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Editions

The artist is not present

03 Oct 2018

The artist is not present Image

By Meg Hill

Over September Docklands hosted elusive street artist Sunfigo’s first ever gallery exhibition.

Sunfigo is behind the large-scale fence art installations – usually in the shape of different animals – around Melbourne.

The public knows almost nothing about the artist as he declines interviews and anything else that could undermine his anonymity.

The exhibition, hosted by Blender Studios and The Dark Horse Experiment, featured Sunfigo’s stencil work – characterised by a more political style than his fence installations.

“Anti-capitalism is a major one. Anti-government. There’s a lot of stuff about Donald Trump. Anti-consumerism,” Dark Horse gallery manager Judy Griffiths said, listing some of the artist’s themes.

Some works depict different governments and leaders as puppets.

There is a recurring theme of the “99 per cent” and the “1 per cent” – the latter superimposed onto Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s jacket. The terms refer to unequal wealth distribution and were popularised during the Occupy movement.

None of the team from Dark Horse and Blender has met Sunfigo except for Piya Suksodsai.

“Piya met him on the street one night at about midnight. He was putting up work and she realised it was him,” said Ms Griffiths

“We had been trying to track him down for a while but we hadn’t heard anything back from him.”

On the street that night, Piya convinced Sunfigo to do a show. Since then, all communication has been through email, and all the artwork was couriered to Docklands.

“Everyone has seen this guy’s work, so we’ve had a lot of interest in this show,” Ms Griffiths said.

While Sunfigo’s fence installations are rebellious in a sense – they’re essentially illegal, done secretly in the middle of the night – most people would be surprised by the sharp political tone of the exhibition.

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