Chalk artists Pan fine Art is an artistic partnership between Wayne McMillan and Mark “Markos” Gage. They have been working together since 2006. Unlike most artists they do not survive on sales of work, but produce art on the street for donations.
The duo create public art inspired by mythology and personal spirituality. Gage identifies as an Hellenic polytheist, Dionysian artist, and Bacchic Orphic. Today Gage and his partner McMillan are a fixed presence in Melbourne, creating pavement art depictions of mythological stories, Renaissance paintings and pagan spirituality around Melbourne’s CBD, or Southbank promenade along the riverfront. They have also painted in other cities along the east coast of Australia.
Gage grew up in Frankston and was reared by his mother and grandmother. His first serious attempts at art came at around the age of 13. His sister was interested in New Age beliefs and practices; and the siblings attended drawing classes in “intuitive drawing;” an art style that is popular at New Age festivals. This style allows for a person’s subconscious or spirit to guide or control the art, which is usually planned out in abstract shapes then rendered over with pastels, eventually drawing animals or people. This was Gage’s introduction to spiritual art and pastel drawing.
- This lead to Gage studying art at the Frankston College of TAFE. It was here that he met his life partner Wayne McMillan.
- Coming from similar broken home backgrounds, McMillan (who is part Nauruan) is the clown and the more outspoken of the two; and the polar opposite of Gage.
- At the age of 25, Gage and McMillan decided to become ascetic wanderers, with a desire to travel and live freely. They discarded all of their possessions and walked away from their apartment with nothing but their backpacks with some clothes. It was during this period that Gage became a devotee of Dionysus.
In artistic terms, Pan fine Art have a preference for Renaissance, Pre-Raphaelite and Botticelli-styles of art. Gage concurs that there is no greater artist than Michelangelo. The entire Sistine Chapel, David, The Slaves, Moses, Christ Carrying the Cross, The Pieta and Bacchus being his favourite artworks.
Pan fine Art has been producing street art since 2008. Over the years they have completed hundreds of drawings of various subjects and themes including various levels of nudity. As a consequence they have found to have offended people by drawing fully clothed figures, characters dressed in fur clothing, images of women, images of men, images of children, images of nudes. However, they both agree that people will find anything to be offended by. – C’est la vie!
- Discover more about Panfine Art at Devotional street art: An interview with Markos Gage or follow on Facebook or Insta @Panfine Art
“Is It Art?”