Meek, Begging for change, 2004. © Meek
A major strength of Australian street art is its ability to mix pop-culture imagery with political messages. From hard-hitting protest to political satire, clever combinations of sarcasm, mockery and parody, the means to mix art, politics and the street press is now in the hands of a new generation of Australian artists. 
Featuring 150 works by over 40 Australian artists, Space invaders  explores a paradox that has emerged in Australian street art in which an early flirtation with new technology has given way to a sentimentality for the traditional and the handmade. Drawn entirely from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, the first Australian institution to have collected this type of work, this touring exhibition surveys the past 10 years of Australian street-based creativity and recognises street stencils, posters, paste-ups, zines and stickers as comprising a recent chapter in the development of Australian prints and drawings. The exhibition is curated by Jaklyn Babington, Assistant Curator, International Prints, Drawings and Illustrated Books at the National Gallery of Australia. This exhibition is part of the National Gallery of Australia’s extensive program of sharing the national collection with the whole of Australia.

To further explore the impact street art has had on the contemporary art scene, RMIT Gallery is commissioning a public art project with local street artists. The graffiti wall will take place in a laneway near RMIT Gallery during the exhibition. A public seminar, Vandals or Vanguards?, discussing the political, social and artistic aspects of street art and zines, will take place at the gallery on Monday September 26 with local and interstate artists and experts.

Space invaders: australian . street . stencils . posters . paste-ups . zines . stickers
Until 5th November 2011 at RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000

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