Heart to art with travelling street artist Kelsey Montague

  • Travelling street artist Kelsey Montague at The Cullen


    The Cullen | Q & A

    In town to apply her renowned street art to Melbourne, we sat down for a Q&A with New York street artist Kelsey Montague as she bunkered down at The Cullen.

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8th May 2015

New York street artist Kelsey Montague is a force to be reckoned with. She has caught the attention of Taylor Swift and Vanessa Hudgens with her whimsical black and white winged murals and intricate designs generating a social media flurry.  We were pretty chuffed when she recently used The Cullen as the creative base for her Melbourne trip.

We got to pick her brain on all things street art internationally and home-grown.  

What was the reasoning behind coming to Australia?

I’ve always wanted to visit Australia and after doing some research (especially in Melbourne) I was struck by how far ahead you all are in terms of welcoming street art.

 I also, honestly, have liked every Australian I’ve ever met. You all are warm, open and genuine. This was a culture I wanted to explore. 

Kelsey with one of her works in native New York.

What was your best insider tip from a Melbournian?

Go to the Queen Victoria Market night market. I’ve never seen anything like that.

What are your top 3 arty cities to visit in the world?

These cities I haven’t visited and they are at the top of my list: Kraków, Tokyo and Istanbul.

Hosier Lane was incredible. I wish every major city had a creative outlet like that for people.

What Melbourne street artists and their pieces inspired you whilst you were here?

All of Hosier Lane was incredible. I wish every major city had a creative outlet like that for people.

I also found an awesome piece by Kaff-eine (#MSOSoundTracking) around the corner from Melbourne Central and I love it. I love the solidarity of the animals and the over-all composition of the piece. 

Have you done any cool collaborations or have plans to with any street artists globally?

I’ve been talking with Thimble Press about putting together a really interesting stationary line in conjunction with a street art installation to kick-off the new line.

We have some other exciting things coming up but are not confirmed yet. So stay tuned!

A Kelsey-decorated coffee cup at Gramercy; note the local wildlife!

What did you think about the Street Art around The Cullen in Prahran?

It was so fitting that there was a Banksy on the outside of The Cullen. I studied Banksy at Uni and his/her work changed the way I look at my own art and art in general. I think he/she helped me appreciate and ultimately prefer public art because of the impact you can have on a community.

Adam Cullen’s work is just plain good.  His work is genuine, freaky and mesmerizing. His use of colour is inspiring. 

Kelsey is currently making her mark with wall murals all around the world and a recent whirlwind trip around Australia. Check out her sweet write up on her recent stay at The Cullen and the best of Melbourne.  

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