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Archive for the ‘Cool Links’ Category

www.52 Suburbs.com is the kind of project which gets my inner photography nerd all excited. Basically this lady called Louise decided it would be fun to explore a different Sydney suburb each week, take a bunch of pics, and document the whole thing on her blog. The result was a project which captured the diversity and richness of Sydney in a way which hadn’t really been done before. Yeh that’s all well and good, but why am I posting it on here? Because if you do some browsing you’ll see that she found some awesome vintage architecture, cool cars and interesting people, all in day to day Sydney. And it’s kind of cool to see a take on this from an ‘outsiders’ perspective.

Some of the cool stuff includes the amazing mid century Crest Cinema in Granville, a beautiful rockabilly gal in Penrith, the art deco School of Artillery in Manly, and hot rods & harleys in Windsor. I’ve got to say I haven’t been through the whole site yet, but if you’re anything like me just check out the posts tagged as art deco or 1950s! If you like what you see, there’s since been a book released, and there’s an exhibition on display at the Museum of Sydney until Oct 9.

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There are some sites I love to check on a regular basis, and one of those is Modernist Australia. These guys are clearly passionate about their love for modernist design and architecture, it just shows through their work. For us, the first port of call is their real estate listings, with links (sorted by their respective states), of modern homes for sale across the country. Take a look at the pics below to get an idea of some of the awesome pads for sale at the moment! If this kind of stuff gets you going, check out their website and join em on their facebook page to find out when they make some updates.

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The fine folk over at Sailor Jerry must have been in a generous mood the other week, because they sent me a bottle of their spiced rum to sample! I’ll be honest in that while I knew the Sailor Jerry name, I didn’t know much about the bloke himself or the company as it is today – so I did some homework.

Basically Sailor Jerry served in the US Navy and he was one of the pioneers of tattooing in the 20th century. He had a reputation for his shrewd intellect as well as his intricate tattoo designs – the rigging on his ships was accurate down to the last sheet bend! The company came about after his death in ’73, when he instructed that his tattoo shop and all his designs were to be entrusted to his protegés – and if they didn’t want it, it was all to be burned! Since then it has slowly evolved, first with a book of his tattoo flash, and then some clothing bearing his original designs, and the rum which is made to a traditional seafaring recipe.

Now I’ll be honest, I’m more than a little cynical when I hear of a story like this. Lets face it, I think we all know of a brand or two who have bought the ‘rights’ to the name of a legendary lowbrow artist and basically pimped it out to make some cash. But checking out the Sailor Jerry blog, it becomes pretty clear that they’re passionate about a bunch of different aspects of kustom kulture – tattoos (of course!), lowbrow art, rum, and music. And not just passionate, they’re actively supporting it too, with art shows and gigs to highlight up and coming artists. They’re also an anti-sweatshop company (so their clothing is made in the States not in some exploitive Asian sweatshop) which is pretty cool too.

So is the rum any good? Is the Pope a Catholic? Hell yes! The rum is influenced by Caribbean Rum, which sailors used to spice with flavours from Asia and the Far-East to make it more enjoyable to drink. The result is a rum with a fuller and more rounded flavour (just like a good woman). Personally I like my rum with Coke and Sailor Jerry is great for this, whilst my girlfriend doesn’t mind a dark and stormy – and by her feedback some Sailor Jerry, ginger beer and a slice of lime tastes pretty damn fine! The added bonus is that the bottle looks ace on the shelf! We also did some back to back testing, and can say with 100% scientific accuracy that Sailor Jerry rum tastes even better when sampled from a vintage nautical mug!

Sailor Jerry also have posted up a bunch of recipes on their website which include their rum, and damn some of them sound good! The good news is when I run out (cue a Jack Sparrow moment), I can pick some up at Dan Murphys – sweet!

To find out more about Sailor Jerry check out their website www.sailorjerry.com or the Aussie facebook page.

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I’d like to consider myself a reasonable photographer, but when I see photography like they have in Fuel magazine, well I realise just how much scope there is for improvement. If you haven’t checked out Fuel magazine yourself, do yourself a favour and grab yourself a copy, the quality of this little mag is amazing! They’re up to issue 7, and it’s now printed in Melbourne which is pretty cool. Even cooler is that issue 7 is ‘the customs issue’, with 6 beautiful Aussie made cruisers getting a feature – oh yeh! Check out their website www.fuelzine.com for more info, or check em out on facebook.

While checking out their website, you should also check out their Vultures Cruise photo book. “In March 2010, the Vultures car club set off on a long weekend cruise from Port Melbourne to Hobart, via the overnight ferry. The club invited Luke to tag along and document the event, and this book is the result”. The book is being sold in a limited edition run of 500 and they’re all hand numbered, it promises to be one seriously nice photo diary of Aussie rod and custom kulture. Get in quick!

