Going Going Gone

An exhibition of never before seen works of Helmut Newton beautifully vandalised by one of Sydney’s most celebrated born and bred street artist; RJ Williams. This will be RJ’s first solo exhibition, as well as the first and last chance to access these unique pieces.

This series uses RJ’s grandmother as his muse (in the prime of her prolific modelling career), who was the face of the Hordern Group (ever heard of the Hordern pavilion?), the Myer Group, iconic Australian brands like Ryvita and Sleepmaker, along with many more. Marie Spies (née Roberts) was also (ironically) the face of Mark Foys Department store, a building that now houses the Downing Centre Courthouse which has seen more than one graffiti artist through its doors.

Helmut Newton needs no introduction and his story is one for the ages. From spending time in an Australian internment camp in 1940 to the dizzying heights as one of the most sought after and imitated photographers on the planet. His untimely and accidental death in a car accident leaving the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood in 2004 punctuates Newton’s story as verging on the almost unbelievable.

RJ’s career has not been short of achievements either, he started illustrating professionally at age 12, enjoyed a brief career in action sports during the fledgling and entrepreneurial early days of Australian snowboardingfollowed by work within the advertising industry. The early death of his grandfather left him little choice but to abandon his career plans and take on his grandfather’s 160-year-old funeral business. Several years later the urge to create drove RJ to host a giant block party at the funeral home, with live art and live music performed by then little-known artists Bliss N Eso. 

The huge success of this event convinced RJ that the right path was to convert the old coffin factory into art studios. The old florist shop his family owned was converted into a hub for Sydney’s urban creative culture, which included a retail store, low brow gallery and a platform for many to express themselves.

Following a number of successes with this creative endeavour, RJ shot to worldwide notoriety when he discovered the symbol that he used (and had trademarked) to sign off all his works was being used by none other than Madonna! Upon sending an unanswered cease and desist letter to the Queen of Pop, RJ decided to take matters into his own hands. That very same week he travelled to Los Angeles to install his symbol illegally on the corner of Hollywood and Highland, thence Melrose Blvd. Ultimately, a giant 100 foot by 60 foot banner was installed alongside the world famous Hollywood sign, something people had thought impossible since drastic security measures had been put in place in the late 1980’s. Madonna ceased to use the symbol and RJ earned himself a place amongst respected graffiti artists in the United States. This culminated in him being invited to compete against celebrated graffiti Artist OG Abel under the watchful eye of SEEN and RISK whom are largely considered the godfathers of graffiti on the east and west coasts respectively.

With all this activity in the creative world it is surprising this is RJ’s first ever solo exhibition. His motivation has always been to facilitate othersas such he has curated and co curated huge group shows since the early 2000’s, yet his motivation for finally going solo is twofold. Firstly, the Australian government is stripping back its tax incentives to buy the works of Australian artists from $100k per annum to just $1k as of EOFY 2019. His second and far deeper motivation is his love and respect for his grandmother. Unfortunately, she is suffering from Dementia and he fears it will not be long before it will be too late to show her the massive impact she has had on his works. RJ and the Lyons Gallery will be donating a portion of funds from this show to Dementia Australia.



Calling on a variety of influences that spreads from the work of Walt Disney to the bold anarchy of Anonymous – a global network of social ‘hacktivists’ – R-J employs a blend of boyish humour and controversial courage both in concept and in practise.

Straddling a coveted place on the border between graffiti and commercial artist, R-J’s portfolio consists of public murals, commissioned design work, prestigious local and international art events and collaborations with companies such as Blackberry, Activision, EA Sports, Monster energy drink, Saatchi & Saatchi, Red Bull and Google. 

R-J's profile continues to grow as does his ambition, currently working on several top secret projects to be announced late 2020 and early 2021, R-J’s latest offering to the public is made from 100% ethical Australian cotton and compliments his involvement in the hugely successful #plasticfreebeaches project, the graphic is a powerful yet playful image, taken from the artwork that greets the children of Mona Vale public School each and every day. 

UPDATE : #plasticfreebeaches totes are 100% SOLD OUT . To stay up to date with future releases please follow on Instagram, to be the first in the loop RE: aforementioned top secret things, head over to : 😇 




Birthday adventures. ...

Me, my guy, my city, shot by the man @snp5000 . See you next Tuesday. ...


I’ve been working on this a minute, fully illustrated instructions to build Can Man out of @lego with a complete parts list. Click on the linktree thing in my bio for the FREE download, I guess it’s my way of saying thanks to everyone who’s bought my stuff or given me work or just shown some kinda support, in plenty of Christmas’s past you’ve been the only reason there was food on the table, or a bus ticket to see my family.

This Christmas I have nothing for sale. ❤️🎄

(Link expires soon, Santa’s elves don’t have access to this stuff)🎅🏼

#restinpiece @gane_twoism honoured and humbled to be invited by @thornizm to join a giant tribute wall to the late great
Sydney King.

RIP to the realest.

#hiphop #gane2 #sydney #graffiti

Thanks to @567king for hooking up the colours

It’s been nearly a year since the initial concept, and over ten years since I first started painting him, but finally #canman is a #skateboard and soon he’ll be a #snowskate very special thanks to @omnisnowboards / skateboards for making this happen, These things are handmade super bespoke, and right now limited to just the first two prototypes, so ya probably best you sit down before you ask the price 💸💰
Thanks praise and gratitude to the hundreds of other #graffiti writers worldwide who’ve painted their own version of the can man, in the decades before and those who will paint him long after I’m dead and gone, you’ve inspired me and driven me more than you’ll ever know, I’ve collected as many of you as I can in the highlight reel above P-C-M.


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