With plenty of fresh new projects on the go and on the end of No Comply, Own Worst Enemy and various other exhibitions Melbourne base artist Meggs found the time to complete some questions about his own work and inspirations, where he sees street art heading both locally and internationally as well as explaining why he is interesting.
Q. Meggs, your a very prolific Melbourne based street artist and would love for you to be the next interviewee with interesting or not so interesting people for my blog. Are you up for it? Which category do you think you fall into interesting or not so interesting? Why?
A. Ha, I'd like to think of myself as interesting. Why? I guess because I live a not-so-ordinary life with no boss, no job security and I'm involved in different art related projects that keeps me in constant contact with a variety of people all doing a lot of creative stuff as well. I think being a part of a unique studio like everfresh and a growing Melbourne street art scene makes life pretty interesting for me anyway.
Q. If a tourist came up to you in the street and asked where in Melbourne they could check out some of the best street art Melbourne has to offer, where would you recommend?
A. I guess the default reaction would be Hosier Lane, Caledonian Lane and several other alleys in the city as well just exploring areas like Fitzroy, Collingwood and Brunswick is a good start. I'm kind of loathe to name specific spots that are heavily hit because some of the best stuff can be in the most random places. If you like more traditional graffiti, then our train lines are a good place to look.
Q. What impact do you think street art has on tourism in Melbourne?
A. I think its had a significant and positive impact, especially in the last few years. People do travel to this city for its art culture which includes street art and we're now attracting recognised artists from OS and events like No Comply are only getting bigger. Traditionally Melbourne takes pride in its European Laneway culture and street art/graffiti is undeniably a part of that. (Even if conservative narrow minded politicians like to say otherwise). Whenever I've been part of a group, or even on my own, painting in a recognised spot like Hosier Lane etc, we have a lot of people stopping to watch, taking pics and generally giving us positive feedback on what we're contributing.
Q. You've been part of the scene for quite a long time, what are some of the major differences that you've seen from when you started out to today?
A. I think a major difference is the growth in particular artists who've kept the passion for their art and become well-recognised as both street and exhibiting artists. I think the scene has achieved more wide-spread acknowledgment, which has had both positive and negative effects. The positive being more people supporting exhibitions, the down side being a growing hypocrisy in council laws and how they treat the culture which I feel now they cant ignore. For me it started as a creative escape which has grown into my life path and a great network of people and opportunities.
Q. Where do you see street art heading in the next 5 years or so?
A. I hope that the Melbourne scene only gets stronger and attracts more attention from Overseas, especially from artists in more well recognised cities such as London, New York, San Fran, Berlin etc. I think internationally its probably grown into a movement which is a part of art history now, and I think in the next 5 years key artists will grow and it will become a more instrumental part of 'high art' culture. It also looks like scenes will get much stronger in places like China and South East Asia which are still quite young at the moment.
Q. Which artists did you look up to when you started out? Who do you look up to today? Have they changed much throughout the years?
A. When I started out I looked up to guys like Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee, Banksy, WK interact, Dface and several more big names. I still look up to these original guys but I think as I've grown my taste is more refined.
I've also realised that our local scene is just as strong as anywhere else. So I appreciate a lot of the local talent such as my Everfresh bros, GhostPatrol, HaHa, Lister and many more. As well as internationals such as Dave Kinsey, SheOne, Conor Harrington and others whome I feel more of a visual connection with their execution and subject.
Q. You already use a wide variety of mediums and techniques, what is your artistic weapon of choice? Is there another medium you plan to work with in the near future or expand upon?
A. Right now my weapon of choice is a combination of acrylics and aerosol, especially developing my techniques with acrylics and creating layered colours and textures. I made some plaster casts for my last exhibition so I think molding and casting is something I'd like to explore more in future.
Q. What's next for Meggs? Any new projects or exhibitions on the way?
A. I've got a few projects on right now, including a trip to Singapore to do some paintings for a club there. Next is the drawing machine exhibition and a new 'themed' Everfresh show early next year.
In 2009 if everything goes to plan I'll be exhibiting in Sydney, London and possibly LA, but things have a way of changing and you never know what opportunities may arise along the way.
Q. Where can people find out more about you and check out your art work? Any websites you want to plug?
A. They can check out my goings on at my blog site: www.houseofmeggs.com
And photos of all my work on flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/--meggs--
Other sites people should check out are:
Q. Thank you Meggs, hope you've enjoyed this short Q&A?
A. No probs, its been a blast :) cheers