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Urban Art Agenda #1 – #3

Urban Art Agenda #3 is an international street and stencil art at Famous When Dead. This is the 3rd year that JD Mittmann has organized the Urban Art Agenda exhibition. The 1st Urban Art Agenda was held in the middle of winter in Shed 4, an old corrugated iron warehouse shed way out in Melbourne’s Docklands. The works was hung on temporary fencing partitions within this large space. The exhibition had a variety of artists from Europe, USA and, mostly, Australia, mostly, Melbourne, to be precise. And a good variety of styles, from cartoon style to multi-stencil realism but there were a lot of stencil art of urban landscapes by Kenji Nakayama, Fremantle, Logan Hicks, Klingatron and Ralf Kempken.

There are still many urban landscapes in the exhibition but there are many differences between Urban Art Agenda #1 and #3. JD Mittmann now runs Famous When Dead gallery and so the exhibition is properly hung in a white walled gallery. The exhibition appears less-street oriented; OZI’s “Tinker Bitch”, an image of a stripping Tinkerbell is one of the few street-style works. The exhibition is focused more on stencil art. Urban Art Agenda #3 has artists from Europe, USA, Brazil, Iran and Australia but there is only one Melbourne artist in; El Moocho, El Moocho is also the one artist in the exhibition using found materials in his art. His work using street signs is particularly effective; using a Stop sign for a painting to say ‘stop child soldiers’.

The technique of multi-layered stencils to create images of urban landscapes has been a constant feature of the Urban Art Agenda exhibitions. Kenji Nakayama from Boston is again in the exhibition with stencils of the Brooklyn Bridge. Stencil art is an excellent media for these images because the colour separation (often computer assisted) makes the urban landscape more aesthetic. However, there is little content to these urban landscapes, unlike the political and humorous content of the street style art. Orticanoodles, from Milan, and Penny, from London, manipulate their images more on the computer. But these stencil urban landscapes are becoming as common as once were watercolour rural landscapes.

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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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