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LISTER Interview!

Known as ‘An advocate for the freedom of visual speech’ Australian Fine/Street/Graffiti Artist Anthony Lister is on a mission to gift his art to the streets without persecution, to explore creativity without boundary and to always evolve as an Artist simultaneously.  Lister teamed up with us at Volcom on a Collaborative Collection 'Lister x Volcom’, which we are proud to have created with the modern street impressionist. For this collection Lister explores the themes of money and corruption as it relates to the modern cyber state. Volcom Australia’s Head Creative Kimberley Reynolds had a chat with Lister about the collab collection, skateboarding, vandalism vs art and the process in his creative practice.

 

KR: When did you first take to painting the streets?

AL: I was 19 when I started painting electrical boxes around my hometown. I ended up painting over 100 of these boxes over the course of 4 years. 

 

KR: What and where was the first piece?

AL: The piece from memory was a painting of clowns holding spray cans. Location - Brisbane, Australia. 

 

KR: For you initially, was the act of painting in the streets equally attractive for the protest of creative freedom in your landscape as well as the exhibition of your work being seen by an unsuspecting audience?

AL: Honestly, I was most interested in my mum and nanna seeing my work in the wild and watching their reactions. 

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KR: You were quoted in 2014 by Australian publication; Brisbane's Weekend Edition saying "I’m a freedom fighter, I’m fighting for the freedom of visual speech” You’re still fighting the good fight, does it and how does it feel like its progressing since this statement in 2014?

AL: Well, as long as men and women, boys and girls are being sent to prison for acts of creativity -the struggle continues. So long story short / not much has changed at all wishing the system and those that make the law. I guess I on the other hand have progressed greatly in my articulation of defining the problems and developing strategies in which changes could be implicated. 

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KR: You have been commissioned in your street art to paint huge pieces for various commercial clients, how does the emotional or creative feeling differ when painting these pieces over personal illegal outdoor work?

AL: They don't change at all. I always do my best work. I feel that "you are only as smart as your last decision and only as good as your last production”. Whomever I am working with for or against I put in the most I can to achieve my goal. 

 

KR: Speaking of commissions vs illegal work, earlier this year you were sentenced to Community service after facing charges of vandalism by the Brisbane City Council. A Council that has previously commissioned you to create works within its cityscape. The case received a lot of media attention in Australia and worldwide for its odd imbalance and self-deeming sense of declaring art vs vandalism. One comment I loved was from filmmaker Eddie Martin on twitter who noted “Odd way to treat one of your best cultural assets.” How do you as an artist process this mixed message from authority?

AL: Yeah, well it sucks that in this day and age people are being sent to prison for acts of creativity huh. I'm one of the lucky ones. Having said that it ended up costing me $78K in lawyer fees but I still have my integrity and most importantly my freedom. 

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KR: You “gift” a lot of your street art pieces where the building owner has given you permission to create on the property. Do you hunt this work or do blank spaces get offered to you?

AL: A bit of both. 

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KR: The large, actually enormous scale pieces you do outdoors are just insanely large. Watching back some footage of you creating these is incredible. Wielding the extended roller the way you do must have taken some real practice! How much prelim work do you put into the composition plan before hitting these spaces? What’s the usual approach?

AL: I always have a mental sketch before I begin but that's usually about it. In adventure painting it is important not to burden ones self with expectations. 

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KR: A lot of Artists at your level from Australia generally go and move overseas to bigger markets or art scenes. What keeps you in Australia?

AL: It feels like I'm never in Australia. I actually love Australia but then again I love America and Germany too. I’ve kinda lived everywhere for a time. Life's great! 

 

KR: It seems there is a real correlation between Street Art and Skateboarding in terms of “vandalism”, creativity within your landscape and freedom of expression vs law? Do they feel almost the same to you?

AL: I agree. I believe it comes down to harvesting an audacity to embrace the freedom to express ones self creatively in the public arena. 

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KR: I spoke to another Volcom collaborating Sydney based Artist, also raised in Brisbane – Gemma O’Brien recently who I know you’ve worked alongside in the past. Gemma mentioned the real longing to work on a solo show and personal work after spending majority of her time on commissioned work; to hone new skills, test herself and have no parameters. Do you feel the same longing after working on commissioned pieces?

AL: Nah not really. I keep busy on jobs, in the street while also maintaining a constant studio practice. I understand what she means though- making new work and keeping up a practice is like having a child- you can never give enough time or energy- it is the guilt that keeps on giving (on parenting).

 

KR: How important is the balance of personal work and commissioned work? Are they about even in your practice in terms of quantity?

AL: Hmmm… well I actually don't really keep count- I leave that for my team. So I don't really know and I like it like that.

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KR: You’ve used dollar bills and skulls through the Volcom collaboration, what do those symbols communicate for you within these works?

AL: Life, death, drugs, fucking, the city, being lost, respect, tragedy, strangers in the club, great tracks. SKULLS and money are like everything and nothing. Like grains of sand though the hourglass of time. 

 

KR: In the short film you made with us at Volcom; filmed in Sydney at your studio the city surrounds - you make a wonderful metaphor of the streets being the jungle, the animals in the wild being your art and the spaces you hunt to put it on and also that you are both the hunter and the hunted within your jungle. Do you feel instinctual and primitive with your art and the means in which you need to go to create it? Is it driven by pure need and sense of survival?

AL: A purity -yes/ a sense of survival- no. I'm driven by forces greater than myself and I feel like I'm just a messenger working for the boss. 

 

KR: Do you have any strategies to avoid being hunted?

AL: Yes. I don't disrespect anyone.  I use my intuition and senses of smell, hearing and sight to avoid the trappings of a material mindset.

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KR: When we were filming with you we had the Volcom skate team in tow and you’re mates with a few of the Volcom crew, it seems like a totally natural fit. Was it a pretty organic journey creating a collection with Volcom?

AL: Yeah for sure. I’ve been mates with heaps of those mad cunts for years. When I was asked to create the collection it was super laid back- n- natural.

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KR: When we visited your studio, you showed us some very interesting bronze cast sculpture forms you were beginning to work with. You also seem to cross mediums like video, installations as well as paint, charcoal and more traditional mediums. How important is it for you as an artist to keep expanding your process?

AL: I do it to combat the boredom. I never really think about it like I'm expanding my practice I just realize I want to make something and then learn how to make it, along the way. Most of the time it's a long journey full of trials and errors. There are many exciting and challenging learning curves when dealing with the fundamentals of alchemy. 

 

KR: What’s up next for you?

AL: So much crazy shit. I got this guy making a film that's gonna expose me for what I really am. He's the guy that made that documentary "ALL THIS MAYHEM" which is a dope film about a couple of skaters that ended up making and breaking themselves like a couple of legends. That's going to take a while but yeah that and shows n jobs, travelling, life, all kinds of shit man. Swipe left  

 

KR: Could you list your top 5 outdoor pieces around the globe people could check out? Let’s send them on a Lister hunt…

AL: NEW YORK, BERLIN, Paris, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Detroit, New Zealand, Bali, Hong Kong, Milan ... Hold on is that 5? Damn bro I don't even know what's even still up let alone where it is. But I do know that I loved every one of them more than the last before I walked away with my clothes, face and hands covered in paint and a photo.

 

SHOP COLLECTION HERE!

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Recent News + Video

Surf
YAGO DORA MENTAWAIS 2017
The name Yago Dora should be starting to sound familiar. After his tear at the Oi Rio Pro in May, he's gained a lot of well-deserved attention from the surfing world and through WSL where he was awarded a Wild Card into the Outerknown Fiji Pro, a prestigious World Tour stop which gave him the chance to showcase his talents on the big stage. In addition, with his recent win at the Azores Airlines Pro, a 6,000-rated QS event, Brazilian Yago Dora continues to move one step closer to qualifying for the elite 2018 Championship Tour. But free surfing might be what Yago is known for best. Constantly impressing his fans with new edits, Yago displays a high-flying and innovative bag of tricks. Huge air rotations, creative grabs, and over-the-lip surfing, complemented with a strong rail game, shows that Yago's agile and light-footed surfing can go head-to-head with the world's best. This edit is a great balance of Yago's surfing: innovation airs, lightening-quick turns, and intense, shallow reef tubes will keep your eyes glued to the screen from start to finish. This trip for Yago was special. Not just because of the epic waves he scored, but because he had a solid crew of family and friends with him. Yago explains: "IT WAS A FAMILY VIBE KIND OF TRIP. I HAD MY DAD, LEANDRO DORA, PEDRO BARROS AND HIS DAD ANDRÉ, AND LÉO KAKINHO WHO IS ALSO A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF OURS AND A LEGEND IN THE SKATEBOARDING SCENE IN BRAZIL." The trip consisted of nine days on the Macaronis Resort with his friends and family, a comfortable and popular resort for surfers from around the world. Scoring the elusive Green Bush for his very first time, Yago was ecstatic, bagging multiple tubes and some heavy wipeouts along the way. While having had fun sessions at both Macas and Roxies, Yago was quick to say Green Bush was his favorite spot. Watch the edit above to see all the action! Keep up with Yago's latest happenings on his Instagram: @yagodora as he continues his quest for the Championship Tour. Photo: Tom Carey
Events
VOLCOM PRESENTS #THISFIRST AT THE GARDEN W/ NIGHT BEATS, FAT TONY & AL LOVER
This past Saturday at the Volcom Garden in Austin, Texas we celebrated the culmination of the past six weeks of #ThisFirst, our initiative to reward people who are dedicated to turning their passion into their career. The event was a showcase of the work of #TheFirst winners and also featured a sneak peek of a forthcoming #ThisFirst documentary. Thank you to all our winners, some of who traveled a great distance to be here and to Fat Tony,The Night Beats, Al Lover, Sound on Sound Fest, Deep Eddy Vodka, Austin Eastciders and everyone who came out to enjoy the night with us. All photos by Levi Thompson unless otherwise noted. Fabian aka Chama played at short set Atsushi brought his Wadaiko drum. Photo by Immegart Chama and Atsushi following an impromptu jam session Canarus Leon Canarus on his crew R.A.D. Sara's fish hung from the ceiling Angel brought the Horchata Tim's photo from Baja and some of Joanna's charcoal pieces You can see Joanna's large piece she's almost completed Night Beats capped off the night. Photo by Reid Fat Tony Best Trick on the mini ramp #ThisFirst and some of Volcom crew on hand for the night Sara Becker and Tylah Kerr. Photo by Reid Steffen Turmer and Angel Perez. Photo by Reid Brandon Clements and Volcom Art Director, Patrick Carrie. Photo by Reid Canarus Leon and Joanna Painter. Photo by Reid Chen Yu Ching and Tim Briggs. Photo by Reid Fabian Ruiz and Atsushi Miki. Photo by Reid Robert Wall and Volcom's Hope Lane. Photo by Reid Sara Becker and Fabian Ruiz. Photo by Reid We couldn't resist the opportunity to break out the shredder again, so we brought it to the party so people could shred what they thought was holding them back from doing what they really want to do. Thanks to Pixster for the photos.
Product
Interview With Alec Majerus On Cancel History
About a month or so ago we had an idea to have a skateboarder, surfer and snowboarder do all 3 board sports in the same day to celebrate the release of our Cancel History collection. Southern California is one of the few places where we could actually pull this off, so we enlisted skateboarders Alec Majerus, Omar Hassan, legendary snowboarder Jamie Lynn and surfer Noa Deane to hit the slopes of Mt. High, waves of Newport Beach and our very own skatepark here at Volcom HQ. Outfitted in original Volcom tee designs from the 90's it was just like the old days, 20 plus years later, but the vibe and true Volcom spirit was still the same. Snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding in the same day is no easy task, so we decided to have a brief chat with Alec Majerus, who he was actually snowboarding up in Big Sky, Montana with his family, to get his take on the day. Hey Alec, how is it going what you been up to? Good man, just been skating and snowboarding a lot lately. We know your rip on a skateboard, but how long have you been snowboarding and surfing? I've been snowboarding since I was like 8. I've only surfed a few times though Alec spraying powder at Mt. High I heard you and your friends were psyched on snowboarding, surfing and skating in the same day, have you ever tried to do that before? Nah I haven't done that before. It's always been a goal of mine. What was the hardest part? The snowboarding, surfing or skating? The surfing was so hard because the waves were pretty big and I was getting smoked Noa Deane and Alec getting ready to surf.   