RONE started leaving his mark on Melbourne’s streets and laneways back in 2004 around the time the infamous Everfresh Studios began. Over the last decade, his career has skyrocketed and he is now one of those highly sought after street artists, nearly always travelling to the next street art festival or off to paint a massive mural on the side of a building in some obscure destination. His captivating works can be seen in various locations across Australia and the USA, as well as spotted in the UK, Cuba, Dubai, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Sweden and more.
His latest solo exhibition titled EMPTY was created in the incredible, soon to be demolished, 1920’s Art Nouveau Lyric Theatre. Having been through the space a few times prior to the opening I saw the epic transformation first hand. When first entering the cavernous space you are overwhelmed by a striking ten metre portrait on the back wall. The mural is painted over some original artwork only revealed by accident when they decided to clean the wall before painting it.
Running along both sides of the space are two rows of hung pieces of art which appear to magically float in the air. On the right side hand twelve painted portraits, on the left eight photos of Rone’s works shown in striking context in abandoned houses.
A discreet peephole looking into the pitch black warehouse next door revealed another mural rising out of the rubble covered floor. The boards had a numerous small holes drilled into it allowing the light to pierce the black void.
The whole show was flawless, a true testament to Rone and his amazing eye for detail and artistic talent. But don’t take my word for it, with nearly two thousand people coming through the first two nights, and nearly every artwork sold, I think the verdict is unanimous.