Askew has been pushing himself into new territory as of late with his move into portraits and font based work. This break from his traditional graffiti work is another vein of important aesthetics for the artist. Being able to transition between styles has allowed Askew to pay tribute in his latest mural to Ralph Hotere with an impressive portrait. Below the artist talks about the tribute.


“When I found out that Ralph Hotere had passed away, I immediately wanted to honor him with a big painting somewhere very visible. As a teenager, still very hard headed and purely into graffiti and not much else art-wise, it was an epiphany moment when I stood in front of Hotere’s works for the first time. They spoke to me in how masterfully made they were, how imposing their presence was and finally, how strongly connected to this feeling of what it is to be from here, from this land. When I put word out that I wanted to create this tribute, immediately things moved because there is so much love for this man out there. Everybody spoke so much in the past fortnight about his generosity and kind spirit and so many people wanted to reciprocate that in some way. Hamish Keith put the word out that we were looking for a wall and immediately director Toa Fraser let us know via twitter that he may have one. His landlord is friends with Ralph Hotere’s daughter and was really open to the idea. Once the wall was secured we needed blessing from Marti Friedlander, one of our countries most iconic photographers, to use her image of Ralph Hotere in his Dunedin studio in 1974. She gave that blessing and so very quickly things were falling into place. Lastly we needed the money for a lift and materials and once again after a 25 minute twitter campaign, everything came together and we were able to start work. It was truly one of the most rewarding and positive projects I’ve worked on, the amount of people that came by the wall to share their stories and good will. The weather was stunning the entire week and we were spoiled by a few of the local cafes, restaurants and bars while we worked. As I said, so much good will for Ralph that it followed every aspect of this process.”