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Just off the streets

I don’t know what is happening with Until Never; Paul McNeil’s Lonely Sea is still on exhibition.  Until Never continues with the wacky and off beat selection of young artists of dubious, debatable quality. The quality of the art is deliberately debatable in a punk street sense as is effort of walking up those stairs.

Paul McNeil’s surfing inspired art is humours, crude but effective. McNeil, the surfboard artist for Sea Surfboards, uses familiar materials fibreglass, resin tint and resin in his art. Some of his resin fibreglass paintings art looks a bit like a surfboards but mostly it doesn’t. There are acrylic paintings on canvas banners and round resin mounds. There are some fun images and dumb slacker jokes, like “Hate Ashbury” and “Prey for Surf”, in the Lonely Sea but is there anything more to the art of Paul McNeil?

In the shopfront gallery space at 69 Smith St. Kristin McIver is exhibiting Dreamscapes, a look at 1970s suburban architecture using two-colour aerosol stencils. It looks like a side project by the ghost of Howard Arkely, the old master of spray paint suburbia; only McIver’s paintings don’t have Arkely’s intense colours or patterns. This is what happens when a fine art student takes up stencil art: there are artful drips running consistently from the bottom of the stencil, the stencils are a bit crude with over spray leaking on the edges and they come in a range of smooth tasteful background colours.

At Neon Parc Alasdair McLuckie is exhibiting some of his beaded totems along with collages by Alexander Oucthtomsky and Alex Vivian’s camp adolescent scatter style installation. Alexander Oucthtomsky’s collages are fantastic, full colour combinations of floral, zoological and ethnographical elements; they rival the best of Max Ernst’s collages. Set in oval frames these 15 elegant figures look like illustrations of elaborate costumes from an alien civilization. Alex Vivian’s installation rocks with a camp metal, Dungeons and Dragons, pathetic aesthetic. It may look half-arsed but it did speak to me.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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