Walking over to Bromley & Co just a few minutes from where I am, is a favourite pastime of mine. I can get lost in the art and in the sheer size of this impressive two storey gallery which houses a variety of artists and largely signature pieces by David Bromley. You'll also find sculptures you'd (I'd) love to take home.
Multiple Archibald Prize finalist, Bromley is one of the most recognisable and innovative artists in Australia. He has widespread acclaim and notoriety both internationally and at home here in Australia. He's exhibited all over the world and is best known for his nude female portraits and children's series, not to mention sculpture work in both bronze and resin, bringing to life the characters within his paintings.
David and his designer wife Yuge, whose fashion label is housed at the gallery, are passionate about all facets of art and their generosity in promoting art and artists is renown. Amidst their many projects, his latest this year being The Bromley Room in West Village, Brisbane, we find the Bromley's promoting an art exhibition by Brisbane street artist Lucks (whom David has mentored), featuring Mikey Xxi, another aerosol artist originally from Brisbane, now based in the Bayside of Melbourne, and like a brother to Lucks.
Opening night last week was a tremendous success, with the exhibition running till 6 December 2017. A huge number of paintings have already sold, so if you're after your Lucky Lucks or Mikey Xxi painting, I'd suggest you hurry in. Knowing both these artists whom I met by chance at a cafe, I just had to take home a little piece of both of them with me as I couldn't very well separate these brothers-in-art who are tremendously supportive of each other.
Surprised on opening night, Lucks was the first recipient of the David Bromley emerging artist scholarship, which will allow him to spend more time crafting his art. After rabbits, what next? A veteran of both graffiti art and contemporary gallery shows, Lucks is ringing in his 30th year of creating art with spray paint, making patterns, clashing and juxtaposing subject matters around good and bad luck, which is heightened in his current exhibition of works with great depth of layering. I can only repeat, do not miss this exhibition before it leaves town (Dec 6) in a week.
Originally from Hamilton, New Zealand, Lucks migrated with his family to Brisbane at the age of 10. He was influenced by his mother, a milliner and a ticket writer who was always producing creative showcards, using a brush or pens. Lucks took to drawing early in life, along with belonging to the hip-hop, breakdance culture, which was linked into graffiti, and interested him most. Till the start of high school, he'd be the lone artist spreading his creativity on train lines and boards. His tagging was more stylised block letters, with full background all coming into play.
Lucks the signature came about because he was attracted to letters and how they flowed when combined. He explored the connotations of luck, good and bad i.e. the rabbit's foot, bad luck hares, the opium poppy and the Virgin Mary; a goddess of good fortune in voodoo. Lucks first piece of graffiti was in Brisbane 1988, Australia's bicentennial year. Not being techy (according to him), you won't find elaborate websites, or a lot on Lucks' Instagram account. However, you can still contact him through Insta, if you're interested in commissioning a piece by Lucks. He's back in Melbourne soon (in the next few weeks), to work on some commission pieces, so if you'd like some of his creativity in your home, your restaurant, your shop, grab him while he's here.
I asked the question 'why rabbits'; and of course the answer was easy. Rabbits have been a part of Lucks' canvas for a while, and within the 'luck' factor, Lucks' has a lot of material to explore on the subject. He mentions at this stage, he'd never paint graffiti on canvas (commissions would be different of course), and keeps the two elements quite separate, though his paintings feature a small element of graffiti within the body of the rabbits. He felt it loosens up abstractly and features self-referential bits and pieces.
Friends since the age of 19, Lucks and Mikey are featured side by side at this short but exciting exhibition. Mikey also started graffiti in his teens, picking up on opportunities to diversify his style through commissions. His personal art still harks back to his his early roots of hip-hop and spray-can art culture, in his B-Boy paintings; he being the B-Boy. You can find Mikey Xxi on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Check out the Bromley website for some amazing works by David Bromley and their Facebook page to stay updated. You need to enter this wonderland for 'Oh dear, oh dear', you need to get 'curiouser and curiouser' and follow the 'white rabbit' before 'you shall be too late' to catch this exhibition.