I went to Northcote to see Advanced Vandalism by Johnny Duel at Kick Gallery. Duel an aerosol artist who started out doing graffiti in the 1980s have moved on to commissioned pieces has now moved into the gallery. His hard edge abstract forms are a mix between wildstyle aerosol art and modern abstract art. In the exhibition Duel’s style is expressed in both 2D works and 3D sculptures, not an uncommon practice for street artists exhibiting in galleries.
Kick Gallery was one of the few galleries open in Northcote when I visited. Vanguard Gallery on the opposite side of High Street has closed and looks like it is having a garage sale and Synergy looked like it was between shows. Kerala, further north on High Street, is a relatively new and not listed in Art Almanac, “art and photography gallery”. It is a well-lite, white cube shop-front gallery with a group show of contemporary flower photography on when I visited.
When I returned home from my visit to Northcote galleries I emailed Eugene von Nagy who ran Vanguard Gallery to find out why it had closed and if he wanted to make a comment for my blog. Eugene von Nagy kindly replied: “Vanguard Gallery was a great experience for me, a great learning experience, a lot of work and a real pleasure too. “
“Although my personal art production suffered because the gallery took the lions share of my time, the entire gallery for me was like a giant art project in itself.”
“I really enjoyed opening it from scratch and improving the facilities and decor as I developed my skills as a curator and manager.”
“One of the best sides of running the gallery was that I met a great deal of interesting people at all levels in the arts industry. I also enjoyed engaging with radio and print media to promote various events, and working with the local arts community to create the annual ‘Northern Exposure’ arts festival.”
“I plan to continue the gallery website and develop it in a more personal way to reflect changes in my career. Eventually I will sort and post a larger collection of photos from the many exhibitions and events held throughout the life of the gallery. “ And explained that he had to close the gallery as he is “moving to Brisbane to paint full time while my wife finishes her studies at UQ.”
The Northcote arts scene will miss Eugene von Nagy’s energy and Vanguard Gallery.