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Secret Wars Semi Finals - Espresso Melbourne

Secret Wars Semi Finals

Photos: Brandon Rossen

The battle was fought in a warehouse on the back side of 1000 £ Bend on Little Lonsdale Street. When you get there walk around the back, through a couple alleys, if you get the feeling that your going to get bashed and have your wallet stolen you’re in the right place. People started showing up at 6.30pm, but that battle didn’t start 8.30pm. In the mean time guests could walk around and admire the walls covered in local artwork, while a DJ spun some classic hiphop from the 90s. Some milk crates were scattered on the floor and if you got there early enough to claim one it would serve as your seat for the show, the rest of the onlookers either sat on the floor in their jeans and mini skirts, or stood in the back with easy access to the bar.

At 8.30pm Drew and Ken emerged from the crowd where they were both nervously ambling among the crowd and their friends who came out to support them.

Drew Funk, born in Malaysia has been living in the Melbourne since Uni, his roots and his style reflect his Asian upbringing and heritage. He does a wide range of work, and is very capable with a spray can, as well as markers, he paints large murals, tattoo designs, and for his upcoming show titled “Black Linings” a series of drawings using black ink which will be held at the No Vacancy gallery, to see some of his work and for more info check www.drewfunk.com

Ken Taylor comes from Western Australia and is a few years Drew’s senior. Ken approaches Secret Wars in a very different way. He typically draws limited release posters and album covers for the music industry, and works for such acclaimed bands as: Queens of the Stone Age, Cypress Hill, and Phish to name a few. You can see some examples of his work at www.kentaylor.com.au. Ken was trained in art from a very young age where his talent was recognized. His work has an edgy darkness to it, and his technical skills are impressive. He has been off the street art scene for a while, and is trying ( and succeeding in my opinion) at making a name for himself on the underground street scene.

It was a pleasure to interview both artists, and it was amazing to watch what they could create in a mere 90 min, with hundreds of fans looking over their shoulder. In the end the judges unanimously voted Ken Taylor the victor, with the crowd vote going to Drew Funk (measured on the decibel level of the crowds cheers). Ken Taylor will move forward to the Final Battle and battle SCALE April 13. Every battle has had better attendance than the last, and the Final is sure to sell out, so if you want to come Id buy my tickets ahead of time rather than gambling by trying to buy a ticket at the door. For Tickets and more info visit http://www.secretwars.com.au/melbourne/

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