Fox Galleries (103 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley) has opened the doors on it newest exhibition, “Anthony Lister: subtitled”. The showcase displays Anthony Lister’s unique brand of street art. His works can be described as anywhere from abstract to pop, to graffiti. The style is very free-form and none confined.
Many mediums were used to create his art but he seems favor putting it all on canvas. When Lister paints he tells a story about whatever kind of environment he’s in at the moment. The layout of the exhibition itself is rather structured and organized. I think simple and neat was the aim here. I have chosen three painting to closely analyze: “Portrait of Egon Schiele”, “Discard the Retard” and “Paddington from Pratts”. When compared to his mentor, Max Gimblett the two distinctive styles would probably be as far as each other as possible.
Max prefers his paintings to be on irregular canvases and his work can range from patterns to abstract, yet don’t have the slight chaos of Lister’s. Predominant throughout the three mentioned works you can see the use of repetition, restriction of colour, emphasis and line. His particular style seems free, spontaneous and sees no real confinement. The general restriction of colour make anything not in bland almost scream off the canvas and creates a very effective focal point.
Anthony has said himself “I’m not trying to change the world, I’m just reacting to the world trying to change me”. That would perfectly describe Lister’s motivation to paint and create. Whether it’s a social statement or purely something for himself he has created something that people can enjoy. Again Lister stated he normally chooses his subject matter by simply finding something within his immediate environment. Any deeper meanings one might find would probably be purely speculation, but the interesting composition in “Discard the Retard” where the constant stencil of a duck pattern has been used and a single “stand-out of the crowd” duck can be seen (solid black rather than just black outlining).
The meaning I drew from this is; I think Anthony doesn’t like to be part of the crowd. Maybe he sees himself as the black duck and has been social out-casted before for being a individual, but now being an individual as an artist has brought him joy. So he may be saying being different isn’t a bad thing.