Out And About: NGV & Ai Weiwei

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Confession time. I wasn’t at the National Gallery of Victoria that day to see the art. It was my coffee obsession (addiction) {They do a good latte}. So to stumble upon this oversized construction, which sparkled and glistened in the summer sun in the massive gallery courtyard, was astonishing. Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles is just one of his works on show until the 24th of April and the exhibition is free. To learn more about Ai Weiwei click and watch this short flick called Never Sorry, the trailer for the award winning production directed by Alison Klayman.

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Out and About: 45 Downstairs, Flinders Lane

My artist friend, Larissa MacFarlane, invited me to 45 Downstairs on Tuesday night for the opening of an emerging artists award exhibition. I was blown away by some of the works! But sadly not in a good way.

Why so unimpressed? Okay. Well now. How do I put this? First, let me say there were a few pieces, which I have pictured below, that were interesting and beautiful and well executed, and art is very subjective anyways. Right?

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IMG_0317 (2)IMG_0307IMG_0308 (2) IMG_0306IMG_0315 (2) IMG_0309IMG_0311 (2) IMG_0313IMG_0314 (2)But for me, walking into this exhibition was like marking year 10 high school student folios. Some of the compositions were too busy and undefined with no focal point, too unformed and ill-considered, underdeveloped, too influenced by current fashion and design trends, too unimaginative and lacking in personal style, but, in my opinion, worst of all, technically unfinished! I saw raw canvas and pencil marks and sloppy, clunky paint strokes. This is in such contrast to some graduate shows I have been to in the past where rising stars are clearly identifiable and where careers have been birthed. Sorry guys. I know encouragement would be kinder, but this was not a charity fair. It was an art award! Sad, sad face.

Street Art In My Neighbourhood: Michelle

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I turned a corner in the village shopping precinct of Yarraville the other afternoon and saw this stencil of Michelle. It took me right back, a few years ago, when I had my first encounter with Michelle. I was working in a shop near the station, across from a park, and I heard wailing and crying followed by shouting and swearing. I rushed to the door to make sure everything was okay and all I saw was Michelle, sitting alone and cursing and shouting at whatever tormented her. She would come into the shop and browse the jewellery. She always picked out two or three pieces and then showed me she only had ten dollars. So the haggling would begin. I became fond of her and, over time, much less wary of her yelling and cursing. When she died, the whole village mourned. We miss you darling.