Some Good News at last!

All photos by Bill Henson - courtesy of
Roslyn Oxley9 gallery.

You might have heard Bill Henson has been getting a lot of media coverage about his latest exhibition at the Roslyn Oxley9 gallery last week. I was severely disappointed that the police had stopped the opening and threatened to press charges against Henson, because his work was deemed as child pornography. Today, the
news have changed a little from its initial reporting, which is a positive turn for the fine art community.

For those who have not seen Henson's previous work, don't let the media sway your opinion about this fine artist completely and I urge you to do some personal research before you conclude on your own judgement.

I have been told Roslyn Oxley9's website is finally back up and they have uploaded a few images from Henson's show. Due to legal reasons, some of his work had to be removed in order for the exhibition to be made public.

I was chatting to my friend K tonight when I opened my email with the great news.
This is how I felt after seeing Bill Henson's latest images.

jefske. says:
"The more I see his work.
The more i feel like he is a ghost - just observing thru his private eye and sharing his experiences with us (people who enjoy his exploration on the world around him)
His mood is certainly inquisitive and perhaps eery but that is just how he sees the world.
I mean compare to other photographers i admire and aspire to be. I think Henson's
work is quite honest and captured appropriately for this time of our lives.
It is comforting without being intrusive to our own lives."

The public is definitely going to miss out on his finer new works because the media has already branded him as the pornographer (misunderstood or mislabelled would be much more appropriate to accompany that title if they were to characterise him I think..)

Regardless of what everyone is saying, I still do believe his work is important to the photography and fine art community. You should definitely go check out his works in person before the show finishes at a gallery near you!


What Happened to Hip Hop people?

I read today's news story about the violence over in the UK, the reports are attributing this movement to Hip Hop. Even Tricky said "Hip-hop music is fuelling gun and knife crime in Britain". The report continues to quote Tricky "some parts of the United Kingdom are now worse than New York's notorious Bronx district."

This is a pretty sensational claim but I am not totally sold about the story even if the media has dubbed it with a sensational headline.

I love hip hop, even when I was a grom...skateboarding and a Hip Hop soundtrack is like peanut butter and jelly, to this day, it still gives me goosebumps when I skate to Hip Hop....Although I grew up on several different musical influences and Hip Hop was definitely a big part of my life. I loved the culture behind the music and according to Matt Mason, the author of
Pirate's Dilemma. It was a movement that brought peace and love to the roughest neighbourhoods and ended wars between gangs in NY during the 80s.
For me personally, Hip Hop was about having fun and creating something from very little, whether it was a breaking move or a piece of art....it was all about doing it on your own terms because you are not alone and people all around you were contributing to the community & culture in their own way.

It is just a great part of pop history, Hip Hop pioneers has not only invented a whole new sound and exposed people to new forms of dance with breaks and turntablism. The kids with dreams had also started record labels (Rockafella & Def Jam most notably) while other kids started to rock fresh gear and set up their own fashion houses such as Phat Farm (Russell Simmons).

The record mogul turned designer Sean "Diddy" Combs who started Sean John has been welcomed to become part of the New York Fashion week. Needless to say, these brands have become household names and their creators have become enormously wealthy. This has been a by product of the culture seeded by Hip Hop.

However, during the 90s the term became loosely used in favour of more user friendly categorisation for music genres, possibly most favouring to award shows.

By the time I had got to about 2002, I think I had already quietly fallen out of Hip Hop, party because I didn't think the new acts were appealing to me as much as Run DMC and Beastie Boys or even Kurtis Blow used to give me the chills when they come on for me and my friends to bust a move or 2.

The reign of MTV "Hip Hop" acts came over to blow aggressively over pop culture, with an endless supply of opulence object references and fashion trends. Which I would confess made me dislike the movement so much more and I had comfortably slipped into the punk scene and appreciated Live music so much more. I had never submitted myself to look like a punk nor do I think I ever will. I don't care if you would call me a poser, that would be immaterial to my attraction to punk culture and philosophy in the first place.

Punk for me is like falling in love with Hip Hop when I was a grom.

