Ten years ago, Anthony Lister set the Sydney art scene on fire with an exhibition called No Win Sitch. It was a one-night-only affair, with Lister’s effervescent, dizzy superheroes strung up on the cherry red walls of a former Kings Cross strip club.
At the time, the Cross was still clutching onto its grit and its infamous red-light character and Lister was well on the way to becoming one of the country’s biggest street artists.
Fast forward 10 years, and Lister’s taken the world by storm, painted walls everywhere from Paris to New York; he’s been to jail, fought Brisbane City Council for a city’s right to culture and, recently, dropped a deeply personal Netflix doco on his family life and the totally turbulent jaunt that has been his career to date. The Cross has changed too: the nightlife’s gone, the spirit’s different.
Today, Lister has announced he’ll return to Porky’s Nite Spot on Darlinghurst Road with a huge new exhibition.
Called CULTURE IS OVER, the week-long pop-up will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Lister’s seminal strip club show and the once colourful culture and lost soul of Kings Cross. Featuring over 56 new works, including some major large-scale pieces, CULTURE IS OVER will be open to the public and free for anyone to see.
Pieces in the show include paintings, sculpture and video, drawing inspiration from Sydney’s local mythology and mystery—specifically Luna Park’s unidentified horned man, who’s said to have some paranormal part in the 1979 ghost train tragedy at Luna Park.
“Some say you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” Lister said in a statement on the subject of his new show. “A truth (or a lie for that matter) becomes a story told, a story becomes a rumour spread, a rumour becomes a fact, fact becomes legend, legend becomes history, history becomes… culture.”
With a wild opening night party set to reignite the Cross’s once vibing neons, you’ll want to mark your diaries—this will be a show you won’t want to miss.
What: Anthony Lister CULTURE IS OVER
When: Opening night event Wednesday 17 July, 7.30 - 9.30pm. Exhibition continues Thursday 18 Jul until Wednesday 24 July, Monday – Friday, 11am - 3pm.
Where: 77 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point
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Image credit: Yasmin Suteja.