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Drew Funk - Espresso Melbourne

Drew Funk

Photo: Brandon Rossen

The other week I caught up with Drew Funk to talk about secret wars. Drew has made it through to the semi final having bested his last challenger and will be competing again this Wednesday march 9th. If he is succeeds he will have a shot at the championship.

I met him at his studio, down a lane I had never seen before but instantly loved. There was hardly any unused space, the wall on my left covered by a massive dragon which I knew was Drew’s. The right wall covered with a colorful mural of an asian inspired landscape complete with people and houses. I was in the right place. A bit further down the alley and the art was unfolding, paste ups (printed art on paper pasted to objects) stencils, stickers, bikes locked to plastic chairs and on the second floor milk crates flipped upside down and made into window flower boxes. On the left was a large colorful rolling door, and with a small cut out in the door which I knocked on a few times before drew climbed out.

He offered me a cigarette, and we sat out in the alley in plastic green lawn chairs and he told me about what it means to be a street artist and how he got where is he today.
The first thing I notice about the man dressed in black pants and a black sweatshirt and black shoes that look kinda like converses except the big toe is separate from the over four like mittens for your feet and there is a distinct Asian influence about them, which is strikingly similar to Drew. He asks me if I’d like to get a coffee.

We set out back down the alley to the Workhouse a local cafe that Drew tells me is his local, he talks to the guy behind the counter for a second and hands out a few flyers for his upcoming solo show at NoVacancies. We get our coffees and drew has another cigarette he offers me one. He’s clearly no stranger to the spotlight he’s been written up in the age, had a dozen or so solo shows and even more group shows, and none of it has gone to his head. Drew who was born in malaysia and came to Australia for school is about the most down to earth,friendly, and polite guy I’ve met in Australia.

So while he smokes I take the opportunity to ask him some questions about secret wars. He takes a slow drag and tells me that he’s not so worried about winning but more that it’s about the art and putting up some work that he can be proud of. So I ask him”what’s your plan? “

He proceeds to tell me that he’s planning to draw cocks. I laugh and I look at him and hes serious “like cock cocks?” I say. ” yea penises dicks” and that pretty much clears up all my confusion, “and don’t tell Ken but I’m going to compete in a monkey suit” again not joking.

“Sounds cool, so if not about winning what is all about for you?”

He tells me something simple “I want to live on art” and he leaves it at that. And I don’t know if he means make a living on art or that he lives on art like sustenance, and then I figure that there isn’t much difference.

He puts out his cigarette and we walk back to Blender Studios and on the walk back we run in to an assortment of the artists who also have studios there and drew tells me about what each of them due and introduces me, he’s super polite. He ducks back through the tiny door within a door and I say good luck.

For more information about drew visit www.drewfunk.com and for more info about Secret Wars Melbourne visit http://www.secretwars.com.au/melbourne/

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