QV Melbourne, together with their resident street art curator Andrew Chew of No Vacancy Gallery, have selected four finalists in the #ColourQV street art competition, commissioning each to draft a concept sketch of their proposed artwork for an iconic location in Artemis Lane.
Now comes the best part: Melbourne decides on the winner. Street art lovers can visit QV Melbourne's Facebook page to view all four sketches and vote for your favourite artwork.
Andrew Chew's No Vacancy Gallery on QV's Jane Bell Lane is one of Melbourne's first galleries to hold regular street art exhibitions. Andrew has curated street art exhibitions all over the world and has worked with Melbourne's emerging and established street artists for over a decade.
'We have seen a big evolution in street art form and style over the last few years, which was made evident by the entrants this competition received. We couldn't choose just three, so we now have four diverse artists that each has a unique concept for our wall. Together Mike Eleven, Loretta Lizzio, Pete Cto and Merda represent one of the most eclectic mixes of Melbourne street artists in 2016."
If you're a Melburnian, you have probably seen Merda's work. Highly influential in the formative years of Melbourne's graffiti scene, Merda (Jay Rankine) was at the forefront of style innovation in Melbourne. Now 25 years on, his pieces continue to be lauded widely. His influences are taken from everyday objects or things around him, always looking for the non-obvious.
Loretta Lizzio is an illustrator of intricate, dream-like works that have been installed at both small and large scale sites. This year, she also released her own fashion line with Element Eden throughout Europe, USA and Australia, while her artwork has also appeared in homes and on furniture.
Mike Eleven's art has transformed from traditional graffiti letters to subject-based work and experimenting with his own self-taught painting techniques. His works have been exhibited numerous times across Australia, and he was the youngest person ever to compete in Secret Walls, a live competition between two artists akin to a rap battle. Mike was crowned as one of Melbourne's 40 most iconic artists working on the streets in the Thames & Hudson published book, Melbourne Street Art Guide.
Pete Cto (Pete Seaton) discovered graffiti after completing a fine art degree, and honed his skill at a Street Art Exhibition Centre in Geelong. New to Melbourne's street art scene, Peter Cto aims to translate feelings of a metaphysical nature through his art. Using portraiture and figurative work as a means of expressing something more than the subject, he aims to create an archetype of self-awareness and empowerment.
The winning artist will complete their artwork from 10 October on the laneway wall between Russell Street and Meat Fish Wine, in QV's Artemis Lane.
Awarded a grand prize of $5,000, the winner will also be provided with all paint supplies and art materials to complete the artwork, spanning 15 metres in length x 2.4 metres in height. With over 40,000 people a day moving through QV, the winning artist will receive a lot of exposure.
QV's Regional Centre Manager, Lisa Fleming, says any of the works would suit the laneway wall.
'We are really looking forward to working with one of these local artists to create an iconic piece of wall art for Melbourne to enjoy. The entries have been brilliant, which was no surprise given Melbourne's track record for producing interesting and thought-provoking laneway art. Our retailers are unique and eclectic and any of these four distinctive pieces of art will provide an engaging visual for our diverse customer base. We can't wait to see which one Melbourne chooses – remember to cast your vote!"
Visit QV Melbourne's Facebook page to view all four sketches and vote for your favourite artwork.
For more information on the #ColourQV competition visit www.qv.com.au.