The District 9 Exhibition is a collaborative showcase of exceptional new works by Brisbane’s most prolific graffiti artist Sofles and fine artist Fintan Magee. On Saturday 17 July the pair will stage an unprecedented 2-storey, multi-space exhibition at The Fort Arts Hub in Fortitude Valley, spanning the walls of the centre’s ground level art gallery and penthouse artist studios, infamously known as “District 9”.
The one-off, one-night-only instillation throughout the entire top floor of The Fort will double as a farewell celebration for the space which, until recently, hosted Fintan and Sofles’ art studios. The unlikely pair, who shared the studios with three other artists for the past 12-months, will pack up their paint and easels, transforming the space into a unique gallery environment that offers up a rare and exciting glimpse into the productive exploits of their creative spaces.
“It’s been inspiring seeing the space empty again, like a fresh canvas. There are different rooms on the top floor, as well as the gallery spaces, which will all have different themes” Fintan said.
While the upstairs component of the exhibition is only for opening night, the works will overflow into the gallery for a full two-week stint, open to the public every day until Thursday 29 July.
The creative duo have been busily preparing new work to make the most of the extensive wall space and meet their fast approaching deadline.
Sofles, who was labeled a ‘Graffiti King’ by local newspapers, TV news & current affairs following a conviction for illegal graffiti in 2009, is looking forward to showcasing a new style that he has been developing over the past year through extensive work on commissioned murals, works on canvas and tattooing. Having turned over a new leaf, he continues to work hard to raise revenue through his blossoming art career to help pay off the nearly $15,000 he was fined.
In the past year Sofles has won a slew of competitions and been commissioned by corporate giants like Myer, Footlocker, Adidas, Tooheys, Super Cheap Auto and more - proving not only his worth as an artist, but also the undeniable popularity for graffiti as an art form in general. Recently Sofles was commissioned to paint a wall outside of Brisbane’s Magistrates Court – the same court house in which he was recently trialed and convicted for illegal graffiti.
“It’s funny how one day you’re in court getting fined for writing your name and soon after they pay you to write your name on their court house to make it look nice” mused Sofles.
International muralist and highly-regarded fine artist Fintan Magee, whose creative output follows a more “traditional” path, has worked on large scale commissions in London, Rotterdam, Vienna and Brisbane and has showed in various group and solo exhibitions and competitions across Australia. He has a B.A in Fine Arts and currently works as a designer and illustrator, as well as regular commissioned artworks and public murals. For this exhibition Fintan presents oil on linen paintings, digital prints and installation work.
Fintan describes his new work as “a visual circus of scattered imagery and styles, drawing inspiration from advertising, nature, street culture and local architecture. My new paintings aim to transport the viewer beyond mundane routines and expectations, into a world of unexpected beauty and chaotic balance, highlighting the extraordinary nature of our everyday existence” he said.
The Fort invites you to soak up the hype surrounding these two well travelled and seasoned local artists, and share in the transition from their inspiring creative space and colourful period of inspired creativity, with an exclusive peek at their profound new works.
WHAT: The District 9 Exhibition WHEN: Opening Night Saturday 17 July 2010, 6 - 10pm, donation entry (BYO)
EXHIBITION DATES: Saturday 17 July – Thursday 29 July
WHERE: The Fort Arts Hub, 57 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
Peter Gorrie (gallery curator) Phone: 0415 779 556 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
sofles.com fintanmagee.com thefort.org.au