Howard Arkley is widely recognised as the foremost painter of Australian suburbia. His work blurs the distinctions between high art and pop culture by referencing both art history (for example the Pop Art movement) and the everyday.
His signature houses, domestic interiors and fascination with mass culture struck a chord with Australians, who readily identified with his images. He looked for the spectacle in the everyday, unlocking its potential as a vehicle for abstract compositions which explore colour, pattern, shape and line. The humble home was repeatedly reinvented as a vivid psychedelic Pop Art image to capture and hold the gaze of the viewer.
Arkley’s trademark technique of airbrushing can be seen in Actual fractual, 1994, in which he filled in larger areas first before adding smaller details and patterns to the surface using stencils.
Use the following discussion points with an image of Howard Arkley’s Actual fractual, 1994:
Students design and create a patterned house inspired by Howard Arkley using the following steps:
Ask students to share their work with a partner: