Wild, provocative and flawless – these are the words to describe, Australian born artist, Anthony Lister.
Look closely and you can find his signature on every second wall throughout Sydney and all over the country, he is considered one of the best street artists in the world. As well as a pioneer in the movement, its his unique voice in the industry that has had his exhibitions held all over the world including at the New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami, Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York and Black Art Projects in Melbourne.
The subject of a 2018 documentary, the artist has had a colourful life amongst the brick-walls of inner metropolitan areas, and now being compared to the likes of Keith Haring and Basquiat, it is no wonder he is seeing phenomenal success.
Intrigued by his work and epic aesthetic, ICON sat down with the creative for an insight into his designs.
I would love to know something about you before your Bachelor in Arts. What was your life like before that?
“I recall spending most of my time skateboarding and smoking pot. Drawing and painting was something that I had always done and enjoyed doing, but was not exactly in my “top 5 things to do with my friends list”. I used to build tracks and jumps in the bush with friends and ride them. We would sneak out at night and make explosives.”
“I’m interested in breaking art.” Can you explain that phrase?
“It is an absurd concept that I like to keep close to mind as if it were possible. It is the phrase I think of when I have to be photographed. I don’t know when or where I thought of it.”
What does your street art intend to communicate to the viewers? How do you expect them to interpret your work?
“Freedom essentially. Each piece is different in many ways from its location and subject matter. The overriding theme when it comes to public paintings is that of freedom.”
How do you connect and integrate your passion for philosophy in your works of art, and if so, could you give me an example?
“I try to keep it simple and in doing so discover many fundamental philosophical currents. I believe that public places are a place for public people. I continually find myself debating and sometimes fighting for freedom. At times I feel as though I am a freedom fighter, fighting for the freedom of visual speech.”
Lastly, what’s your ultimate spot that you would love to paint ? The dream wall.
“Once I would have said the moon. Now I have a plan to paint the ice bergs in Antarctica as an attempt to draw attention to the massive environmental issues we will soon face as a species.”
For more from Anthony Lister, visit his website here.
You can follow ICON’s Street Editor, Roberto Malizia on Instagram @this.is.malice