Australian street artist David “MEGGS” Hooke celebrated the end of his residency at Detroit’s Inner State Gallery with the launch of his solo “Spoiled Rotten” show. Over 40 new paintings and multiple musings on social morality, pop culture and materialism were on show, all created in Detroit during his residency. The artist’s recurring use of deteriorating signage and scavenged materials highlights the conflict between the Motor City’s illustrious past, its current state of decline, and its future as a place for growth and rebirth. The artist himself elaborated, stating:
“Detroit is a city of duality more so than many other cities I have been to. I sought to incorporate this by using objects and surfaces that imply decay, in what I consider to be a beautiful way. Old wooden materials and signs with layers of paint tell a story of their own. Although the colors and textures are aesthetically beautiful, I think it’s about giving these materials a new life, a second purpose,”
Of particular note was the balloon face motif, half smiling and half crumbling away in decay:
“This concept started when I saw a deflated happy face balloon, which is an image I’ve been obsessed with lately. The ‘happy’ balloon is a classic icon that depicts playfulness, optimism, and the idea of, “Have a nice day!” Yet, the balloon is also a very disposable item and has a limited life span. It deflates. I think this is something that people can identify with and it ties into that idea of duality in Detroit,”
Check out the full gallery show above, and check out MEGGS’ do’s and don’ts of mural painting here.