Advertisements

Tag Archives: artist market

The Conspiracy of HaHa and other tales

Conspiracy theories are kind of scary; like when Regan offers to fill a data stick with conspiracy theory stuff the quantity alone is scary. So I unwrapped and read The Conspiracy of HaHa with some trepidation and I was relieved to find that the The Conspiracy of HaHa was more illuminutty than illuminati. A good laugh is better than a good conspiracy. Coincidentally I have been reading Umberto Eco Foucault’s Pendulum (1989) – the ultimate conspiracy theory book (aside from Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminati series).

“There exists a secret society with branches throughout the world, and its plot is to spread the rumor that a universal plot exists.” (Foucault’s Pendulum p.317)

The Conspiracy of HaHa is an illustrated book by Kieran Mangan and Regan Tamanui (Silent Army, 2011). The comics vary from Kieran Mangan’s multi and single panel cartoons featuring HaHa as the main character to the punk cartoon scribbles by HaHa featuring Braddock as the main character. As each artist takes turns to take the piss out of the other.

The book has a limited print run of only 200 editions as Regan wanted to keep it exclusive. Exclusive or not it is being merchandised with images from the book on t-shirts and badges available at the Blender Artist’s Market on Saturday.

Artist's Market at Blender Lane

Doyle, the manager of Blender and Dark Horse Experiment appears as a cartoon character in The Conspiracy of HaHa as bathos, he is the abrupt appearance of the commonplace. When I last saw Doyle he asked me why I don’t write about Dark Horse Experiment more? Does he think that I’m part of a conspiracy to ignore him – no; he just wants more online exposure. Then he tells me that inspired by suburban dreams of fame is working on his reality TV show and shows me a rough edit on Vimeo. Reality TV makes UFO conspiracies comforting.

I started to think that I had ignored the connection between comics and street art for too long. Sure I’ve seen all the cartoon characters on the walls but I had thought of them as pop references rather than statements of ambitions. So I while I was at the Blender Artist’s Market I bought a copy of the first issue of Dailies (also from Silent Army), a magazine of comics and illustrations by local artists printed on newsprint in tabloid format. I like the old fashioned style of cartoons on newsprint. There are pieces by many notable Melbourne street artists: Heesco, Civil, Shida, Ha-Ha, Baby Guerralla, Psalm, Kieran Mangan… to name but a few. Along with many other Melbourne cartoonists: Bernard Caleo, Jo Waite (to be expected) and Michael Managhetti (surprising as he does performance art).

Meanwhile in the chthonic lair of the Knights Templars…

Advertisements

Artist Market

The Charles Street artist market was set up in the carpark of the Sporting Club carpark in Brunswick. There were paintings hanging on the fence but I’d seen the best of them two years ago at the Yard in 696. There were stalls around the edge of the carpark and people were painting on easels in the middle. The paintings were mostly awful amateur efforts. There were also painting activities for children for a gold coin donation that were proving popular. The dozen or so stalls were a mix of more painting, craft, new age craft and two excellent wooden furniture makers. One of the furniture makers, Benjamin Hitchings Designs, also had elegantly spiky wood and clay objets-d’art.

Well-known Melbourne-based, street artist, Drew Funk was spray-painting a scene on the side of shipping container as a guy plays acoustic blues guitar.  The usual scene of angular Chinese style trees along with a turtle and birds was emerging as Drew casually sprayed, chatted, cleaned the nozzle of his spray-can and sprayed some more. Drew Funk is a hard working artist – is there a bar in Melbourne that doesn’t have a wall painted by Drew Funk? I’ve asked this rhetorical question before and I soon had the answer as in the Sporting Club’s beer garden there is a large aerosol mural by Yowza. Yowza’s intense scene has a ruined temple, lots of lush vegetation and strange mutant Pliocene creatures.

I sat in the beer garden writing up my notes and drinking pear cider. I’ve never had pear cider before. It was smooth and refreshing compared to an apple cider that I expect to have a crisp dry finish. What should I expect from pear cider? What am I expecting from a small artist’s market? I wasn’t expecting much from either. The weather was beautiful; the sun shone and a cool breeze caressed the skin. It was good to see what was happening in Brunswick on a summer Sunday afternoon.


%d bloggers like this: