The artist taking over house and home – literally

Australian artist Ian Strange is into shocking in a big way, with massive installations that demand the term ‘full-scale’

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Harvard Street Ian Strange

Taken from the summer issue of Dazed:

Since recreating his childhood home inside a massive warehouse in 
Sydney, Australian artist Ian Strange has been exploring the idea of the home as his canvas and the suburbs as his gallery. With teams of up to 30 people, the now Brooklyn-based artist has painted giant skulls on to the sides of houses, burned a home to the ground and planted a full-scale building outside a major museum, while his work “Final Act” took him to earthquake-ravaged Christchurch in New Zealand. His team work round the clock, transforming houses into works of art and then capturing it all 
in photography, film and sound. The result is a visual and aural spectacle that reframes what we call home.

IAN STRANGE - Working concept 2a
Harvard Street concept work two, 2012 Courtesy of Ian Strange

PUMP IT UP, HOMEBOY

“I essentially take the suburban home and saturate its reality, lifting it to the standards of commercial cinema and lighting it professionally with a crew. I like the idea 
of pushing reality 
beyond the norm.

For ‘Final Act’, I flew out to Christchurch and met people in the community. As it was a disaster zone, I wanted to make sure I was working sensitively. I met with a cinematographer called Alun Bollinger, who worked on The Lord of 
the Rings with Peter Jackson. He’s a legend 
in New Zealand. There were meetings with engineers and demolition experts about what we could actually do to these houses.

It’s an incredibly exciting moment, but also surreal – you’ve been awake for two days straight, and you catch yourself in the middle of a street in Ohio or Detroit with a giant red X or a huge skull painted on a house. More often than not, neighbours will camp out and stay up all night, cooking for us and chatting all day. A lot of raised eyebrows.”

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