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Brendan Walsh, the artist behind ColdGhost, works out of a studio and retail space on the Central Coast, north of Sydney. He creates mixed media art work on recycled paper, timber, canvas or any other suitable found object such as cardboard and fabric.
“I like using existing materials, and have had two business selling recycled goods.I hate waste and prefer to use materials that already exist in the world, so this plays a large part in my creative art making practice.“
He creates his pop culture, street art and graffiti influenced work using recycled street posters from the streets of Sydney and Melbourne, spray paint and layers of torn paper and paint splatters. The finished work is urban art like you’d find it on a city laneway, something that has been built up over time and shows the signs and layers of its history.
“I particularly like old Street Art that is faded and peeling.My focus is on the edges of these works where one artist’s piece overlaps another creating an abstract finish often with faded & peeling gig posters showing through. I see the beauty in this decay,” he has described previously. “I have always loved the DIY nature of Street Art & the fact that art was no longer just something experienced in galleries. People were beginning to express themselves on the street for everyone to see – for better or worse. As a kid growing up in the Western Suburbs, most of my exposure to art was along the train lines as there were no contemporary art galleries where I lived.”
Many of the art works depict celebrities; visual artists, musicians, actors and actresses. “My artwork incorporates images of artists who I admire, people like Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse. Using images of celebrities is both a nod to Warhol and more playfully to the advertising machine who have used these faces to sell products on advertising billboards, where I have collected the paper to turn back into art.”
“I create all the artwork in my studio;however, I do make paste ups and collages specifically for the street. I like the symbiosis of materials gathered off the street, assembled into art, then returned to the street. My paste ups can be seen in laneways in both Sydney and Melbourne.”
“What defines my work is a strong desire to use recycled materials and re-purposed objects. My work also straddles both worlds of free accessible Street Art and Commercial Contemporary Art. The themes that interest me and I continue to explore are The Environment, Advertising, Consumer Culture, Over Consumption, Religious Iconography, Identity and Sexuality.”
ColdGhost has participated in various group and solo shows over the years, both in Australia and Internationally. He has also been commissioned to produce Art in a variety of Public Spaces, including Restaurants, Bars and Retail Spaces, both on the Central Coast and in Major Australian Cities.