Anthony Lister - Street Faces @ Metro Gallery

August 25th, 2011 Posted by: Paper Monster

Anthony Lister has new show up now at Metro Gallery AU, focusing on his street portraits.  With this show Anthony attempts to bring these signature street pieces into a gallery setting, even going so far as to mimic how these portraits end up looking after running on the street for some time, adding random tags and additions known as "capping".

Make sure to swing out and see this show if at all possible.

Also if you have time, The Age has done a nice feature on the show here, with a couple of exerpts below.



Images via Metro Gallery.





THE AGE- Aug 24th 2011

HE'S ONE of Australia's hottest artists, recently acknowledged in Australian Art Collector's ''Top 50 Most Collectable'' list and as one of ''the 100 leading figures in urban art'' in the book Beyond the Street, but many of Anthony Lister's works are uncredited.


He is a fine artist and sculptor but it was through his street art that Lister found fame - first in Brisbane, where he is from, then in other cities around the world including New York and London - and there are, he says, many of his works anonymously adorning streets and buildings.

''There are things that I do that I'd never want to be held responsible or accountable for,'' he says ahead of a major show opening today at Melbourne's Metro Gallery.

Advertisement: Story continues below''I have different identities for all of these social situations; I find sanctuary by not needing to take a lot of credit for the things I straight-up enjoy doing.''

''There's 'Anthony Lister' and 'Lister' but they're just a couple of names I let out to the public. 'Anthony Lister' is fine art, 'Lister' is what I do on the street, then I have names where I activate different aesthetics and energy patterns with kids that do graffiti.

In the new exhibition, Street Faces, he's moved indoors and it's as ''Anthony Lister'' he's exhibiting, although the theme of the works is the life cycles of his street portraits.

''I don't usually show works I've done on the street; this is the closest thing I've done to that,'' he explains.

The show has three sections: a series of masks, his Street Puppets paintings that he calls ''portraiture landscapes'', and the Cap Me series, showing street works with additions from the public - or ''capping'' as it's known in graffiti circles.

''I'm fooling around with the idea of these 'portrait landscapes' - it's a new revelation, but [was] even in my street practice … painting portraits in the landscape,'' he says.

''I've never considered that before. I've painted situations where there's somebody painting the wall, whether it's self-portrait or someone scrawling on it, there's a figure, then a wall, then a painting of a face on it.''

The series of masks in Street Faces are, he says, just that - ''faces of people in the street''.

''I collect masks from all over the world,'' Lister says. ''I want to contribute to that pool. If you collect masks like me, maybe one of mine could adorn your own.''

He's worked with masks before as part of his superhero aesthetic and his ''interest in alias and anonymity, criminal culture and a fascination with downtrodden and misguided youth''.

This interest in criminology prompted Lister to spend the day in a Brisbane court last week ''working'' as a court artist as the man accused of Daniel Morcombe's murder was charged.

''I have a friend who does court drawings so I went in to assist him. I did some sketches and Channel Seven News ran one of them,'' he explains.

''I've been doing life drawing since I was a child so it's no different to that. It's a nice hobby and the sort of thing I'm interested in - I like drug houses and jailhouses; those kinds of things fascinate me.''

Like his peer and friend Banksy (''I work with him when I'm in London - he's my boss when I'm there''), Lister tends to leave less-than-legal artworks when he visits different cities and says Melbourne can expect to see a new piece pop up somewhere over the next week.

And is he OK reconciling the works he does illegally under cover of darkness with being a highly collectable fine artist?

''Absolutely! Francis Bacon was a drunk and a gambler,'' he says. ''It's my role as an artist to go into these dark places and then come out and communicate what I've seen.''

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