Askew One (Elliot O’Donnell) is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist hailing from the capital of the South Pacific, Auckland, New Zealand. From his roots in his city’s graffiti scene during the early 90’s, he became one of the key figures known internationally from the region. Additionally he has been an integral part of the scene through organizing Auckland’s first graffiti festival, setting up multiple gallery spaces and publishing both a magazine and book showcasing New Zealand graffiti art.
Since 2010 Askew One has evolved his art practice more into the Urban-Contemporary or Post-Graffiti realm, focusing on studio work and large scale outdoor murals. Along with long-time friend and contemporary Benjamin Work he was integral in defining the term Post-Graffiti Pacific, to describe Urban-Contemporary or Post-Graffiti artists based in around the region or dealing with themes related to that specific geography and it’s cultures and history.
Askew One’s current work is a mixture of text and portrait based work concerned with themes of the human diaspora and it’s driving factors. Focusing mostly on painting, he draws heavily from his background in graphic design, still and moving image to create meticulously detailed portraits over layers of bold mark making. He utilizes many crude makeshift tools that became familiar through his experience in painting graffiti.
Askew One First Coat 2015 Mural
"The piece I created for First Coat was one of my abstract food paintings focused on staple items used in Polynesian cuisine. The reason I focused on this theme was mostly to draw attention to the myriad of topics that branch out from food, from cultural identity to economics and trade to sustainability and preservation of the environment."
If you like Askew,
You should check out Jumboist and Billie Justice Thomson.