With almost a decades worth of experience painting Melbourne’s streets, it’s hard to believe that this is Stabs’ first ever commission wall. While we’ve seen thousands of small and large examples of outdoor works, along with some appearances in group shows and a couple of his own, large scale productions have never seen the light of day. And while most artists choose to limit their range, in such a venture, Stabs has obviously decided to head in the complete opposite direction.
Stretching whopping 35 metres in length, along with 4 in height, this former blank wall would be an effort for a group of artists to fill, let alone one with relatively small stencils. Yet Stabs has managed to create an engaging piece that can be appreciated on a number of levels. Some may enjoy it for its variety of colourful patterns and characters, while someone (with a bit more time) will stitch together their own perceptions, deep within its rubix cube-like layout. The layout itself is an impressive array of hand cut designs, spread over half a dozen primary and secondary colours. Amazingly, it seems that no two colours or stencils are used together throughout the whole piece more than once. It’s quite a feet for such a large and technical simple single piece of work, making it (arguably) the artists more calculated.
For The Kids is a collage of people, experiences and positivity found through recent travels by the artist, with images of smiling faces, dangerous objects and animals found throughout its structure. But it’s truly a piece that welcomes personal interpretation, something that I’ve found throughout a lot of the artists work in recent years. In an age where “Googling” is a phrase, rather than just a website, Stabs’ online profile is relatively low (in comparison to his counterparts). It may be seen as a disadvantage, but I would have to disagree. The frequent overexposure of oneself across online platforms has added a new dimension to many artists, with the personality of the creator, at times, shining brighter than their craft. Artworks are defined before initial examination and critique can be made based on outside interference. But Stabs’ body of work tends to avoid all of the above by simply speaking for itself and that’s the true essence of what street art is about. Love it, hate it, ignore it, Instagram it, it’s here for you enjoyment.