I terribly miss the golden days when Hip Hop was full of energy and passion, and "my Adidas" was rocking on woofers to fuel a group of kids eager to bust a move in the circles. Whereas nowadays, I continue to see media all writing about the rivalry between Kanye and 50's album release and the glory of GTA 4....

Is this what Hip Hop has amounted to.....a couple of good looking guys rocking big rides with girls bouncing to their tunes then collaborating with a sneaker label before their next release of a video game that is loosely based on their life is due to drop on our senses?


Another feature!

I just got news from Ray @ Fait Accompli that they were approached by Faster Louder for an interview about their band and EP release. They had used one of the photos on the feature, that I took for their new line up with Killer from Goons of Doom playing bass with the band.

I am stoked they are getting some recognition for all their hard work, they are pretty cool guys to know.
Again, I am just excited they dig my photos enough to use it for their own publicity.

Thanks guys!

x Love & kindest.

You can check out the Fait Accompli interview here.



This photo is not entirely appropriate for what I am writing about....but I really like it. I still have no idea what the name of this band is.....I took this picture at the Tooheys Extra Uncharted finals - I think they are an actual band, they were pretty amazing and the light is well just EPIC. I think the photo describes my mood of today. EPIC'ly up and down!

Today is my second last day of full time work.
I am excited but sad at the same time...just because I will have to leave another bunch of wonderful souls whom I got the pleasure to go with.

My day was very much an up and down today....I walked into the office greeted by a splendour ticket frenzy and I had to involuntarily give up my computer to aid my co-worker's attempt to secure tix to the rather (in)famous festival (at least from what my friends have told me anyway). She was not so unlucky on her own efforts, despite having access to 3 laptops....QJump was not feeling the love or the server on QJump was just coping too well with all the instant affection from the desperate punters all wanting a weekend in Byron bay soaked in music and drugs I shall say.

I would be on QJump to embark on such a hedonistic weekend too but frankly the line up just didn't excite me enough for me to sit & virtual fight for these much sought after tix. Accomodation has already proven to be an epic challenge....again from over hearing my mate's phone convo's about dropping a grand deposit on the stay today....it is a bit mad really.

I have just finished Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and I can't help but remember him saying, when our senses are highly aroused....we lose the ability to make rational decisions. It is almost like in extreme intense situations - we become autistic....mentally. That is basically how I felt when I really wanted something, I would imagine that is what the people who really wanted to go to Splendour this year was like in their minds.....how on EARTH...can you sit on the computer and watch QJump mess with your eyes going up and down the queue...that shiznit is insane.

Technology is such a tease sometimes.....things seem so close but yet so far....Basically I started work today at about 1130, which is really crap, because it is my 2nd last day and I still have a lot I need to finalise and sort out before I depart.

Dramas and dramas continue to flow like rain pouring after a humid day....a steak for lunch at 3 was a bit of an upturn for my day...and I was really looking forward to seeing Bill Henson's show tonight at the Roslyn Oxley Gallery.

To my dismay, I called up my friend Benny, since I was already running late from finishing up at work. He told me the Bill Henson show was closed by the police.

I was just like what the?!
It kind of daunt on me when I had flashbacks when I first say the Bill Henson invite for his opening, it had the usual Bill Henson style of low light and provocative shots of young kids. I personally never considered them pornographic - especially when I have seen the work of Terry Richardon or classic Helmut Newtown's body of work....both of them are influential and some what heroes of mine for their established aesthetic having defined a time in photography. Oh and I forgot to mention they love women - often NAKED!

Larry Clark is another artist, I am interested in....his favourite subject without doubt is teenage youth and his films and photos are often controversial for very good reason, because they are frankly pretty messed up. However, the rawness in the execution of his work is undoubtedly powerful and beautiful.

So I have shown my hand and you probably know how upset and disappointed I am that the police has closed Bill's show, which by the way only gets displayed every 2 years so I consider the anticipation to witness his work too hard to comprehend.

All this ranting leaves me wondering....why is media so in love with bad news and putting the finger at something they do not get exposed to everyday?

