Behind The Collection: Volcom X Lister Collaboration

  • Style
posted by James Willmott

Anthony Lister is world renowned contemporary street artist hailing from the bright lights of Brisbane, Australia. Growing up with the metropolitan walls as his open canvas, his unique style of art presents a grimy fusion of high and lowbrow culture with influences from a number of areas and genres, including street art, expressionism, pop art and contemporary youth culture.

Recently linking up for an exclusive collection with the family at Volcom, a label which represents his messages down to a tee, Lister showcases and explores the themes of money and corruption as it relates to the modern cyber state. We caught two with the man himself to find out how it all came to fruition.

The man, the myth, the legend.. thanks for having a chat. Firstly, give us a bit of a background to yourself and your art?
Well, I was born at an early age in a shed on a country property in Australia in the far out out. Dingo’s taught me to paint and naturally I quickly progressed into the creative you see today.

Street art is such a unique culture. How did you first get into it?
I guess it all started out with trespassing in abandoned houses and active works sites, stealing paint and making the most of it on the fresh walls. From there I learned about other creatives also interested public art and the freedom of visual speech. That was the beginning I guess.

You’ve just linked up with Volcom to release an exclusive range. How did this first come to fruition?
I think I was sitting on the floor in Paris at my friend Dustin Dollins’ wedding getting drunk when this dude came up to me and said “I don’t think you should draw on that”, pointing to the edge of the bed we were sitting next to. Turns out that was the owner of Volcom.

What was the process from the initial brief to designing the range? How did it all come to life?
In between the emails and pinky finger animation exchanges there was a police statement, several bruises, a few scandalous public Facebook statements and a broken heart.

Do you take a different approach to designing tee art compared to street art? Or was it simply a matter of downsizing your artworks to fit the tee?
Look, it doesn’t matter to me what I’m drawing on or who even sees it, just as long as I know it is fucking rad.

Tell us about the inspiration behind the tee designs themselves.
There was a brief which I forget right now, but I remember thinking skulls and fools in suits tripping over their own money burying themselves in graves. A fair bit of editing had to go on naturally, I don’t think the world is ready for my bestiality series in fashion yet.

How does your lifestyle match Volcom in terms of culture and values?
Let’s put it like this… I just replaced my fridge because my old one was full of cockroaches. I have pink g bone whales, my computer is full, needs cleaning out and has the word stupid written across the keys and my newest tattoo is of an eagle which I changed to be Elvis.

How much input did you have in those other aspects of the range – the fits, the cuts, the colours, and so on?

I designed it all from the bottom to the top, it all my idea and it’s basically what I would wear. I didn’t want to be involved in anything I didn’t wear including women’s bikinis and children’s socks.

Describe the range in your own words.
Imagine you’re in a punk band and all the girls are screaming at you and your fingers are bloody from playing so rad and then you look down on yourself.

Who would you like to see wearing the Volcom x Lister range?
Ideally we’d get it on Jimi Hendrix’ old bones. Outside of that I don’t give a fuck, that’s the goal. I’m not sleeping till Jimi walks again.

You’ve obviously thrown up some pretty epic pieces all over the world. Describe one of your favourites and the mission behind the creation?
First that came to mind is definitely the piece in the Los Angeles Valley with OG legend RISK MSK AWR. We wrote a certain phrase about the police bigger than two football fields while police helicopters circled nearby, unaware of our homage to Eazy E.