Archive for March 2012

Interview: Luke Cornish aka E.L.K.

I interviewed Melbourne stencil artist Luke Cornish, known as E.L.K. in the street art world, at Westsyde Connection last week. The self-taught artist was overwhelmed at being named a finalist in the Archibald Prize earlier this month. He was stunned at how the achievement had changed the rules for street artists; proof the art establishment is paying even closer attention to what they do.

Why did you choose Father Bob Maguire as the subject of your Archibald portrait?

I don't know if I chose him or he chose me in some cosmic sense. Basically he's just a cool old guy.

Did you know him beforehand?

A little bit. But we've grown pretty close now.

Have you been approached by galleries or art collectors since becoming shortlisted?

I've got a manager now so he deals with all that. I'd been back and forward with him for a while but I think when I got into the finals it kind of spurred him into getting the ball rolling.

Do you call yourself a stencil artist or street artist?

Stencil art has its roots in street art and I do street art sometimes but not solely, so I can't really refer to myself as a street artist because I'm hanging work with Ben Quilty. But anything outside of the street context is not street art. I've always referred to myself as a stencil artist.

How did you get into stencilling?

Boredom. Needing a hobby. Mum always said growing up "you need a hobby''. It wasn't until I got to like 23 that I was like "fuck I actually do need a hobby". Drinking alcohol is not a hobby. You waste your 20s getting smashed every weekend and you hit a point where you need to start living your life.

How many layers are there in the portrait?

There's about 30 layers. There's three sections with 10 layers in each section.

Is it your most complex artwork?

Not at all. I actually dumbed it down a little bit. Some of the hyper-real work I've been doing, if I'd entered that it just would've got looked over. Because I've pushed the technique so far that you don't look at it and go "oh that's a stencil, it has its roots firmly in street art''. So scaling it back to look more like stencil art but still a really good stencil. Because some of the work I do is using 40-50 colours with 70-80 layers. This is just straight-up grey scale. I guess that doesn't sound like saying "I'm so good I needed to be a little bit shitter to get into the Archibalds". I don't mean it to sound like that.

What will happen if you win?

Game on. First thing I'm going to do is have a holiday. Get away for a few weeks. Cause it's taking a pretty big emotional toll, the anxiety. You can't just go "oh cool I've been nominated for an Archibald" and forget about it. I haven't slept for two fucking weeks. I think what adds to that pressure is being a serious contender. If I was just in that'd be really cool. But the fact that they're touting me to win the whole thing puts added pressure. It's all good but it's very overwhelming. Career-wise it just opens doors. It gives me the freedom to choose anything I want to do.

Is this experience making it harder to work in street?

Street art's a hobby for me. Street art's something I do because I love doing it. Art's something I do because I love doing it. But street art that I do in the street I rarely put my name to because it's not about getting famous it's just about the love of doing it. But the work I do in galleries is very much about success, commercial success. I've never had any interest in being famous.

Is there less choice in being famous now?

Well it's not going to be like fucking Lady Gaga or someone like that, it's not going to be that level of fame, cause I can still drop off the radar and produce my work. So that's exactly what I intend to do. I guess there's different sorts of fame. There's Big Brother contestant fame. But there's fame for success which has a lot more respect attached to it.

The Archibald Prize winner is announced at noon today.

You might like:

Luke Cornish named Archibald Prize finalist


Greatness: Remarkable or outstanding in magnitude, degree, or extent

"Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)

Blowing Rocks Jupiter Florida 2012


"The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively." Bob Marley

"Where there is great love, there are always miracles." Willa Cather

"Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion." Jack Kerouac

"Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great purpose in heart." Gordon B. Hinckley


Synonyms: abundance, amplitude, bigness, bulk, enormity, force, high degree, hugeness, immensity, infinity, intensity, length, magnitude, mass, might, potency, power, prodigiousness, sizableness, strength, vastness

i heart ....











Barlos graffiti

graffiti barlos

Barlos graffiti barlos

Fukt does live IKEA stencil

Sydney stencil artist Fukt got a new piece up in Camperdown on Saturday. I visited Mallett Lane and asked him what the fukt he was doing there. He wouldn't reveal what the stencil was as he painted. I liked that. I found that his artistic intentions were rooted in love for people; his audience.

Take a look below at some of the materials Fukt works with and how the stencil ended up.

You might also like:

White collar puppets
Michelangelo's David
McDonald's stencil 
Street art of 2011
Laneway art
Iwo Jima McDonald's stencil


Kempi graffiti


lps graffiti

cream graffiti

oshie graffiti

Clockwork Orange Stencil- Lawrence KS

Aboriginal poster art in Sydney

Feeling kinda Sad today. Got this heaviness in my heart because I'm a White guy with a digital camera made by working-class people in Thailand. I use it to prove that being Creative is more than just a hobby, that I have artistic integrity. Middle-class guilt is heavy Dude. I just want to feel happy about living under a Welfare State. I believe the annual tax confessions I pay money for absolve me of Guilt.

Do you reckon the NT Intervention is working? I don't have an answer to this. I have few Answers. I have lots of love though. Sometimes I cry to Myself. I'm a social outcast living Vicariously through illegal art made by other social outcasts/inmates.

For $1 a day you can make a Deference.

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Lana Del Rey: Born to Cancel
Happy Australia Day!
Jumbo and Zap posters

Bansksia & Bird Box


For months now I have been craving change,  looking back on my journal I discovered that early 2011 I had written I wanted to create a movie - a big dream considering I don't own a video camera. 

Well one thing leads to another and here I am in 2012 with a 10 metre long drawing/backdrop, a very loose script, and 2 minutes of unedited footage under my belt -  my first scene completed!    The sound track is evolving, and all else is slowing coming into fruition.  Its a long term plan - a project to keep me busy during winter on the South Coast.

Welcome Home...

Welcome Home!

Legacy Street Art

Legacy Street Art, originally uploaded by Legacy Street Art.

Fukt stencil: White collar puppets

Fukt is one of Sydney's most prolific stencil artists. In his work he layers satirical subjects like bums and war heroes in rich detail. This "White Collar Puppet" was in Chippendale in Sydney's inner west.

Here, Fukt has stencilled a wind-up worker whose cogs have stopped turning. Does this make you want to leave your corporate job and become a free-thinker?

I want to be someone who makes a difference, who reaches people with art. Someone who isn't afraid to put paints on buildings owned by people who are part of the 1 per cent.

People who believe that democracy is about reaching consensus, rather than "cleansing the earth of unemployed people".

I want to be someone who lives life with expression.

You might like:

Sydney street art
McDonald's fat stencil
Best we forget
Iwo Jima McDonald's sign