Australia is known for sheepskin, Fosters and Crocodile Hunters, however with artists like Mark Whalen, the country’s greatest export may be its artists.

Whalen first hit the streets of Sydney as Kill Pixie and unleashed his own brand of innovative and powerful street art. Gaining notoriety and being hailed as the “Australia’s answer to Banksy,” it was just a matter of time that he give American artists a run for their money. Since Mark Whalen has debut his work indoors in 2006 he has received years of successful gallery shows. Using acrylic and ink on paper atop resin coated handmade wooden boxes, Whalen plays creator to a futuristic candy colored universe inhabited by graphic androgynous, masked characters. His work is absurd, humorous and revealing of Whalen’s outlook on society.

His newest exhibition Anomoly can be found at the lovely Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles until October 1, 2011. Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age hosted the packed opening reception. Whalen’s world came to life on the opening reception in a floor-to-ceiling multimedia installation. Entitled Observers, the looped video was a collaboration with Thomas McMahan and Carla Azar.

It is difficult to sum up Whalen’s work, it is multi-faceted and any explanation is too simple and falls short of the ingenuity. The closest I have heard is a friend calling it dip-n-dots mixed with S&M, still not enough but it produces the best visual. I guess the best advice would be to check it out for yourself.

– written by Keisha Raines with photos by Birdman

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