Using everything from street walls to hundred-dollar bills and dresser drawers, Australian graffiti artist Stormie Mills has been exploring themes of urban decay since 1984. Characters, rendered predominantly in greyscale, evoke a sense of loneliness and isolation, portraying the age-old themes of quests for identity. His street art-style paintings, well-received by critics and collectors alike, have been commissioned for the creation of murals across Greece for the Athens Olympics and featured at Miami Art Basel, as well as at exhibitions in Barcelona, Greece, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Throughout his career, Mills has undertaken several unusual projects. In 2009, he and five other artists, calling themselves “Agents of Change,” stayed in an abandoned village in Scotland prior to its imminent demolition, transforming the area into a large work of art. The undertaking was documented in a short film, which showed at the London Film Festival. Stormie has also ventured into the world of collectible toy-making, releasing a limited-edition figure which was sold in Tokyo and New York.
His latest project gives wearable art the Stormie treatment. Inspired by the famous Oscar Wilde quote, “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars,” the artist created a limited-edition scarf, of which only 150 were produced. Available in black, blue, and grey and featuring a character dubbed “The Time Keeper,” the scarves include a hand-numbered booklet and sell from the Art Gallery of Western Australia for $450.
Commercial endeavors aside, the graffiti vet has enjoyed widespread success in his gallery showings, the most recent of which opened last Wednesday at Metro Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. The show, titled “Scuffling,” runs through 20 August 2011 and explores the idea of perpetual motion as well as a method of applying paint. “Scuffling as a way of painting seems to fit well with the sounds that I imagine my paintings would make if they were to walk,” explains Stormie, “I imagine they’d scuffle along, a cross between a shuffle and a scrape, very much like the way that I paint them.”