19 May 2014

More Auckland street art: All Fresco 2014

BMD's artwork from All Fresco 2013 - see more on BMD below

Earlier this month I blogged about Auckland’s vibrant street art. I have since found out that a couple of the artworks I featured in that blog were part of street art festival, All Fresco 2014, a wonderful initiative from the K Road Business Association to cultivate the creativity and fringe culture Karangahape Road is famous for.

As I hadn't seen all the works produced by the All Fresco artists, last weekend I made it my mission to find and photograph the others. Here, then, is a further celebration of Auckland’s vibrant street art scene, the All Fresco 2014 festival and the amazing artists who took part.

In my previous blog, Mica Still was the artist in the throes of painting her gigantic work on the back wall of the Lim Chhour Centre in Cross Street. Though now based in Wellington, Mica hails from a small coastal town in Oregon, in the USA, which may explain her love for radiant colours and subjects from the natural world. On the left above is her finished artwork. 

On the right, painted on the same building as Mica’s work, stand a series of giant figures by Benjamin Work. Benjamin is a South-Aucklander of Tongan heritage whose commissions include large-scale public murals like this one, as well as postage stamps and wine packaging. A man of diverse talents!

Owen Dippie’s larger-than-life portraits are astounding, and his work is internationally recognised for its realism and artistic merit. This artwork is on the side of a building in Pitt Street but in Tauranga, where he lives, Owen has been commissioned to produce a series of 15 huge artworks to adorn the walls of his city – three have been finished, the fourth will soon be underway. You can see more on his website.

Central Auckland artist Nigel Roberts hasn’t always painted walls legally but, since 2005, he’s mended his ways and followed the straight-and-narrow, at least in his choice of venue. Roberts says he enjoys painting letters with a brush and developing a 3D effect in his work to make the image pop. That’s his signage, ‘Big Bots are Pops’, on the left in this photo of Beresford Square

The Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn-lookalike paintings are by Gasp aka Liam Hindsley. He seems to have been painting street art for some years but I haven’t been able to find out much about the man himself.

Founder of the TMD (The Most Dedicated) street art crew Charles Williams combines his talent for bold colour and his love of graffiti with his passion for native New Zealand birds to create stunning artworks like the one above. Wrapping around a corner wall in Poynton Terrace, Charles’s saddleback artwork, entitled Warrior Bird, is simply gorgeous. The multi-coloured circle designs issuing forth from its beak, symbolic of its beautiful song, are by Lady Diva.

Just around the corner from Charles’s big bird is an even bigger artwork, by Misery and Tom Tom. Cascading down the back wall of this building, a series of four kids enjoy some summer fun in the water. Misery is the graffiti street art and fashion label of Australian Tanja Jade Thompson. If you follow my blog, you may remember that she featured in one of my pieces about the 2014 Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt. Misery often collaborates with Tom Tom on large-scale murals like this one, though Tom Tom is more likely to be found creating smaller artworks – he is a well known Auckland tattooist.

BMD (aka Blake Dunlop) happily admits he likes big walls – and this is one big artwork on one big wall. His four super-size ducks are to be found at the K Road end of Myers Park, and one look at his website will show you that his imagination and his talent are as enormous as the art he produces. He was also responsible for the K Road artwork (shown at top), produced during last year’s All Fresco event.

Last but most definitely not least is the work of Elliot Francis Stewart. He is another member of the TMD group of street artists, and earns a living as an artist and freelance illustrator. His massive contribution to All Fresco 2014 adorns a wall at the K Road end of Ponsonby Road. Apparently, he is amazing to watch working and I just wish I had known the festival was on – I would’ve been there. To make sure I don’t miss out next year, I’m following the event on Facebook and you can too.