How much did you snowboard back home in Minnesota? I used to do a lot of backyard snowboarding growing up because I couldn't skate. A lot of people say snowboarding and skateboarding are very similar but still different, what are your thoughts? Do you find snowboarding easier since you rip so hard on a skateboard? Yea I think if you can skate you can easily learn to snowboard and vice versa You’ve skated some pretty monster rails but have you ever hit one on a snowboard? Yea I lipslid and 5050 on a 16 when I was younger Noa, Alec and Omar post surf sesh I remember you were living in a studio apartment in Huntington Beach with all your Minnesota homies for a minute. Did you ever surf when you were living by the beach?  Nah, I didn't surf until I moved to Costa Mesa. Wish I would have took advantage of that though! Between the dudes you did this epic day with, Jamie Lynne, Noa Deane and Omar Hassan, who were you more impressed with as far watching them do a board sport they’re not known for? Noa said he had never snowboarded before and we took him to the top and he did it without falling. I was tripping on that. After snowboarding and surfing Alec still had enough fuel in the tank to pop off the walls.
Film
Osmo Thrombo - The Lo-Fi B-Movie Of Hi-Fi Shredding
THE REAL JOURNEY OF AN UNREAL SURF FLICK, OSMO THROMBO. Words by Tom Carey Sometimes plans are meant to be changed. We set out to document a surf trip in Australia and ended up in Indonesia. Nate Leal (videographer) and I (still photographer) flew from California to Sydney ready to jump on another flight to Brisbane to meet up with surfers Ozzie Wright, Noa Deane, and Mitch Coleborn, along with Mikey Mallalieu (Aussie videographer). However, during the long trans Pacific flight, the forecast and weather turned grim to say the least. So, in the Sydney airport, we lined up last minute flights, accommodations, and transfers for all of us to one of Indo’s mysto, less frequented islands. The swell forecast was better than what Australia had in mind for us, and sometimes you just need to get surfers out of their comfort zone and on the road. Noa and beauties from another world. Mitch, Ozzie and Noa travel zonked at the ferry boarding station. You never know who you’re gonna meet while waiting for your boat to come in… ..And you never know who you’ll be invited to hang with once out to sea. The locals enjoyed our company and had some good laughs. Indo is a far trek for anyone coming from Cali, but once you tack on another flight, and a three-hour van ride, followed by a two-hour ferry ride, and a final thirty minutes by car, you’re talking about a hefty journey. So, you pray the waves are worth it. No shortage of post card views along the way. Village life. Finding beach shade was key to survival on our destination island. (Noa is seen here in the Mag Vibes Stoneys Boardshorts.) The big goon himself, Ozzie Wright, marks trails and takes his own shade with him everywhere he goes. Ozzie and the best way to shower off days of travel grime. Ozzie out of the shower and right back into being a slob. Noa indy… going big and tech in the natural world. Apparently, all the plane flights to get there wasn’t enough air time for Mitch. Post-surf refueling. All I can say is that these were no ordinary coconuts... ...Just ask Ozzie. The next few days were a back-and-forth mission between the left, and a right-hander situated in a massive bay with the most picturesque views framing the photos. The boys assaulted the right’s chunky sections. The maxed out conditions at the right made for some tricky situations, but when you found a good one, the ramps were massive! Mitch’s backhand is second to none, as seen here. After blowing out a fin box, Noa still managed to nail a few more airs there. But, the right just didn’t produce enough to make it into the film we were there to shoot. As fickle as it was, the left became our bread and butter. We were chipping away at our trip. We were working hard when struck by challenges such as our van bottoming out in a mean little ditch on a rutted, dirt road, and playing hard to compile an epic batch of clips. Ozzie and his favorite travel companion. 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Sure enough, we rolled up to the shore and saw low-tide kegs freight training out in the distance of the bay. We rented an indo canoe powered by a five-horse-power-converted weed whacker outboard. We excitedly jumped in the boat for the ride to the line-up. At first, from this closer vantage point, it looked as if the tide was actually too low. Suddenly, a few crazy waves pulsed in that got the boys out there immediately. But, once in the water, we found ourselves settling for less. Although fun, nothing rolled in for a while as sick as what we previously saw. To make matters worse, a crazy rain squall moved in and unleashed on us. It was raining so hard that the boat was filling up with water. Then, after about 20 minutes of nonstop, torrential downpour, it was as if some higher power came down and said, “Hey, let me help you out here,” and the rain stopped like the flip of a switch. A light offshore wind kicked in, and the waves started pumping. As if a spell was cast, the