Two basic four letter words: love & hate. Some artists choose subtle themes but Sirum One goes for these two powerful emotions and he manages to do it without being bombastic. In a dozen freehand, calligraphic, aerosol graffiti-style paintings on canvas Sirum One explores love & hate.
Half of the paintings are about love, creativity and peace, the other half, are about hate, destruction and war. Sirum can create images with beauty and humour about hate. In “The Art of Destruction” a tank, its military green partially covered with a graffiti ‘bomb’, begins to crush a car on a city street. Equally his love images are neither weak, nor sentimental, but beautiful and powerful as his freehand aerosol image of a tiger-lily attests. In “Graffiti Love & Hate” Sirum has loaded the canvas with layers to tags, definitions and finally his calligraphic piece. It is a work that is aware of the strong emotions around this art but graffiti is definitely one of Sirum’s loves.
The images are not shallow nor are they simply based on graphic style. Sirum combines aerosol graffiti with cartoon illustration, stencil and collage elements building up layers in his images. To build up these layers Sirum collaborates with Peazer for two canvases and on one canvas with stencil artist Kirpy Kirpy has created a fine urban stencil image as the background support for Sirum’s piece.
I hadn’t been to “Unpretentious Underground”, Studio 7A before, it opened at the start of the year, and I’m glad that I’ve found it now. It is located through the first door to the right, down the first lane way behind the Black Cat Café on Brunswick St., Fitzroy. Entering this door you find yourself in a courtyard and a maze of studios in the back of the Black Cat Café. There are a lot of studios behind the Black Cat; painting classes were being advertised in Studio 18A. At the far end of the courtyard there was the “Unpretentious Underground” stencil logo on the wall and an open door.
Inside Studio 7A is a hairdressing salon and a gallery. The hairdressing equipment is moved out of the way for the exhibition openings but they don’t distract from the art. The large mirrors provides another view of the opposite wall and open up the small space. Do I need a haircut? I haven’t cut my hair in decades.