I am no advocate for child exploitation or sexual abuse...fair from it. But the truth is...there are way more messed up shit out there on the web or secret syndicates promoting this kind of crap every nano second and the legal enforcements often struggle to battle these strange clans.

I love ART... not in a pretentious elitist way, I just respect people who dare to experiment and live life in the open to share with others what they love and see. The whole thing is being blown out out proportion....art should be left as just that - an expression of oneself's ideas. I mean if you are intentionally promoting child abuse through art, that is pretty messed up and you would have a pretty hard time to write a synopsis for your show no?

More importantly who would want to an attend that opening.... even if it was at Paddington?



Awwww I am so proud.. like you have no idea.
I remember one night I was out and ran into Trish, Nat & Vi...this was a few weeks ago but this suddenly all came back to me this morning. The power of the subconscious at work, probably because I am reading BLINK at the mo.

We were all just chilling and was talking about what's news....Out of nowhere, Trish mentioned 123 Amazing got posted on PINGLEWOOD! To my excitement and disbelieve....I was just super stoked for the band.

This is some serious kudos to the band to make it on such an awesome music blog for all music loving nerds and cool kids around the globe.

GO 123! Oh and they used my photograph....I am experiencing so much joy, it is a bit painful but it is so good.

While I was talking to Katy yesterday, she also gave me a new Gem of a song from a fellow Manchester native and current Supermodel sensation
Aggy! I was reading the latest i-D magazine which is dedicated to her and according to the editors, this is a historic first. This is where I discovered, she can actually sing and genuinely sounds like a super cool chick.

Who said beauty is not skin deep? Oh British girls rock! Yesssss


Internal Workout Volume IX

An Interview with Will Harden aka

I went to Black and Blue on Thursday to see Will's latest show, titled "Internal Workout Volume IX". I have seen a lot of his work during my time at the Heights and his work is definitely interesting to watch, we have always talked about doing an interview so here it is. My first interview ever with one of my fav local Sydney artist.

You and I met pretty informally when you were a resident at China Heights.
We would always bump into each other at a few too many social gigs and gallery openings before we talked about all things art related and where free booze is ample.

J: Just out of interest, how did the name "Grohl" come about?
WH: About 5 years ago I was befriended by a group of young degenerate drunk turds. They alliterate all meaning to as much as possible. My name included. Apparently I look like Dave Grohl . Instead of being Will, of course I am Dave Grohl Featch. Featch as in features. Grohl being the abbreviation of this nick name. To rob the identity , as they would put it.

If you go to urban dictionary.com, about 25% of the entries would be from these guys.
I’m actually really tired of the nick name. I’m not going to use it from now on in shows etc.

J: How and when did you first decide art was going to be your profession?
WH: Since I was young it’s the only thing i’ve been deeply interested in. I was always encouraged to take that path.

J: From the first group where I have seen your work, I could see your style and art direction have progressed quite a lot from your initial influences, would that be an accurate assessment?
WH: When I started I didn’t know how to paint. I was figuring it out as I went along. I guess I started with a combined interest in low art, street art etc along with fine art.
Now I would say any influence from low art would be low or next to non exsistent. Over the years my interest and admiration for contemporary fine art has really blossomed.

J: I really like your new works...maybe it is just me but I see a lot of Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo and a lot of fluid energy fused with that richness in colour and sex….is that a personal reflection of your subconscious or something else?
WH: I adore Otomo’s illustration. I think that guy is a genius. I hold everything he has done as a staple for everything I would want to achieve visually but only to one day make it intriniscally more intense. I just want to make the most powerful works possible. My aim would be to make something shocking with brilliance. The colour and subconscious realm are tools employed to help this happen.

J: Who do you look up to as an inspiration to your work?
WH: Wols, Cecily Brown, Katsuhiro Otomo, Francis Bacon, are the main influences.

J: Where would you like to take your art this year, anywhere abroad perhaps?
WH: I’m going to start working on a new show on Monday. I don’t have any leads but I’m going to contact some galleries in Melbourne and try and get something booked for the end of the year.

