The Neon Backyard

Melbourne cup day 2006, and inside the National Gallery of Victoria, a different race is on. Already much of the work is out of its yellow starting boxes — one intriguingly marked mug pop — and seven years after the artist's death, the betting is that his retrospective, "Howard Arkley," will be a winner. Arkley's 25-year career connected comic strips and Conceptualism, Surrealism and suburbia, punk rock and Postmodernism — all with the zip of his airbrush, blurring the line between rarefied art and popular taste in the process. He was able to do this by painting the world most Australians...

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