Long Overdue Update

It's been an intense but wonderful couple of months

Hey everyone! My apologies for the lack of correspondence as of late, we’ve been back home in Aotearoa and it’s been quite a ride.

We returned home on March 1 and did our mandatory 2 weeks in a managed isolation facility. We ended up in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in central Auckland which was mostly pretty pleasant. Only downside was that our window didn’t open so two weeks marinating in our own smells was a bit rough! We were busy though, editing the last of Jasmines photo shoots from San Jose and I was deep into the administrative work for our exhibition at The Dowse Museum in Lower Hutt - booking flights, organising per diems and accomodation for the crew.

A week after we got out and had some time to adjust to the freedom of life back here, we hit the road to Lower Hutt to start the museum install and to paint 7 murals for the festival we ran alongside the show opening. It was amazing getting so many of the gang together after so long. It was all hands on deck as we set up and set dressed the installations within the gallery and painted the internal mural. The Most Dedicated: An Aotearoa Graffiti Story opened on the 27th of March and runs until the 22nd of August. It’s well worth a trip to the Hutt. Here’s a fantastic review of the show from Rueben Woods. The show also received some predictable criticism.

Jonny ‘Pest5” Wartmann took on the main curatorial responsibilities for the show. He’s pictured here working inside the ‘writers flat’ installation which was designed to look like the crusty places we lived in through the late 90’s and early 00’s. Photo by Raymond Sagapolutele
The artist panel discussion featuring Benjamin Work, Bobby ‘Berst’ Hung, Janine ‘Lady Diva’ Williams, Charles ‘Phat1’ Williams and myself - hosted by Jonny. Featured in the background are Janine’s fantastic works in the Post-Graffiti space. Photo by Raymond Sagapolutele

So the other absolutely huge news is just prior to leaving the US we found out my wife Jasmine is pregnant! We are excited and nervous but incredibly happy too. Here’s a photo from the 13 week scan.

It’s pretty poetic in many ways that while Jasmine is literally growing a life inside her we are also working on our first ever collaborative body of work. It’s been so much fun to make art together that incorporates her photography/design and many of my techniques that blend analogue and digital processes together. We are going to be showing these works at Fiksate Gallery in early June so stay tuned for more info soon.

I managed to paint some graffiti last week with my buddy Rams which was great. It’s been a minute! These are located on Cross St behind Karangahape Rd which is now home to a number of works from TMD artists including Misery (mural down Mercury Lane) Haser, Elliot Francis Stewart and myself.

Last weekend we made the journey down to Invercargill for 4 days so I could work on a mural of long time Mayor Tim Shadbolt. Our friend Sean Woodward commissioned the mural on one of his buildings in the city centre. It was a low key, discreet location and featured an image of Tim during his activist days. He’s been a bit embattled lately (has been in the media a bit) but Sean really wanted to honour him for some of the amazing things he’s done during his three decades as mayor. We got to have dinner with him on Saturday night at Louie’s along with his partner and my good friend Danny Deow, it was a great time. Mayor Tim is definitely still sharp and a real character.

Another highlight of the trip was staying with Di and Noel at their awesome B’n’B Villa Rouge. Honestly, if you make the trip down there, try book a stay with them. It was a special place and they are truly wonderful hosts. I did a quick little piece for them of their new granddaughter Lola’s name with some sunflowers.

Anyway, that’s the bulk of what’s been going on since March 1. Will endeavour to update a little more frequently from here on.