Image for Hunters and Collectors: Escaping Into The World of Ruban Rat

Hunters and Collectors: Escaping Into The World of Ruban Rat

Written by Anna May on September 12, 2008

Traipsing down the quiet end of King St Newtown just shy of the Sando, we find rUBAN rAT – Sydney’s designer toy store/urban art gallery, also home to Rachel Coleman. As a collector for many a year under the guise of a high-school teacher, our forager for all things subversive in modern culture, Rachel decided to do away with whiteboards and introduce Sydney to the designer toys world by showcasing the work of international and domestic artists.

And there is a lot to show, for it is all a reflection of our world and one is tempted to give in to becoming a collector without full realisation. Come to think of it… I have fallen into that trap myself, sitting here with my limited edition HAN SOLO usb device – complete with cheesy grin and a nose bleed.

What is urban art? And why should you care? The answer to the latter is simply that you don’t have to. It is just plain swell. If you have a sense of humour about life and enjoy a secret smile to yourself every now and then, then I’d personally recommend it. The answer to the former is as follows: by basic definition, it is street culture in the form of visual arts. Urban art is a movement that emerged in mid 70s Lós Angeles. Encompassing all traditional forms at the time including painting and sculpture; it soon developed into graffiti art, vinyl toys, figurines, plush toys, video art, prints, designer collectables and really anything and everything that the pop surrealist movement allows for it to be.

Rachel has utilised the shop space in Newtown so as to introduce customers to this scene. Allowing Sydneysiders to browse through the latest displays of work by Megan Mejewski and make their own selections, to purchase and take home works from artists and designers like Cat Rabbit, Sean Kelly and Lounge Kat.

All in all, what sets this shop and gallery apart from the day to day is that Rachel and rUBAN are looking to take us all along with them on their adventure as collectors and get us laughing about the ridiculousness of the mundane, the gleeful absurdity of the same-old, same-old and ensure that we all remember that regardless of what the topic is, there is always some humour to be had. (see: Mr Toast, secret smile).

423 King St Newtown 2042

Now Showing:
Monster Invasion Aug 29-Sept 19
76 Parramatta Rd Stanmore, NSW 2048
Gallery Hours: Sat-Tues 12-5pm

Rachel and rUBAN extend their reaches by tagging the streets of Stanmore with street art icons Cat Rabbit, Junior, Ghostpatrol and many more. Be sure to check out the work of Hobart Artist Cat-Rabbit who melds the slightly macabre with the adorable to substantial effect! A show well worth checking out. All works displayed are up for sale…unless they are already sold.

Click to enlarge (Poster by Kyle Walker)

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