Street art Melbourne


Lou Chamberlain

Explore Australia Publishing Limited, Australia 2-13

“Street art in Melbourne, is anywhere, is an art of its time and place.  It is urban, immediate and short-lived.  It has the power to transform a streetscape and enhance the way in which we relate to our environment and community.  People stop and talk to each other in front of painted walls. They share photos on their phones.”

This is the most amazing and wonderful publication showing anyone with the slightest interest in art that art will always be alive and well.  The images are diverse – who cares if I don’t like or understand all of them.  That’s never been the point.  This book completely shows how hopeful we all should be for continuing creative expession.  Street art is not tagging – it’s public art.  One of my favourites is on Pages 50 and 51,Da Mental Vaporz (DMV crew CBD 2012) it looks like a patchwork multicoloured, mythical creature.  There’s so much clever detail.  There are also astounding portraits – look at Pages 128 and 129.   Owen Dippie (OD) 2012 is featured on a CBD commercial doorway.

There are sections on stencils, “In the case of multicoloured works by artists such as HA-HA aka Regan Tamanui, ….cuttrng stencils can be time-consuming and intricate…..Many of the stencils on Melbourne’s walls have been produced in the tradition of political posters, passing comment on contemporary issues that concern us all – war, childhood, the inequality between rich and poor, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and personal and community identity.  HA-HA aka Regan Tamanui, has described street artists as the bushrangers of the 21s century….”  and  pasteups – essentially homemade posters which can be glued up in the dark.  Page 198 and 199 are UM?  “  satirical parking signs and political  statements “This work exemplifies the kind of contemorary art that locates itself at the emotional core of a culture that feels nothing” and guerilla knitting – yarn bombing – go Greerton – I can’t work out how they got some of the knitted stuff on the objects they have bombed junky projects  from apparent total whimsy but “…made from salvaged materials , in a clever commentary on consumerism and waste”  to superficially scary “cement casts to create blaclavas…that age alongside their urban surrounds…”

At the back of this book is a map showing where to look for street art in Melbourne.  If anyone has toured the Melbourne street art let ARTbop know what it’s like on the wall!

CLICK HERE to see the Melbourne city street art tour


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