A Home That’s Familiar And Unfamiliar: Remembering Ian Strange’s Suburban Masterpieces
If you’ve been frequenting this site for a while now, you would remember the home page banner GIF of a suburban house engulfed in flames–we’ve only recently switched it up. That house is in fact an art piece by artist Ian Strange (who used to run under the Graffiti moniker of Kid Zoom), a unique talent who orientates his work around his unshakable tie with suburban life. It all started from his childhood, where he grew up in an Australian suburban landscape together with the looming anxiety of wanting to escape. He did escape, and moved to New York City, only to find that the suburban life came with him, in his mind, and instead of fight it, he decided to make art devoted to understanding the phenomenon.
With a few different projects already under his belt, all orientated around the notion of pleasentville living, Strange is about to open his newest venture into the ongoing discovery. Looking back, we have Home (2011), which saw the artist reconstruct his childhood house to scale on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island. Then there was the light-based, film, photography and installation project Final Act (2013), where Strange visited New Zealand’s Christchurch and its residential “Red Zone” after 2011’s disastrous earthquake, rendering many of the houses unlivable.
Suburban, Strange’s biggest project to date, had the artist travel across the US where he picked out seven site-specific homes to work on, including the aforementioned house in flames. And then there’s Shadow, his soon-to-open exhibition set in Sydney, Australia. The project features five quintessentially Australian red brick suburban homes, all painted in deep black, creating somewhat of a void within the peaceful landscape. The exhibition is meant to offer an immersive and captivating experience, so if you’re in the Chippendale area, be sure to check it out starting March 3.