The fine folks over at Street Machine have released another rod mag called Hot Rod Legends, which I picked up from the newsagent this arvo. No this isnt the Hot Rod Annual that usually comes out later in the year, this is a compilation of a bunch of rods, customs and kustom kulture related stories they’ve featured in the main mag over the last few years. In other words its the coolest rod stuff thrown together without the Commodores with 20inch wheels and turbos, but with the quality writing, photography and layout you expect from Street Machine. Well worth keeping an eye out for on the shelf.

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Rob Walker is a Queensland based kustom kulture artist whose work continues to awe and inspire both myself and many others. Not content to stick with one medium, he creates art in a bunch of different forms, and what’s more he absolutely nails each of them. Not only does his work capture the essence of both kustom kulture and ‘50s nostalgia, he still manages to introduce a unique style in his work in a genre where there is so much overlap between other artists’ styles. We managed to tie him down for 5 minutes between bouts of creativity to have a chat with him.

So your brother Pete is a well known photographer in the kustom kulture world, and you’re obviously a massive kustom kulture nut, how did you guys get into it?
I’ll have to point the finger at my dad on this one. Cutting my teeth on his hot rod & restyling mags when we were in single figures set the scene for us. Being taken to school in his souped FJ while standing on the back seat, leaning over the front and watching the magical EK speedo he’d fitted go around, or riding on the tank of his WLA, sans helmet, (goodness, how did we survive) stoked the fires as well. Yep dad was a car nut so I guess it’s in the blood.

What are some of the cars you have built over the years?
I had a 36 Plymouth coupe and a 37 Plymouth sedan when I was 15 that I was tinkering with. I sold them off when I got my license and got into old Holdens. There were a couple of EK’s, my custom being one, FB ute and a sweet 52 Pontiac. Oh and an unfinished 48 Buick in-between.

Out of all of those, what was your favourite and how come?
Easily my EK custom. Had many a great time in that old heap, from running it down the quarter at Surfers Paradise to winning top custom at Wintersun. Sadly it didn’t live to see the custom car renaissance we enjoy now. Poor thing had more hits than Elvis and I’m sure it was possessed.

EKs feature a lot in your art as well. Why about them do you love so much?
Because they were a big part of my life at one point, from becoming a man to almost being killed in one and all the stories in between. Plus there a cool looking car, also, in my painting “summer 1962” (the girl in back of an EK wagon) I wanted to give it an Australian feel. After all, that’s where we are.

And what’s the one car you’d love to build – like what’s your ultimate project?
Well I do like the odd makes but the ultimate for me would have to be a 36 Ford 3 window coupe done 40’s style but different to the norm. Mind you the 46 business coupe I’m doing at the moment will do.

Now getting onto your art, when you did you start playing with it?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing or making something but I guess my focus on art bit hard about 95. The striping since I was apprenticed as a signwriter in the mid 80’s striping and scrolling trucks.

I find with artists there are people who are great at one medium, and those like yourself who excel at many – you pinstripe, paint, build custom cars, and make sculptures as well. Do some mediums come quicker to you than others? Do some mediums suite some moods better than others?
That depends on what my focus is at the time or the idea thats floating around. Sometimes, especially after a couple of reds I think I can get all mediums happening at once. Other times, I’m better off just sitting in front of the telly.

Now you seem like the kind of guy who always has a bunch of projects on the go at any one time. Do you find that motivation to finish them off is hard, particularly when you have newer and better ideas that come along?
I think that’s something most creative people suffer from. You’re creating a masterpiece and while your mind is off in some artistic la la land another idea will pop up and you know you just have to see if it will work. There’s many a half started project in my shed or studio and I’m sure I’m not alone there. Hello. Helloooo. Anybody???????

I’m definitely guilt of that one! Where do you look for inspiration for your art and your cars? What’s the kind of process that happens between having an idea and the finished project – like does it evolve and morph organically or does it usually just come together like you thought it would?
I guess inspiration comes from everywhere. B grade sci fi, art deco, WWII and atomic age styling all play a big part. Usually an idea will go through a series of rough sketches until I’m happy with the layout enough to put it on canvas. Sculpting is different though. The picture is in my head and it’s just created until it resembles what I had in mind. That is if I don’t have any of those interruptions like in the previous question.

As an artist, what do you get out of making art? Why does it make you tick?
I’ve always enjoyed making things, creating something from just an idea, bringing it into the world and showing whoever I have cornered at the time. The thought of inspiring someone tomorrow, or 100 years from now with my art keeps me going.

Following on from that, what do you love about people’s reactions to your art?
The reaction I like most is “I must have it”. I also enjoy seeing people standing around an artwork discussing it, with lots of pointing, pondering, chin cuping and hhmmmm-ing. I had that a lot with my Rosie the Riveter painting.

Any advice or tips for aspiring artists?
Good expensive brushes won’t make you a good painter. If you can, do a course. There’s a lot you didn’t know. Be confident enough to sign a big signature.

If someone is keen to buy some of your art, how can they see some of it/get into contact with you?
I don’t have a website as such. A lot of my art is on the www.pixbypete.id.au website or on my facebook site.

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