From March 16 – 22, Australis House down at Britomart is host to Smoke Signals, an astounding solo exhibit by renowned graffiti artist, Askew One.
Being at the forefront of New Zealand’s graffiti scene, with his technical prowess perpetually being acclaimed internationally, Askew (Elliot O’Donnell) is known by those who have followed his work to always look beyond his current practice, push himself and innovate. The care he gives when exploring new techniques on the wall and the thoughtfulness behind every element of his work, as documented on his blog, gives one a glimpse of why the immense progression every time.
With his eye on canvas painting this time, Smoke Signals showcases Askew’s progression yet again, encapsulating all that he is as an outdoor artist and his perspectives on growing up and living in this isolated country of ours. Spray can flourishes, powerful brush strokes and impressive line work inspired by comic-books are the hallmarks of this canvas style that he developed while he was at an art residency program in Miami.
A huge portion of New Zealand’s population have yet to recognise graffiti and street art as a legitimate art movement. However, it is hard to imagine a graffiti-skeptic art lover contesting his technical mastery and the immense presence of his pieces on this show. Works like The Right Frontal Lobe draws you in to run your eyes along its every groove and crevice, mesmerized the whole time. Pakeha on Crazy Island is a bold typographical rumination that would resonate with a lot of locals. Thunderclap Headache is the key piece and is the crowd favourite, where you are confronted with a representation of Askew himself head-on. This is the piece that started it all, his moment of epiphany after years of struggling to develop his canvas style.
Right Frontal Lobe ($20,000)
Pakeha On Crazy Island ($18,000)
Thunderclap Headache ($18,000)
Don’t miss this exhibit. Set in the beguiling heritage interiors of Australis House, at the heart of the Auckland CBD, it runs only till 22 March.
Askew One : Smoke Signals
16th to 22nd March
The Australis Room, Australis House
36-38 Customs St, Britomart