Fred Negro – St Kilda’s Alright

What’s your approach to creating art? For this exhibition I’m creating a never-before-seen series of paintings and illustrations using acrylics, paint textas and pencil. Instead of my usual cartoon style which has a lot of text – these works have more of a visual narrative and tell the stories of what I reckon St Kilda is – the characters, the venues, the secret places that only I see.
How has your approach changed over the years? My approach has pretty much been artistically consistently shocking and absurd, but I think with this exhibition I have gotten better as an artist.
Of all your works, which do you think is the most important? The graphic novel that I’ve created with Elizabeth Reale, Piranhas in Love, is the best thing artistically I’ve ever created, and it’s going to be my first book so that’s pretty grouse. These new paintings have also been a highlight.
Why is it important to have your retrospective in St Kilda? Because they wouldn’t let me have one anywhere else. I refuse to go and to do an exhibition called Fitzroy’s Alright and apparently I’m a St Kilda legend and its unofficial Mayor.
Your art has attracted its fair share of controversy over the years. Has that ever made you think twice about publishing? No, it just spurs me on. I was fined for obscenity in 1985 and got taken to court but I won that case and won the right to draw whatever I wanted. and so I have ever since.

Fred Negro’s St Kilda’s Alright exhibition will come to Brightspace from Friday December 1 until Sunday December 17.