This article first appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Link here.
Image credit: Oliver Reade
Inspired in part by Reade's very own amulet, his teddy bear Rus, the piece is an ode to the art found throughout the streets of Melbourne's inner suburbs, some of which is his own handywork.
''I grew up with it,'' says Reade of the city's famous street-art culture. ''Anywhere I can get my hands on I'm there, but I'm mainly [painting in] Fitzroy and Collingwood.''
Reade credits Top Arts with pushing his passion from the street into the classroom. ''It's really inspired me to have a really good go at studio arts. It's helpful to have a bit of a push to drive you to make your work as good as you can.''
Still to complete his year 12 studies at Collingwood College, Reade has sold pieces in New York and California by setting up a Tumblr blog and Facebook page from which he has quickly garnered attention.
This year's Top Arts exhibition features 43 artists. Top Arts 2013 will be on display in the NGV Studio at the Ian Potter Centre from March 21 to July 7.