Exhibition, International, REGION

REVIEW | Askew One ‘Post-Colonial’ / Beastman ‘Seminatural’ | Inner State Gallery – Detroit

  • Note: The Fourth Walls did not attend this show in person, only through images shown online
  • Images by Daniel Isley (Instagram: @lifeofisley) 
  • Provided by Inner State Gallery and 1xRUN




The city of Detroit has gone through a number of social and economical changes over the last 50 years, from industrial decline to musical innovation, this eastern corner stone has always been a point of discussion for its people and surrounding states. Considered one of Americas toughest cities, Detroit’s economical decline hasn’t slowed down artistic pursuits. While things can be a little difficult in a city, where all money has been swept from under them, we’ve seen the birth of techno music, the cult of J. Dilla and, more recently, a burgeoning street art scene, flourish in this tough environment. Assisted by the infamously dilapidated spaces found throughout the city, street art is a perfect fit for a place like Detroit, inviting local and international artists to leave their mark on a number of surfaces. While it’s a cities duty to support and assist local talent, outside influences are a necessary to help grow and influence, an equivalent exchange of ideas. Late last month, New Zealand’s Askew and Australia’s own Beastman, two of the worlds most vibrant street artists, ascended on this great city to share a display of said work, at Inner State Gallery. Providing its walls with an exceptional display, the two visiting artists have put together a colourfully split collection for this small corner of Detroit. Bringing international flair, along with personal touches from their respective regions, the collective aura of this joint experience is another great chapter in this glowing art space.

For the passed two decades, we have seen an unstoppable evolution from New Zealand’s Askew. One of the countries most dedicated graffiti writers, complete with more pieces than hot meals, fans have seen Askew use these expertise transition into a highly regarded body of gallery work. Using native characters, along with the same impact, layering and colour references, found is his graffiti background, the work found in Post-Colonial is a continuation of this visual evolution. Leaving only the slightest of expressive points in each piece, Askew’s work is a collection that truly breathes and speaks for itself, showcasing a directive for a culture already rich with artistic heritage. Finding harmony in connecting the past with the future, both thematically and technically, Post-Colonial is unmistakably personal account of work by an artist who is exceptionally passionate about what they do and represent.

On the other side of this display, Sydney’s Brad Eastman continues to expand and grow on his signature graphic work. Consistently technical in execution and form, Beastman’s work has always attracted a healthy variety of art fans. Seminatural in both title and direction, Eastman has the incredible ability to present his work in familiar, but new and exciting settings. Colliding forms surround the perfectly constructed, as biological waves connect with the artificially constructed, leaving a heavy balance between both worlds. Beastman’s work has always been a labyrinth of natural and human outlooks, from his name to the palette used, with an obvious love for both. Seminatural is a continuation of this message, set inside a city filled with natural artists and creative thinkers.

Shown as contrasts, but forming together as equals, both Askew and Beastman have presented two incredible collections of work at Inner State Gallery. With stories of heritage, nature and the importance of both moving forward, these dueling settings say just as much for themselves as they do for the city they’re displayed in.















Both Post-Colonial and Seminatural have now unfortunately closed for viewing, but the remaining pieces of the show are now available on 1xRun, links provided below.