Topic: Owen Dippie: Rare Artistic Talent

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Owen Dippie is a rare artistic talent. On a visit to his yet to be opened Ashworth Lane studio/gallery recently I was reminded of how well he can paint with a brush as well as his nationally and internationally known spray can work.

Owen Dippie at work on the 15th Avenue paintings.

Looking wrong? Archived here.

In his studio was a large brush painting of his Grandfather seated on a beer crate opening pipis. The work is extremely well executed with a measured, confident palette of grey greens reminiscent of Manet and Corot.

In its nearly completed state, this very personal painting captures a slice of Kiwi life that many of us know so well.

Most of you will be familiar with Owen's prodigious street art especially the 'Respect for The Dead' series. Two highly visible grisaille works depicting Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson from this series adorn the walls of a building on Tauranga's 15th Avenue.

 Owen was born in Kawerau and at age 27 has established a reputation as a leading street artist both here and abroad. His work can be seen across the five boroughs of New York City and the Lower East Side where the art-form is well respected and has a huge following.

On the 10th of September Owen will open his Ashworth Lane Studio and Gallery to the public for the first time.

As you enter you'll discover a very well-appointed conventional gallery space with white walls and spotlights to your right. The attention to detail in this space is a real credit to Owen and those involved in the project.

To the left is his cavernous studio space whose walls are festooned with street art by Owen and some of New Zealand's leading exponents of the genre. I noticed nods to New York artists' Keith Haring and Basquiat. Frida Kahlo and C.F.Goldie , a major favourite of Owens , also feature. 

'Homage to C.F.Goldie'.

Owen's C.F.Goldie paintings have to be seen to be believed.

 As well as making a success of his new gallery Owen would like to return to New York to continue with the street art he has already done. This work has a real 'New Zealandness' to it and stands alongside the artwork of New York's best.

"I'd love to do a 'Goldie' on the streets of New York somewhere - and paint it huge ", says Owen. 

The opening is between six and 10pm on Saturday, September 10 and a large turnout is expected to celebrate the launch of what is a truly unique artspace.

To find out more about Owen's work visit  

by Pete Morris (2011)

Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a free-lance writer with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.


This page archived at Perma CC in November of 2016:

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Owen Dippie: Rare Artistic Talent

First Names:Owen
Last Name:Dippie
Place of Birth:Kawerau