Back in December, Australian-born artist Kid Zoom (aka Ian Strange) unveiled “This City Will Eat Me Alive,” a short-run exhibition put on by Opera Gallery in New York’s Meatpacking District. While Strange’s style knocks of the post-graffiti movement that’s transformed into a cottage industry over the last decade, where artists meld elements of street-level graffiti with high-minded fine art and cash in, his craftsmanship is what distinguishes him. In this video comp, which collects behind-the-scenes footage and gallery shots from May 2010 through January 2011, we’re given a glimpse inside the surrealist world Strange has built.
Interestingly, Strange came up in the small Australian city of Perth (a Petri dish of visual talent, see The Yok et al.), which may explain the blue-collar, I-don’t-give-a-fuck nature of his work. It’s all metalheads and bogans down there, which isn’t necessarily a detriment. And according to an interview Strange did with Morgan Spurlock last year, parents in Perth (at least his) have a tendency to be more supportive of the arts:
My parents were great, laid back people who always told me to do what I love – and I loved painting on walls, which when you’re 15 doesn’t really seem like anything with a future, especially when you start getting dropped home by the police. Before I could drive my mother used to drive me to walls I’d painted the night before to get photos – I can’t imagine where I’d be if I had more traditional parents.
Art as escapism from a country that used to be a giant penal colony. Imagine that.