150 helps make art work
ART exhibitions based around a number have been done before but few take the concept to the lengths a group of central Auckland painters are.
Every aspect of Elliott O’Donnell, Gary Silipa and Elliott Francis Stewart’s One Fifty exhibition on September 15 will revolve around the number 150.
All of the 150 works will be 150 millimetres by 150 millimetres in size and for sale for $150.
Only 150 people will be allowed through the doors to the 150-minute display, which starts at 1.50pm and is being held at 154 Ponsonby Rd.
The three artists are taking their theme to the next level by serving only 150 glasses of wine, 150 bottles of beer and selling 150 mini cupcakes for $1.50 each.
All three men are former members of renowned graffiti crew TMD but their latest exhibition is very much a display of fine art.
Mr O’Donnell, who goes by the tagging name Askew One, is still very active in the graffiti art scene and has achieved an international reputation taking part in street art in the United States and Berlin.
His fine art is also attracting a strong following and in March he held his biggest ever solo exhibition called Smoke Signals in the central city.
Mr Silipa is the newest to the fine art scene.
He gave up graffiti art for a career in IT and in 2011 switched to portraying lifestories, challenges and personal successes on canvas to keep him going and true to his path in life.
Mr Stewart is also no longer involved with graffiti art.
He is now a well-known Grey Lynn illustrator with a style described as being very reminiscent of the 1950s.
None of the three have any formal art qualifications.
They say the 150 theme for their exhibition is about opening their work up to a wider audience as well as ‘‘creating a buzz’’.
‘‘A lot of art, even some of my own pieces, can be $3000 or $4000 a piece. It isn’t really affordable for people my age,’’ Mr O’Donnell says.
‘‘$150 is quite an affordable amount. People spend $150 on a pair of shoes and don’t think twice and they could have a piece of art.
‘‘A lot of galleries have used the format but they haven’t taken it is as literally as we have.
‘‘It did become a bit of a running joke to see how far we could take it,’’ he says.
The men have only just begun their painting despite the opening being less than a fortnight away.
‘‘The plan was always to turn around a show in two weeks,’’ Mr O’Donnell says.
Novel format: Artists Elliott O’Donnell, left, Gary Silipa and Elliott Francis Stewart are taking their 150 themed exhibition concept to the extreme.