You are an amazing dude, just chilled and positive.
It is a great attitude to have and I definitely share your outlook.
All the best with your future shows Will!


You can catch Will's show @ Black and Blue Gallery.
Show will run from
May 15 - June 1 2008.
For more info on Will Harden, check out his

Peer Pressure is all too REAL...

This is my home @ 8.30am. That is what time I finished up with the gang for the last Bandits ever @ 77.

My legs were like jelly but this is what the sun looks like in the morning....it seems like it is all worth it once the sun rays hits me.

This post should have been published last week because it basically flushes my sobriety post down the drain...because I ended up getting pretty loose on that Friday even though I promised myself I should be sober for the benefit of my own health. Sadly my friends had other ideas for me.

I had every intention of having a quiet Friday because of my fragile state last week. My original plans were to go to 2 farewells and have a few quiet beers then get home to accumulate on some sleep.

Well as all good intentions go on a Friday night, my sleep didn't happen (again) and the night was blown out to a marathon event with a chance to see the sunrise from a little studio at Surry Hills.

My sobriety plan started to fall apart when I got a call from Ed, who was presenting his art installation opening called "Everything Went Black". Ed is a pretty good chap and I have always seen his shows at the
Heights gallery space. This show is based on a study of pop culture's use of super villains as a parody of social unrest. There were massive wall murals, projections against wooden panels and walls as well as a live installation drummer inside the cube display.

It was very dark and harshly lit red to emphasise the villainness vibe of the show.

I was actually very sober for most of the night, then I met up with Nick at the cross briefly before we all descended to 77 for the last Bandits ever at the basement club. It was somewhat sad but it is certainly not as crazy as I had anticipated.....loads of familiar faces turned up at the club and it was a massive party but something was missing....oh I was the most sober person there.

We hang around 77 probably till about 5am...then we decided to get away from the cold winds by escaping to Pat's studio space to drink so more and wait for the sun to come up.

The sun is up! Leon and Nick chilling by the window.

This is me walking through the surry early in the morning, where the streets are dead and winds are unforgiving.
The dude on the street is keeping himself warm by lighting a ciggie.
At times like that - smoking does not seem like such a stupid idea.


My Last Stand is not so pretty

Last stands are usually either positioned in a light of glory or dismay depending on the context of the story. As for me, my last stand has eventuated to a near collapse after too much socialising during and after a working week. Since I have adopted the philosophies.... practice makes perfect and what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, I have tragically realised how much pain my body is going to repay me with all the angst I had consumed over the past few weeks.

My body looks the same but my health is probably as low as it ever has been. My memory has been more blurry than ever. No joke! Sometimes, I go home - wake up and run through my photos….half of which I have no idea how they got on my computer.

Since work has been extremely busy, I have neglected my little blog.

The following is a recount of 2 weekends ago, prior to my chronic cold experience then inspired my sobriety post. (I wrote the post below – but never finished it so it was sitting as a draft*)

This is officially my last friday outing....for a while.
What normally starts out as a friendly evening can sometimes (in my case - Often) blow up to a massive unhealthy night filled with hugs and kisses not necessarily consciously to people I might or might not know. I know it sounds pretty atrocious and it ironically... often makes the night all the more memorable or if you push yourself to a certain point - - your memory just goes full blank and become unmemorable.

That is what happened to me on Friday, it was just a memory of broken thoughts ending in a blur.

After a few beers with the work mates.
I wanted to check out the
Mark Alsweiler show at China Heights. It was not as busy as I had anticipated, which was good. If you been to a packed show at heights, you realise 2 things very quickly. One is you will probably never get a drink by the time you reach the counter for your freebie and worst of all, the intent to appreciate the art on the walls is quickly diminished to non-existent.

My friend Nick really liked this piece and I think it is an interesting piece.
It is visually entertaining and the symbolism of the piece is also quite ironic, which I appreciate. If all else fails and this does not mean anything, you can at least say it is pretty good looking right?

I ended up seeing my friend's band, the
Jezabels at the Art factory. They were awesome as always, which is great since they are getting more and more recognition for their unique sounds and energetic performance.

