Recent times have seen graffiti become a recognised art, formed and show cased around the world. However, not all places are as accepting and unfortunately Brisbane City is one of them. Luckily there are people who believe that this can be changed, and one such man is John Crush, founder and owner of Crush City.
Crush City, based in Annerley, opened in 2010 as an outlet where artists have a selection of aerosols that aren’t your run of the mill paints found at your local hardware shop. The colours available are catered toward the artistic side of spray paints in a bid to support the local community of graffiti artists, allowing them access to the best materials to showcase their craft.
Crush City is one of the first shops in Brisbane to provide these materials. John explains, “other stores in Brisbane are more focused on the fashion and music more than the graffiti art. We are passionate about street/ graffiti art and want to see it grow in a positive and creative direction, similar to New York, Europe or New Zealand and Melbourne for that matter.”
Product wise, the store carries a full range of Ironlak (Australian) premium, as well as MTN (Spanish) premium aerosols, and a small selection of painting accessories. They also stock publications from around the world and have a selection of locally produced t-shirts for sale.
John created Crush City as a place where artists can come and freely browse the mediums of the art they love, and beginners can explore the diverse world of aerosol art. “Whether it’s traditional graffiti style lettering, abstract, portraits, or landscapes, more people are using aerosol paint and realising its beauty as a medium in the modern art world” John adds.
In the last year alone, the Brisbane City Council spent $3.6 million on graffiti removal and prevention, including the introduction of DIY graffiti removal kits. This also included the introduction of a Taskforce Against Graffiti (TAG) as well as presentations to community groups and designated public areas to support graffiti prevention. G&T asked John how he, as a lover and supporter of the art form, would see the money being better spent: “The introduction of more workshops and creative educational programs in youth groups for a start. Councils in Brisbane need to wake up and get with the times and help push this into a more positive light rather than push people into jail. We have so many talented artists in this city but they are restricted because the council cleans off any available space whether it’s legal or illegal. We need more large scale murals and public art grants and the construction of large designated spaces where the youth can express themselves freely without being continually harassed and arrested.”
Culturally, Brisbane is seen to be behind the times of our larger sister cities like Sydney and Melbourne who have a much more open mind about the expression of graffiti as an art form that can not only be tolerated but embraced. John and the team at Crush City plan to continue the fight for the cause and expansion of their name, having recently opened Crush City Tattoo at Sunnybank Hills.
The future of Crush City will see more events, parties and live graffiti demonstrations being made available to the youth of the community. Running workshops and educational programs, as well as the push for more legal painting spaces is something that John and the team at Crush feel very strongly about.
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