“Street art is good for getting a message across and being listened to.”
Motivated by the desire to create, this talented artist is constantly experimenting and evolving. He considers himself to be a painter rather than a street artist.
Rad, like many of the artists I’ve interviewed, doesn’t have an art school background. Drawing and painting since childhood, he couldn’t see himself being confined to the restrictions it would have placed on him.
Originally from rural Tasmania, he opted for a scene change and arrived in Melbourne in 2002. His love for landscape and the bush was his early inspiration and it’s a theme that he returns to in his painting.
He worked as a chef/kitchen hand and a club photographer. One day when he was dropping some prints off to Big Dog Creative, an Australian-based advertising agency, he found they were looking for a graphic designer.
He took this challenge on and pursued it as a career for four years, working on many big campaigns.
However, Rad feels that “design killed art and that design and art should be separate!”
The leap into street art came from the desire to work on a larger scale. One day he just picked up some cans and started painting. He no longer finds size daunting. In fact, the bigger, the better!
Three of the larger collaborative walls RAD has been involved in this year are out in Footscray. One was for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and another was for Franco Cozzo, a wall acquired whilst working on the third mural for Centrelink.
Initially he was attracted to aerosol because it gave him the sharp edge he couldn’t achieve with a brush.
However, this has turned around for him and he now finds the spray can too flat.
“With street art it’s just a design on a wall, whereas painting has texture. My ultimate is to paint an image that’s never been seen before,” he said.
This he does by pulling apart an image, using what he wants and reassembling it. His work, be it in aerosol, acrylic, synthetic polymer or oils, is an eclectic mix of styles. And painters Francis Bacon, Picasso and Dali are amongst his influences. But Rad is quick to explain that he draws on his own photos as a reference and a guide.
He also flirted with stencils for a brief period.
Rad was also part of the WSW Crew, who painted on weekends for the “fun of it”.
He was responsible for some of the very large pieces in Artists Lane, Windsor.
Rad’s only gallery exhibition to date was Human Zoo, at Chaotic Gallery, Windsor, in 2013.
As for the future, Rad has moved from acrylics to painting with oils and he’s experimenting with print making e.g. lino cuts. Sculpture could also be another direction for him. However, space studio-wise is essential for this.
The wall photographed features Rad’s distinctive surrealistic style and can be found at Section 8, Tattersalls Lane. It sits along side the piece by Heesco, a friend and collaborator, seen in CBD News, December, 2014.