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Street Art Goes Suburban

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Street Art Goes Suburban

Suburbia isn’t usually known for hosting defiant creative expression. Quality of life may be much higher in America’s tree-lined suburbs than in its bustling city centers, but suburban life is undeniably (and to some, unbearably) bland.

So, to shake things up in the ‘burbs, artist Ian Strange painted quaint homes around the country in standout fashion, while simply burning others to the ground.

Now showing at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Australia is the culmination of Strange’s two and a half years spent traveling the U.S., a statement-making exhibit simply titled Suburban. Strange challenges Western ideology of the family home by creating radical visual changes and exploring how they transform their surroundings. Pictured below, a large red “X” is painted on one house, while black paint covers all but a circular conventional-beige cutout on another. Meanwhile a home is engulfed in flames, purely for artistic purposes.

Work of Ian Strange

Work of Ian Strange

In addition to photographs, the multi-faceted installation features film and sound elements from Strange’s real-time documentation of the project, as well as fragments of the homes intervened with. Suburban took Strange through Ohio, Detroit, Alabama, New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

While a city-loving sense of resentment seeps through Strange’s work, the Australian-born artist’s respect for his upbringing in the suburbs of Perth becomes equally apparent.

“The suburbs have played an important role in shaping who I am as a person and an artist,” Strange says, according to ArtDaily. “The suburbs have always been home, but I have always found suburbia isolating. Suburban is my reaction to that.”

Under the name Kid-Zoom, Strange played a large role in Australia’s urban street art movement through the late ‘90s. He then moved to New York in 2010 and got his first solo break with This City Will Eat Me Alive, a widely acclaimed pop-up gallery in the Meatpacking District.

NGV curator David Hurlston said he is proud to host Suburban, calling Strange “one of the most exciting young artists to have emerged from the street art genre in recent times.”

What do you think of Suburban and Strange’s brazen approach to taking complete creative control of his artwork? Tell us in the comments below.

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