These Abandoned Buildings Are Adorned With Stunning Portraits Of Women

For Architectural Digest, by Sara Tardiff.

There are few artists whose work you are just as likely to encounter in a gallery as you are walking down the street. Melbourne artist Rone got his start painting stylized, larger-than-life portraits of women not on canvases but in abandoned buildings and other unexpected surfaces around his home city. With more than ten years of work in the industry, Rone is now recognized worldwide, exhibiting in the National Gallery of Australia, collaborating with the likes of Jean-Paul Gautier and showing in galleries from London to San Francisco (and everywhere in between). His haunting paintings are an examination of the synergetic relationship between beauty and decay, installing stunning portraits in spaces that are often ravaged by nature and time. His most recent exhibition, "Empty," took place this past October in the historic Fitzroy building in Melbourne, which is due to be torn down in the coming weeks. Rone fully embraces the fleeting nature of beauty, approaching each piece with the expectation that human and natural elements will at some point intervene. Browse through some of his selected works—in collaboration with nature and the cities they inhabit.

Rone’s mural titled Homewrecker is of a woman peeking through the rubble of a fire-damaged house. It was part of his "Empty" exhibition.

The Empire, also part of the "Empty" exhibition, features a serene portrait of a woman amidst the chaos of a dilapidated home.

A public mural in Penang, Malaysia, painted in 2014.

The Sound of Silence, found in a building destroyed by water and fire damage.

Emma of Göteburg: Rone’s tallest work yet, and the tallest mural in Sweden.

A young woman and her mother painted on a wall in Detroit.

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