georgia Frances King, after the jump.

We’re not sure if you noticed, but in the first few weeks of September San Francisco became completely overrun by Australians. The mass exodus was for Young & Free: Australian Contemporary Street Artists, the largest Aussie street exhibition shown in America, ever. Over the course of a fortnight not only did the inside walls at 941 Geary become more and more decorated with the 13 artists’ work, but also the outside public walls throughout the Tenderloin. Giant moustachioed heads shooting rainbow lasers out of their eyes were painted by Lister, Dabs Myla collaborated with members of the Seventh Letter crew which they have just been admitted entrance to, old-school 80s Australian graffiti artists like New2 and Dmote teamed up with Sofles (generation Y’s solution to train writing) to do massive walls together, and members of Melbourne’s Everfresh crew (Meggs, Reka and Rone) were seen sprayed, stencilled and postered up all around town.

Melbourne’s Everfresh crew has been producing street art since their inception in 2004. Meggs is one of their founding members. He has recently come back from his first solo show in London, "Inner Demons," and his work can be seen on walls and in private homes in cities like Paris, Tokyo and LA. Meggs is now in San Francisco setting up for Young & Free (previewed here), the largest ever Aussie street art show outside Australia. We had a chat about art down-under and Batman just before he jetted off. View more preview images and the full interview below.

The mention of the word ‘Australia’ makes most foreigners think of suntans and sharks, not spray cans and stencils. However, such a vast land means such a large canvas to paint. 'Young & Free – Contemporary Australian Street Artists' will be the largest ever showcase of Australian street art in America, featuring new work from Anthony Lister, Kid Zoom, Dabs Myla, Dmote, New2, Ben Frost, Meggs, Ha-Ha, Reka, Rone, Sofles and Vexta. The exhibition opens on September 10th and will run until October 22nd at 941 Geary, White Walls’ sister gallery. The show will also be complemented by a series of public walls that will be painted by the artists around San Francisco cityscape. Have a peak at what’s in store from Down Under after the jump.

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