You would be hard-pressed to walk down the main drag of any Australian urban enclave and not encounter at least one of the kinetic, irreverent works belonging to Anthony Lister. Though his aerosol based works vary wildly in scale, they’re unmistakably his own: gestural in appearance, oftentimes dark, yet shot through with vivid colour.
Now, the prolific Australian artist is the subject of Have You Seen The Listers?, a candid new documentary that promises audiences a heretofore unseen insight into the professional and private lives of the singular street artist – arguably the country’s best known.
The documentary, which had its premiere at last year’s Melbourne Film Festival and is directed by Eddie Martin, shares a title with a site-specific installation featured heavily in the trailer, which appears above: an inflatable castle featuring portraits of the artist and his young family in his signature style – one that though often likened to the work of comic book artists is also uniquely, indelibly his own.
The film ostensibly functions in a similar manner as the installation: Lister, a father of three, provided Martin with unprecedented access to his personal archives to illustrate his trajectory from his childhood in Brisbane to his first experiments with drugs and marriage to his high school sweetheart, Anika. The documentary reportedly traces the collapse of their relationship as the artist battles his demons, both illicit and legislative alike; Lister has had well-documented struggles with authorities, and was once taken to court by the same Brisbane City Council who once encouraged the development of his now lucrative street art-based practice. Lister famously crafted a zine from comments left on a Courier Mail article about the charges.
Have You Seen The Listers? will release in cinemas nationally on April 5, 2018.
Tile and cover image: Courtesy of Transmission Films