Gangster's Paradise - An Exhibition
When we walked into the backyard of Space 44, we saw a string of coloured lights, wooden crates and a bunch of the most attractive people I've ever seen (seriously, does Cronulla just breed long-haired babes?).
I say backyard, because Space 44 is really a little house that has been converted into the hippest art gallery of the south. Inside, the walls were covered in clean, white-framed drawings and paintings by Josh Brown and Josh Meyer. Sharing a name and sharing a fascination with 90's hip hop culture, the two artists produced over 40 works in various mediums to celebrate and satirise the (often feared) culture. Included were impeccable, photo-realistic graphite drawings of Notorious B.I.G pouting and Snoop Dogg/Lion/Zilla's various personas, as well as watercolour portraits of Tupac and Ice Cube. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the works were already glowing with orange stickers- SOLD. Perhaps it was the high quality and witty titles that raised these works from 'fan art' to truly impressive portraits. “Melting Ice (Cube)” depicted the rapper's face melting, and “America's First Gangster” was an aging American- Indian man.
Outside, an old record player leaked tunes and the sun was setting. Cigarettes, beers, or both, were in everyone's hands and conversation was bubbling. It felt more like a backyard party with old friends, as Space44 once again rejected the somewhat sterile (and super boring) nature of most exhibition launch nights. There were no pretentious ramblings by anyone trying to deconstruct the works, no classical music and champagne, but just a genuine love and appreciation of what was, quite simply, very good art and a good time.
If you want to catch Space44's next opening party/exhibition, watch their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/space44
Also be sure to check out their website, you can look at past exhibiting artists and the website's wacky graphics www.space44.com.au
By Martina Calvi