Snyder in Melbourne

I meet up with visiting American street artists Snyder in Hosier Lane on his first visit to Australia. If you haven’t heard of Snyder that’s okay it like he is a famous artist. I had agreed to meet as a courtesy to another blogger (Carlsbad Crawl) and out of interest in what a visiting street artists thinking of Melbourne. Snyder knew that I would be writing a blog post about it.

Prior to Melbourne Snyder had been in WA but he thought he had better leave after becoming so notorious for his paste-ups that his photo was up at the local shops. Now he was planning to put a paste-up in Hosier Lane.

“I prefer blank urban walls and usually seek out urban locations void of clutter. I knew getting up high was my only option in Hosier. As we talked in the lane I kept my eye on the flow of delivery trucks which were taking turns driving in and out of the lane. When the one with the highest back apparatus approached us, I made my move.” Snyder told me later.

Snyder talked the delivery truck driver to park close to the wall so that he can do a paste-up high on the wall of Hosier Lane. Then Snyder pulled the rolls of paste-up out of his backpack of tricks, wallpaper glue, a large water bottle. He carefully unrolling paint dripped covered paper. Quickly mixing up the wallpaper glue in a paper drinks cup he smears it onto the back of his drip painted paste-up. Then he climbs on to the back of the truck and pastes up one of his “Rocket Pop Boy”.

Snyder's backpack of tricks

Snyder, Rocket Pop Boy

After that we walked around the laneways of Melbourne, photographing and talking about the art on the wall. It was a great ranging conversation about street art. Snyder had already visited Fitzroy, guided around by Jes Richardson, and said that it reminded him a bit of his own neighborhood.

We stopped across the other side of the city at Dark Horse Experiment. Snyder and me both admired Ben Howe’s paintings – from a recent Metro show? The influence of his stencil art background is still very clear in Howe’s oil paintings. Snyder hung out with HaHa and the guys at Blender Studios for most of his time in Melbourne.

On his return home I asked Snyder to reflect on what had impressed him.

“The amount of high quality street art in Melbourne is amazing. I feel many of the artists I found and met, and the scene as a whole, is underrepresented world wide. In terms of location ‘Baby Guerrilla’ was my favorite. Each piece was high and isolated on urban walls. HAHA’s canvas stencil work is a technique I have never seen before. Truly amazing! I loved the resourcefulness of Junky Project’s work. The work with the cans immediately became a favorite. Shida was one of the most prolific artists I found hitting almost every city I visited from Sydney, Melbourne and even the Gold Coast. CDH encouraged urban exploration which I really dig. AWOL crew’s rendered graf portraits were very impressive. Each and every illustration by Kaffeine caught my eye as well as the animated civilizations of by CIVIL. The amount of lanes and alleys of Fitzroy/Collinwood covered entirely with graf, pastes and stencils surprised me most during my visit to Melbourne.”

On the subject of urban exploration another one of Snyder’s projects during his stay in Melbourne was his Banana Splat Scavenger Hunt. I asked him how his Scavenger Hunt went. “As of now no one has posted a photo of each of the banana splats to my ‘Snyder Art and Design’ page, so there is not a winner. The contest deadline was March 1st, but if someone submits all 5 anytime in the near future, then a painting just might find their way.”

Snyder's Psycho Shower Scene Woman in Blender Alley. Thanks Snyder for the photos.

About Mark Holsworth

Arts administrator, artist, musician, philosopher and writer. Writes Black Mark - Melbourne Art and Culture Critic. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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