After the Jezabels....my night was fast becoming a blur.
Judging by the photos, I am pretty sure it was a loose but entertaining night.


Social Mumbo Jumbo

Every morning, I check my daily emails about what is moving and shaking the advertising industry - mostly just for my amusement, because most days....the news is more or less the same - it is just apples and oranges really. I came across this particular story and felt like I should let my friends who do not work in the industry to have a small glimpse on what is happening on their computer screens while they are socialising or simply just to kill time.

One common topic keeps on recurring, that is the issue of profitability with social networking sites - how they just justify their value?

I actually feel a bit depressed at the thought of brands who do not understand the value of social networks and still persist on trying to get some form of monetary value from people within these social hubs somehow....

"It is a parlor game that has Silicon Valley buzzing. With online ad spending booming into a nearly $50 billion market this year, there is plenty of money to be had. Big-name advertisers are drooling over millions of young, affluent consumers who are spending more time on their online profiles than in front of TV and movie screens. They are particularly smitten with the prospect of tailoring ads to people's specific interests."

The current trend is opening up their enclosed systems to the whole web* with limits of course. Facebook will let members take their personal profiles to any website that wants to host them. For now, MySpace is opening user profiles only to a few sites, including Yahoo and eBay.

Social networks are the latest iteration of the Web economy. But unlike e-commerce sites and search engines, they offer a more intimate setting for friends to share information. It is very likely that social networking like email is just designed to make a huge revenue stream for advertising.

On the FLIPside - if advertisers actually thought about why they want to use social networks in the first place.....I would suggest the following issues to consider:

1. Be prepared to offer something people can share - I am not talking about just another microsite that has wallpapers and photos. One brand that I can think of who could use social media really well is RED BULL. They do not need to rely of social media solely to sell more drinks...they use social media as part of the conversation strategy to reach the people who are interested in what the brand stands for and what events they sponsor to keep them interested.

2. Keep it relevant and interesting - Instead of trying to get the greatest reach on the webspace, brands need to consider what they are offering is relevant to the people within the networks, ie. demonstrate value to become a part of the network - will they learn something or just get free stuff from you to improve the brand's position within the community. Remember the things that are unique - they usually start small and let the community create a culture from within before it becomes mainstream and commercialisation sets the money making wheel in motion.

If you are a massive brand looking to capitalise on social media - not that I would really hope to see brands every sec of my life. Seriously - don't expect to turn a profit straight away and more importantly, don't just SPAM like you would with any other advertising strategy, it is a totally different metric to measure success in social media. It is fundamentally about people and relationships.

Think about how how 20th Century promote their films between their big budget label and searchlight (independent division) to really understand how communication need to differ to work in a different environment. It is not rocket science - it should just be common sense. *sigh*

- The End.


Sobriety is a lonely road less travelled in my demo

This is not actually me but I really liked the photo. I felt that it described the sentiment really appropriately. photo by eganfrantz

I know.... I know the blog has been quiet this week.
Many of you may not have known unless you have been reading my blog from the very beginning.

I have been going out for about a solid month now. I am talking about out pretty much every week 5 nights in a row, often starting from Wednesday ending on a gig on Sunday night or possibly more alcohol induced social activities. Yes I do very much live on a life of excess after work hours, initially I thought it was no big deal since that is kind of a good excuse to relieve stress and socialise.

The whole partying ways have become somewhat of a normal expected weekly routine for me, my friends who are not accustomed to such a lifestyle might be in awe that I am still alive and functional.
I felt very much like the almighty as well.

Last Friday was a very fuzzy night, just to put it lightly, I saw a lot of people and did a lot of things my memory has not held dearly. It is probably just resting comfortably in my subconscious waiting to be unlocked, either way it was pretty much my downfall for all the partying I have welcomed with my shaky open arms.

The much anticipated illness had finally caught up to me this week. I have been bed ridden for the last 2 days missing out on work that I really shouldn't be taking lightly with looming deadlines ahead.

