You Are Here – Street Art In Melbourne, Australia
“Some people want to make the world a better place. I just wanna make the world a better-looking place. If you don’t like it, you can paint over it!” Banksy (In Melbourne)
I guess what I love about street art is that it is art of the moment. It isn’t meant to be there forever. You are here . You can find these words on this spot on this wall.
The laneways covered in Melbourne street art have become one of the tourist attractions of the city. I’m not the only person taking photos. The street artists here work in all mediums from brushes, spray paint, stencils, street sculptures, paste ups, stickers, and installations.
It’s the first time I have seen street sculpture. It is small and hard to find – like beach treasures. Maybe as street art becomes more accepted and mainstream, artists have to find more creative ways to tell their stories. (soccer ball, but is it art?, eternity)
One of the main mural streets was painted over in bright blue by a street artist. The anti establishment street art movement? or just someone who had a lot to say in blue? It is already painted over.
I loved all the street art quotes and poetry.
There are a lot of references to literature and history . (founding fathers painted with Aborigine faces, koalas)
I love the outdoor galleries.
Tagging seems less popular. I hated to see some cool piece tagged over by jealousy or stupidity. I don’t usually mind graffiti but I do when it is covering street art. Seems a bit like a street art oxymoron.
“Do art not tags” is the name of a graffiti education presentation being offered in schools within the city of Melbourne. Actors visit classroom and provide information about the differences between graffiti and street art and how different choices can lead to different consequences.
The best way to see Melbourne Street Art is with Melbourne Street Art Tours. http://www.melbournestreettours.com The tours are given by street artists . You can join a group or hire them privately.
My tour guide was Michael Fikaris. He is an excellent artist as well. His portrait of Charles Bukowski was one of my favorites. He brought stickers and left them where he felt they needed to be. He was very knowledgeable about the art, artists and their stories. (Charles and Michael, commissioned wall by Michael Fikaris, you know who with a twist)
The great thing about going with Melbourne Street Tours is that you see art that you wouldn’t normally see. Some of the best stuff was in places I wouldn’t have gone to alone. They know where to show you the good art and avoid the mediocre.
You walk by so much street art , when you are out exploring the city. It is all colorful and fun, and hard to know where to look.
Street artists use the walls to raise social and political awareness, Others just want to show their artwork. Some are talented and some are enthusiastic.
Michael immediately points out the interesting pieces. There are some good artists working out on these streets and it was great to have Michael show them to me. I was getting overwhelmed with so much street art on one wall. I definitely would have missed a lot doing it on my own.
Melbourne Street Tours works out of Blender Studios. You end with a tour of the studios and meet some of the artists. There are pieces for sale but no pressure to buy. Of course I got home and wished that I had bought more. They also run street art workshops and school programs.
This was the first thing I did in Australia. It turned out to be one of my favorite things. They also made me feel very comfortable on my first day in their country. It set the tone for a wonderful trip. Whether you are visiting or if you live in Melbourne, I recommend going to see the street art with Melbourne Street Tours. Even If you pass these streets everyday, I guarantee you will see new things with them.