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Colour Theory Underground is the fourth set of profiles of artists in a series showcasing the art of Indigenous Australians. This series explores the art of graffiti and street art, a culture characterised by originality and experimentation, and intended for a broad audience. It doesn't conform to the regular criteria of contemporary art, nor to the conventions of exhibition within the walls of a gallery.
Shot on location around Australia, the series heads to the streets and into landscapes where art is a highly visible form of storytelling. The featured artists create eye-catching pieces that exploit the principles of advertising but usually with an anti-capitalist stance. There are many forms of street art: ideological, colourful, peaceful and political. From discrete works to large-scale murals, they make pertinent comment on social issues that impact on Indigenous people and broader society today, often with splashes of humour and wit.
Tony Albert, artist and series presenter, opens the door to artists who are secretive by nature, often hiding their identity and codifying their work, due to the misunderstanding that graffiti or stencil works are acts of vandalism.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:
Budda (full name Kingsley Hampton) lives and works in Adelaide. His mum is an Eastern Arrernte woman and his father is from Roper River in Arnhem Land.
'I love colour. Colour is life and our culture understands that.' – Budda
Young up-and-coming street artist Budda is on a path to develop his skills as a portraiture artist, yet has to overcome the challenges placed upon him by the society he lives in today, as well as the law. Budda recognises the benefits of following the rules set out by the original street artists of New York, and is inspired by multidisciplinary artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Matt Adnate, both of whom worked in major cities where the art movement is prominent. Having never left the centre of Australia, Budda is taken on a journey to Melbourne, where he develops a large-scale mural with one of his idols.
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