Melbourne-based artist Rone has just released his first coffee table slab. The self-titled book features a retrospective of his works, exploring the juxtaposition and often contentious relationship between beauty and decay and the corresponding tug of war that exists between youth and ruin.
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As one of the pioneering figureheads in the art of large-scale muralism, his groundbreaking techniques paved the way for many artists after him, setting both the standard and the framework for the meteoric rise of street art’s darlings of the early noughties. Famed for his stylised portraiture of wistful feminine muses, his progression to intricately detailed installations, featuring collaborations with talented partners like designer Carly Spooner and accompanying soundtracks pressed onto vinyl, has put him steps ahead of the competition and marked his card for interest from international institutions such as the NGV.
Rone’s love of the ephemeral and fascination with the transition of spaces from both useful and familiar, to abandoned and destroyed, has led him to develop the creation of immersive exhibitions with limited lifespans. Operating within the often sensitive sphere of public art, it seems Rone’s external work reflects some of the internal introspections he must observe in the process of his practice. Experiencing the often difficult relationship between developers and the transition from people’s homes as they give way to ‘placemaking’ and the ever-increasing footprint of progress, Rone lifts the veil of this ongoing discourse in his visual discourse.
The book presents a deep cross section of Rone’s work from across his multiple disciplines; his work in the street, the studio, and his fleetingly ephemeral installations. The works are accompanied by a brace of essays that trace the evolution of Rone’s career over the last two decades, delving into his depictions of women, and going behind the scenes of his most technically advanced and most prodigious installation to date: Empire (2019), set in Burnham Beeches, a dilapidated and disused Art Deco mansion on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Rone’s latest endeavour, with the Geelong Gallery, ‘Rone in Geelong’, presenting the first comprehensive survey of RONE’s career, has been postponed until Feb 2021.
Rone edited by Mo Wyse – published by Thames & Hudson is available in Australia and New Zealand July 2020, followed by UK release in Spring 2021.