The only upside to this traumatic come down is that I realised I have hit a wall physically and mentally.
I have started to draw again and putting my ideas fon paper for my own label is rewarding even though it is only preliminary.

The thought of not drinking on a Wednesday night is also refreshing with no sore heads to wake up to the next day.

I am so determined to stay sober now, just for myself to be healthy and save the much needed capital to start making some clothing samples from my own designs while I get over to HK and Japan in July.
Yes - the pieces are falling together now....!


Inspired by the moon

In the shadows of the moon.
film website
My friend Sam told me about this movie when we were hanging out on Friday.
I was pretty dazed and confused since it was at a birthday shindig with way too much party juice on ice.

I remember vaguely that the film is about the Apollo project during the 60s - 70s and all the footage from NASA had been remastered. Despite my fuzzy memory, I was keen to go check it out since it was screened at the Chauvel. (The Chauvel usually has a good selection of films)

The film's co-producer and assistant director, Chris Riley said, "the extraterrestrial film footage, shot by the astronauts themselves, has been brought out of storage only a handful of times since the 60s & 70s." The footage is considered so unique and valuable, that the original film is stowed under liquid nitrogen!

The story is quite riveting, with intimate interviews conducted with various personalities involved with the Apollo project recounting how important the project has been to the US during their involvement. It was a volatile time for the US and it was like the last straw for the country to count on coming out on top.
When Chris first encountered this archive in the late 90s, he declares it felt like he was entering an Aladdin's of footage.

While I was watching the film, it brought up a lot of questions in my head. Aside fromt he amazing acheivement of sending men to the moon to realise President Kennedy's dream, the intelligence shared within the Apollo program, it was simply mind blowing. I think the footage serves as a prompt reminder on how much science has contributed to our society and it is not just about freaks and geeks taking over the world. The curiosity inspired creations such as space exploration has united the world back in the 60s and it was one of the first time, the world felt like it was united and the achievement was a group effort. As Neil Armstrong had said when he first landed on the moon, "This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".

I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I think the collective of 60s footage was just awesome and the random introduction of ads during that period of commercialism was hiliarious too, like the prime time spot during the Apollo11 launch count down was brought to you by Kellog's! The sales pitch was just so frank, I think it is rather refreshing.

It is definitely one of the best documentary films I had seen in a long and it was educational, even after a big night of partying I felt much more refreshed at the end of the film.

For more info on the film, please visit the website


Humble beginnings should begin at a Dirty Bar

I haven't been to the Excelsior Hotel in ages.
The first time I went there for my first live photo gig, it wasn't for fasterlouder or anything but ironically that is where it all began with where I am today on my music influences and appreciation of photography.

I went to high school with Chris and Josh, they were the boys that got me into punk and alternative music. They always played music and I did a band logo for them when I was in year9, purely by luck aka. Myspace that we got reunited through other school friends they had formed a new band called
Chris Duker and the Royals.
Here is one of the photos I first took of them.

Fast forward to May 2008. I have met loads of amazing bands since October last year and my photos have gotten a little finer through time, which is still a bit of a blur for me since I am such a novice who happens to like music and people a lot, so lucky has been good to me.

This is one of my favourite bands right now, they are
123 Amazing. Not just a catchy name, these kids are all really passionate and talented. I am super grateful that they have supported my ideas so often.
Here is a few shots of 123 Amazing oozing of nostalgia at the good old Excelsior hotel.

Oyster x Stolen Girlfriend Club

From what I have been hearing all week from friends and people in my work building who are somehow affiliated with fashion week. have all been going a bit nuts. But nobody would pass up an excuse for a party on a wednesday night, especially when it is put together by the folks at Oyster magazine.

Oyster threw a party for the new New Zealand label
Stolen Girlfriend Club, they have a pretty funny story on their myspace page about how the label started.

I have seen a few of their pieces and they definitely have an interesting direction.
I dropped by the party at the art factory after the Somedays gallery then I noticed a sea of people waiting for drinks at the bar inside, so I just checked out a few photos inside at the gallery side and ducked out swiftly to avoid my sobering realisation that the tab has already ran out by 10.