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Well-known New Zealand artists Chimp, Erin Forsyth and Haser are among the headline artists attending the festival in October.
Three of the 12 artists in this year’s lineup have attended Graffiato in the past, and all bring a unique style of muralism.
From Saturday morning, visitors will have the opportunity to watch artists at work as they create their large-scale artworks within the Taupo town centre over the long weekend. The festival team have been purposeful about matching the right wall with the right artist to use each space within the town centre as a platform for their storytelling.
“There’s an awesome atmosphere around the town centre during Graffiato festival weekend – it’s a great opportunity for visitors and locals to witness the murals come to life and engage with the artists as they work,” says Festival Coordinator, Alice Thompson.
The 10-year celebration of Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival is a remarkable achievement in the eyes of Festival Curator, Ross Liew:
“It captures a period in which the world of painting on walls has changed and evolved significantly. From the outside it may still look like paint on walls, but from the inside there has been huge growth and development. You don't notice the incremental change year on year, but when I consider where things were at when this festival began in 2011, there's a profound difference.”
“Artists now have career pathways, walls have gotten bigger, the art has become more diverse, the audience has become more educated and artists have matured,” says Ross.
Erin Forsyth is coming back for what will be her fifth year at the festival. Erin was at the inaugural event in 2011 and over that time her work has continued to develop and evolve, with several different styles in her toolkit to draw from. She is currently making waves as a botanical illustrator and publisher and is regarded as a senior female figure in the mural community.
Haser is a graffiti artist who has risen from the grassroots beginnings of tagging his local West Auckland streets to becoming an artist whose works reside, not only on urban walls, but behind frames. You may recognise Haser’s work from Burger Fuel’s around the country, where he worked in-house as both a graphic designer and graffiti artist. 2020 marks Hasers second appearance at Graffiato in 2013.
SWiFTMANTis is from Palmerston North and is also a tattooist by trade, it will be his second time attending the festival.
Chimp is a New Zealand born street artist, whose style focuses largely on experimentation with different styles and colours within public and private commissions. The subjects for his art range from birds to portraits, abstract objects, and personal motifs. Based in Wellington, Chimp often combines several of these styles to create contemporary pieces of art that are unique to his ‘post- graffiti’ style. 2020 will be his debut at Graffiato.
USHY USHY is an artist based in Hamilton and Melbourne (currently in NZ during Covid-19). He has exhibited in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel, Auckland and Melbourne. His works are vibrant and dynamic, influenced by 1980s-90s sci-fi films and street art with a variety of artistic and pop culture references. He works his neo-pop style across a variety of surfaces that can be seen on the street in mural form and in galleries. 2020 will be his debut at Graffiato.
Margarita is a multi-disciplinary self-taught artist based in Auckland. Her work is often autobiographical and a reflection of explored landscapes and cultures making a strong connection between her life and art. Margarita was exposed to a variety of environments from rural Siberia to the warm shores of Crimea as a child, eventually moving to Auckland in 1999 and much travelled since. In recent years drawing inspiration from time spent living and traversing North America. 2020 will be her debut at Graffiato.
This will be GEMBOWL’s first time painting at Graffiato. Her work is inspired by all things nature and loves to paint flowers and portraits. Primarily working in spray paint as a muralist and stencil artist, she is developing her style and exploring other mediums.
Techs is an Aotearoa based street artist. His origins of art stem from graffiti and has evolved and refined over the years as a graphic designer. His style is strongly influenced by his Maori heritage and aims to keep the traditions of storytelling alive through his art. His work reflects a combination of fine art and graphic design which he believes creates friction however compliments the two disciplines. 2020 is Techs second invitation to Graffiato in 2016.
Auckland based artist known for crisp comic book style artwork. 2020 will be his debut at Graffiato.
Artist and designer based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Originally from Australia, Caitlin has lived in the Coromandel since 2004. She is a well-regarded ceramics artist who has also forged a path creating public murals. 2020 will be her debut at Graffiato.
Tāne is a Taupo local, and this will be his sixth time at Graffiato. Tāne draws inspiration from graffiti, hip-hop, wildlife and history and is passionate about raising awareness through his art.
10 years as BMD, this is the new solo path. This is DSIDE's third time at Graffiato.
A new Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival walking map has been produced for 2020, which highlights a selection of Graffiato’s ever-expanding portfolio of over 120 murals.
Pick up a copy at the Taupo Museum, Taupo Visitor Information Centre, or local cafes, or download it here and wander off the main streets into hidden laneways and discover this rich collection of artworks for yourself.
This year’s Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival sponsors are, Events Capital - Taupo District Council, Creative New Zealand, Villa Maria, Destination Great Lake Taupo, Towncentre Taupo, Taupo Access Hire, Resene and DriveEV.