This artwork was created for the M.E.N recovery party that follows Sleaze Ball 08.
The M.E.N. party is a non profit party, so all the artwork I've created for them has been gratis. It was on the back of the artwork i did for the M.E.N. party following Sleaze Ball 06 that I got the job to do the 07 Mardi Gras poster.
Sleaze Ball is a Sydney Mardi Gras event. Originally created as a fund raising party for the Sydney Mardi Gras, it has grown to be a party of significance in the Sydney party event calendar.
It has been publicly said by Mardi Gras that the 3 year usage of Glen Hansons artwork was to create a brand look and awareness for the Sydney Sleaze Ball event. The idea of style branding is fine, but the non Australian artist usage is mightily flawed for a choice of the Australian brand. Surely an Australian could have done this as successfully for Sleaze Ball and the Sydney Mardi Gras committee.
I have been in discussions with Sydney Mardi Gras to create new original works "in the style of Glen Hanson" as support material for Sleaze Ball 08, with the contact and blessings of Glen Hanson. This artwork is my personal exploration of that theme.
Below is a letter I wrote to the editor around Mardi Gras this year (feb 08), but I feel it has importance now for the Sleaze Ball 08 and the poster created for it, as it has been created by the same non Australian 3 years in a row. I've edited the letter below to reflect that point.
Sydney Mardi Gras has a moral obligation to its local artists.
Who is this years Mardi Gras poster artist? Do we know? Do we care?
Why is it we only seem to care when it is some overseas talent like Pierre et Gilles for Mardi Gras or Glen Hanson for Sleaze Ball? Is it that we only care when we are told by Mardi Gras who they are by their press releases?
Why does Mardi Gras only report excitedly about the artists when they are not Australian? Only "BENT", a small independent magazine last year was interested in writing an article about the 29th poster artist all our other gay papers (Sydney Star Observer, and SX) had no interest. Theres the same lack of interest again it seems for the 30th poster artist who has had such a heavy artistic responsibility for a very special year.
Please, no more with the overseas talent such as Canadian/American artist Glen Hanson. Hes very talented and very successful, and I don't begrudge him the work, but like a Pierre et Gilles poster, once was fine, twice was insulting, but three Sleaze posters in a row by Glen Hanson is criminally insulting to the Australian pool of artistic talent.
You could ask the likes of Idis Art, or Peter Skirrow (at least two Australian artists I know) or any number of established or emerging Australian gay artists who would be thrilled to take part in an official poster. But even more than that, they have shown their artwork to be of international appeal and success, yet intrinsically Australian.
Personally, I loved doing the 29th year poster and now I can look back and know that my artwork has a significant historic moment in our Mardi Gras history.
Mardi Gras is our event, an Australian event, and this 30th poster very clearly and visually shows that we as a gay community remember our history through the images of these posters.
They are literally the poster children for each year.
Lets never forget their individual significance that helped shape our memory for each year and the hopefully Australian artists behind them, and therefore the picture they make as a whole body of work for our Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
by Jozef from Sydney (with edits 3/9/08) | 20/02/2008 12:58:30 PM printed in the letters to the editor, Sydney Star Observer.