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Brooklyn Street Art

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941 Geary Gallery Presents: “Young and Free” Contemporary Australian Street Artists (San Francisco, CA)

Posted on September 4, 2011

young and free

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“I like renegades – there’s something so attractive about their natural instinct to defy convention.” Anon.

Some call Australia the ‘lucky country’, but we’ve always made our own fate. From a rebellious pas we’ve forged an identity steeped in cunning ingenuity, creative discontent and unorthodox flair. We’ve staged rebellions over rum, gained notoriety and won Nobels. We invented cask wine and Wi-Fi and we’ve won countless world titles. There may not be a lot of us, but we’ve always packed a punch.

So it is no surprise that with nothing more than a can of paint and a glint in their eye Australians are taking the street art scene by storm. It’s time for the rest of the world to sit up and take notice.

Young & Free will be the most significant exhibition by Australian street artists ever seen in the United States. The show will feature fresh work by thirteen of Australia’s finest urban art guerrillas – from the already internationally acclaimed to the burgeoning up-and-comers.

This tribe of artists comes from a variety of backgrounds: brilliant new work by notorious 80’strain painters through to the sublime subtlety of a modern day Rembrandt armed with a spray can. Young & Free is a reflection of Australia’s thriving street culture with a strong grounding in the past and a firm focus on the future. These artists are modern day bushrangers, patrolling the lanes from Melbourne to Manhattan.

This show features a mix of direct sprays, stencils and paste-ups, representing the rich and varied groundings from which these artists have grown. No matter their age, medium or style, the Young & Free artists all share one thing in common: they want to give the urban landscape a fresh coat of paint.

There are many similarities between Australia and San Francisco. Both have famous bridges, internationally established street art cultures and, of course, trams. What is different is our beginnings. Australia’s criminal foundations have seeped into our national persona – Aussies are born with a spirit of rebellion. As the opening lines from our national anthem proclaim, ‘Australians all let us rejoice, for we are Young & Free.’

The cans have been capped, the wheat paste stirred, and the stencils packed: this is the most important Australian street art exhibition ever, mate.

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