conditions went from average to absolutely going off. It was unworldly. Ozzie’s wave-count doubled everyone else's on the trip. He’s all smiles here after getting barreled for 50 yards across the shallow reef. After the rain squall, the wave became a full-fledge photo studio. Mitch just inches away from my camera. The power of a fisheye lens. We substituted the sun for offshore winds. Ozzie approved. A few gems came in before the squall. Noa found the best one. Mitch mid-pump on a little screamer. We traded off long waves of multi-section pits for six hours straight that day. It was the all-time session we were hoping for. We watched the footage that night, pinching ourselves and sharing the stoke of each other’s waves. Celebratory madness ensued, joking “rite of passage” haircuts went down: Mitch got the first cut and rocked it the rest of the trip. The next morning we woke up to onshore slop. The ocean was done and so were we. It was time to go home. Journey complete. Hours of footage and tons of stories. What was next to do? Ryan Thomas to tweak all the footage into what would become OSMO THROMBO… The lo-fi, cult, surf action, adventure, dramatic, sci-fi, fantasy, bro-mantic, comedy, feel good, B-movie of outer limits, hi-fi shredding and interstellar tube time, that quickly unravels into the most bizarre experience of our lives… and ultimately a mission to rescue Mitch. Three of them was a handful. I couldn’t imagine keeping track of nine. Until next time!
Film
Not Your Average Wipeouts - Excerpts From “The Dock”
Not everyday you’re going to watch a wipeout video like this. Sure, sports have their varied crash and burns, errors and fails, but when it comes to surfing, there’s only a few things that could go wrong. Although, when you’re dealing with this unusual stunt that was put together by Stab and Volcom, you’re going to get all sorts of wipeouts and fails, none of which has been experienced by any surfer until now. It was both parts thrilling and dangerous to attempt what these guys conquered. Anchoring a 100-foot floating dock in the middle of a surf break to ease the entry into riding a wave seemed questionable. The dock ripped from its anchor a couple times and trampled its way to the shore. The surfers slipped off its wet surface countless times. Some misjudged its location in the lineup and had to jump to safety, and others had to duck and cover as the dock whipped around like a snake when the waves started breaking. Was it worth it? Of course it was. Would we do it again? Of course we would. It’s all part of the experience of going out on a limb and trying something new. Something that hasn’t been done before to give the people something worth viewing. The Dock was a memorable event, and we couldn't have done it without Stab. Special thanks also goes out to our team riders who joined us in this venture, and the entire production crew who made it all possible. WATCH 'THE DOCK Noa Deane (left) using an alternate route to safety, while photographer Tom Carey is caught mid-strategy in his attempt for cover. Imai Devault negotiating his way up the ramp between Yago Dora and Balaram Stack. Ozzie Wright sits in the far distance with time to spare. Balaram had a long run at this thing. Unfortunately, he ended up slipping right at the end and gave Yago a front row seat to a good laugh. Ozzie Wright, miscalculating. Mitch Coleborn didn't anticipate this wave breaking out that far. Clearly. Yago taking a leap of faith off the dock to safety. Balaram attempting a successful run at the right, while Noa looks to the left to make sure he's good to go. What does one do in a situation like this? Understandably, the dudes jump off the dock, trying to get as far away from it as possible in hopes it doesn't whip around and tag them.
Skate
Volcom In Paris - L'Waiting Game
After the La Kantera contest in Getxo, Basque Country, Spain the Volcom skate team popped into France to pay a visit to the city of Paris and all it's amazing skate spots. With Axel Cruysberghs, Louie Lopez, Collin Provost, Victor 'Doobie' Pellegrin and Eniz Fazliov all ready to rip, the weather had other plans. With rain in the forecast on most of the days, the dudes were glued to the weather apps on their phones. Luckily when the skies parted, it was just enough time for the boys to get down to business! Louie Lopez | Smith Bash Congrats Lou on the COVER of The Skateboard Mag issue 162! Even though the rain put a damper on the trip, overall the trip was still very productive. At a spot in the middle of one of Paris' main transportation hubs, Louie Lopez managed to get a smith bash and European staff photographer Jelle Keppens nailed the photo. It was so good that The Skateboard Mag used it as the cover of issue 162! Congrats Lou! Click here to read the article! Inside the mag you can see and read more about the trip. If you weren't able to find a hard copy, the article is available online over at The Skateboard Mag site. Click here to watch the RAW tape! While The Skateboard Mag cover of Louie's smith bash was a highlight, the real shocker of the trip was Eniz Fazliov's front blunt at Paris' infamous Le Dome. Only Eniz knows how you power through that kink on a front blunt! It was so mind blowing that pan-european skate magazine Free Skate Mag made it the cover of their latest issue. Along with the cover we also made an edit of every attempt to show the battle.