New Zealand legendary street art collective BMD is no more. Known for their distinctive wall markings, the two Taranaki artists behind BMD parted ways back in 2015. Throughout their partnership they chose to conceal their individual identities. They once cited the reason for their anonymity was an effort to have their work judged for what it was and not for who the artists were. As part of the separation process, they revealed their identities as Damin Radford-Scott aka ‘Milarky’ and Andrew J. Steel.
The Auckland-based contemporary art duo worked together from 2005. They spent ten years building their brand into an internationally recognised mark often featuring ‘Keith Haring -esque‘ collages of body parts, both human and animalistic and often including warped animals and cartoon objects.
Friends since the two attended Devon Intermediate School in New Plymouth, they worked across New Zealand, Australia and Bali, getting aboard scaffolding and creating sky-high murals. Since their split, they have moved in different creative directions and agreed the split had been on the cards for quite some time.
- Radford-Scott, (born 1987), works independently under the artistic moniker of “Milarky”. He said that BMD was the perfect platform to grow themselves creatively. As part of their success, they amasssed a throng of contracts, a healthy public following and received second place at the New Zealand Interior Awards for an installation entitled Surface.
For Radford-Scott, drawing is something he has always done, whether it be street art or gallery work. After High School, Radford-Scott moved to Wellington, but he didn’t immediately pursue his passion for art. He originally studied Physics and German before studying Fine Arts at University. Radford-Scott is now located back in New Plymouth. He is selling his work in galleries and working towards solo exhibitions, based on the ideas he has been researching, whether it be environmental issues; or the impact humans are having, along with his most recent idea, Nomadism. This concept became his Master’s Degree thesis.
- Steel (born 1987) is also a New Zealand contemporary artist who focuses on the art of story telling. Over his career he has worked with and gained recognition from leading art collectors, interior designers, architects and publishers. Steel produces from his studio in Auckland, and has created work in Los Angeles, Hawaii, across Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Iceland.
Steel works across the mediums of public art, private interiors, fine artwork, letterpress, land, body and digital works. As an artist with a post-graduate diploma in Science, he has fun experimenting with various Resene specialist products. He claims and recommends Resene, is the perfect paint for his art. For outside mural work, it stands the test of time. If it’s interior work, the finish is always perfect. It simply is the best product.”With Resene Write-on Wall Paint, he sees potential for a colouring-in wall that allows the public to collaborate and bring colour to his painted outlines – time and time again. A simple wipe and the canvas is clean and ready to go again. He has also experimented with Resene Waterborne Aquapel, a water-repellent coating, which protects concrete from the natural effects of water. Painting the pavements with art, that stays invisible until the rain falls.
Private commissions have come thick and fast from residents who appreciate Steel’s work. His signature creatures and objects now decorate the walls of design studios, cafes and restaurants alike, including the stylish headquarters of fashion label I Love Ugly.
“Is It Art?”