Growing up in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, David ‘Meggs’ Hooke, immersed himself in the worlds of drawing, cartoons, sci-fi films and skateboarding. In 2000 Meggs graduated from University with a Bachelor of Design and soon after became recognised for stencils and poster art on the streets of Melbourne. In 2004 Meggs became a founding member of the renowned ‘Everfresh Studio’ a unique collective of street artists known for large amounts of collaborative street work and aerosol murals. In 2010 Meggs art directed and designed the ‘Everfresh:Blackbook’ a 254 page publication documenting the studios members, lifestyle and artworks from 2004-2010.The Everfresh Crew have more recently had collective artworks exhibited as part of ‘Space Invaders’ at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, as well as being the first artists to exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s (NGV) new NGVStudio space at Federation Square in Melbourne. Thus confirming this unique groups status as historically documented pioneering artists within Australia’s ‘graffiti & street-art’ culture.
1xRUN Thru Interview
Chimera by Meggs
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this original piece? Is the original still for sale?
Meggs: The piece is a ‘Chimera’, a mythical beast from Greek/Roman Mythology that combines the Head & body of a Lion, head of a Goat, and tail of a snake. The Chimera spits fire, and was defeated by the hero Bellerophon, riding the winged horse Pegasus, who flew above the reach of the Chimeras flame and plunged lead into the Chimeras mouth, which melted and suffocated the beast. The exploration, struggle & duality of good vs evil always underlies my work so I’m interested in exploring all the fantasy characters and stories that have interested me since childhood. I also recently found out that ‘Chimera’ is now a scientific term used to describe a single animal that has two different sets of cells (to simplify it), which results in things like two different coloured eyes etc. Which was really intriguing to me based on my previous paintings of dual faces etc.
1xRUN: When was this piece drawn and created? What materials were used?
Meggs: It was created for my Melbourne solo show in November 2012. This piece is created using acrylics and spraypaint on canvas, the original measures 48×48″.
1xRUN: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Meggs: The black paint around the Chimera’s (Lion’s) mouth depicts the molten lead used to conquer the raging beast.
1xRUN: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Meggs: I was reading through Greek mythology and the idea of a ‘Chimera’ and the visual aspects of a hybrid beast really appealed to me as a lot of my work is a mix of separate yet related elements to form a whole.
1xRUN: How long did the piece take?
Meggs: I’d say this piece was approx 1 week in the execution, the idea I’ve had a for a bit longer.
1xRUN: 2012 was a really packed year for you, what were a few of your highlight moments?
Meggs: 2012 was a busy one, doing projects in Melbourne, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Sydney, San Francisco, LA & Miami. To pick a few highlights is difficult but I’ll have to mention painting and exhibiting in the crazy city that is HK, living and working for 3 months in SF for my first big US solo show at White Walls Gallery (Love you SF/TL), and then painting and experiencing the madness that is Art Basel Miami in December.
1xRUN: You’ve been collaborating with a lot of artists on your street murals, can you give us some insight to this process and how you feel working with another creative enhances the murals?
Meggs: The process will differ from working alongside another artist to mashing your works together closely. Each time is a bit unique and depends on the desired outcome, but collaboration is important to me and something I want to continue more into 2013. Its help me explore new techniques and create something that’s more visually unique with more times the energy depending on how many artists are involved. I have time to work solo in my studio and on selected murals, so especially when i travel its important to me to meet other artists and feed off each other. I just like hanging out with good people and its motivating and satisfying to share an accomplishment as a team.
1xRUN: You spent much of 2012 in the United States, why is the US such an important market for emerging artists from Australia?
Meggs: I think the US is an important market for any artist (outside of Europe at least), especially in our genre/culture. It’s a larger market in general and coming from Australia the US has a longer history of cultural influence and visual arts but we still relate culturally and a lot of influences and inspiration comes from the US. Australia has a lot of talent but still a smaller market fro the visual arts so in order to survive/exist in the long term its important for creative Aussies to break out into the world at large.
1xRUN: What should your fans and collectors keep their eye on from you in the coming months?
Meggs: More murals in Melbourne, next stop PowWow Hawaii 2013 in Feb, then next big date on the calendar is my LA solo show at ThinkSpace Gallery, Culver City in April! After that the year continues with more projects and travel on the cards.