The much-loved Melbourne street artist returns for his first solo show in two years
If you've lived in Melbourne for even a short amount of time, then no doubt you've encountered the work of Rone. His large-scale portraits of women's faces adorn buildings across the city, then slowly begin a process of decay that often renders the work even more striking.
But in addition to his street art, which now exists in cities all over the world, Rone's work can be found in numerous galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia and the NGV. In Empty, his new solo exhibition, Rone has amassed a series of smaller-scale canvasses and photos, which will be on display for ten days in October.
And here's the best part: the exhibition is located at the former Star Lyric Theatre on Johnston Street, Fitzroy. The derelict theatre, which had its heyday between 1922 and 1952, is marked for demolition. It will provide the perfect setting for his series of photographs, which reveal murals that Rone has created in abandoned houses and buildings across the city.
"I have this strange attraction to forgotten space," explains Rone. "I tend to see something beautiful in things that are derelict, dilapidated, forgotten."
Another highlight of the exhibition will be the large-scale portrait on the back wall of the building. When Rone first started preparing for the exhibition, he discovered a mural from the theatre's glory days in the 1920s that had been painted over. Taken by this relic of the building's former grandeur, Rone decided to paint around the mural.
Beauty and decay intersect in Rone's work, just as they do in at the Star Lyric Theatre. These days, the building is hidden behind a rendered wall, making this possibly your last chance to see the building before it disappears forever.