Supergraph, a three-day fiesta of graphic design, print and illustration, returns to Melbourne. Get your art on!
BY SOPHIE DAVIES
Love all things print? Then get down to Supergraph, Melbourne's contemporary graphic art and design fair, running from 13 to 15 February 2015 at Carlton's Royal Exhibition Building. Now in its second year, it showcases Australia's most current designs from emerging and established talents, plus global names, with original and limited-edition works available to buy from as little as $30.
Exhibitors include individual and group stands, plus Supergraph Picks, with major booths such as Fizz fave Frankie magazine, art/design webstore Redbubble, sleek Melbourne stationery purveyors Mi Goals, and The Jacky Winter Group, which represents commercial applied artists, plus its gallery collective Lamington Drive. Overseas artistry gets a look-in, too, in the International Salon, with talent from Thailand to Nashville and New Zealand's Endemic World, including Hong Kong art boutique/agency Odd One Out, and the UK's Print Club London and The London Illustration Fair.
Don't miss Papua New Guinea-born, Swiss guest artist Tobias Gutmann, and his cult Face-o-mat, a handmade social portrait machine. A hit with audiences in Tokyo, Milan, London, Stockholm and Dar es Salaam, Face-o-mat is redesigned for each destination. Take a seat in front, as if in a photo booth, adjust the levers to select your style, and then Gutmann will whip you up a vibrant or monochrome abstract portrait in three minutes, with styles from cartoonish to art deco. There will be several ballots a day for Face-o-mat spots, which cost $10 a pop.
Robotic dogs more your speed? The winner of the fair's inaugural Super Installation Award is emerging artist Kara Baldwin, whose work 'A Load of Pollocks' sees dozens of robotic toy dogs with pens taped to their tails navigating a cardboard pen mirroring the precise dimensions of Jackson Pollock's 'Blue poles' (212.1 cm x 488.9 cm). It's another quirky take on automated art, as the glowing-eyed dogs draw, and bark, as they ramble around. 'The Royal Exhibition Building is perfect for a large-scale installation,' says event director Mikala Tai of the cheeky pooch piece.
ABOVE RIGHT: Tobias Gutmann, the face behind Face-o-mat
ABOVE: Kara Baldwin's robotic 'A Load of Pollocks'; Illustration by Melbourne design studio A Friend of Mine, which developed Supergraph's brand identity of zingy yellow, industrial yet friendly motifs
As well as affordable art, the fair is packed with interactive events, from an opening-night party to creative workshops, artist-led masterclasses and a Design Tarot fortune-reading teepee. Saturday heralds the Drawing Olympics, with illustrator duos battling it out on the main stage, and speed drawing sessions; Sunday plays host to a tattoo illustration workshop. No need to suffer for your art, though; there's a Truck Stop garden, full of tempting food trucks, plus drinks a-go-go. Can't make it to the fair? Luckily, the online store for the 'Supergraph Salon' is open now, divided into A3 and A4 prints, posters and Supergraph Picks, so you can snap up something special wherever you are. That's that pesky Valentine's gift sorted!
Supergraph 2015, Royal Exhibition Building, 8 Nicholson Street, Carlton, Melbourne. Friday 13 February, 6pm-10pm; Saturday 14-Sunday 15 February, 10am-6pm. For FizzPicks from the fair, follow us on Instagram; thedesignfizz