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Melbourne, Australia is one of the best cities in the world to discover and experience street art! Tucked away in alleyways and around corners are masterpieces ranging from simple graffiti “tagging” to more complex, and sometimes commissioned by city government, building-sized murals. These free-range art experiences, mostly done in two-dimensions, can be experienced while casually strolling and enjoying the city’s other famous scene—the coffee culture. Order up a flat white and read on to learn more about street art and where to find it in this iconic metropolis “Down Under.”
“Street art” is a general term for any art created in a public location. Often this art is not sanctioned or permitted and may even be done under the cover of darkness to avoid detection. Street art as term has come to encompass all art existing outside whether done in a guerilla manner or through a more formal application and admission process. As a movement, street art is fairly a new concept and started in the early twenty-first century in the mega-cities of the Northeast United States with graffiti writers using spray paint on Subway trains and buildings. These early artists “tagged” their name in a stylistic way and conducted “wars” for recognition and turf.
In the early 1980s and 90s artists in Europe and Australia were inspired to create “urban art” not just freehand with spray paint but with new techniques and materials using stencils, plaster, and tiles on public spaces that often interacted with their environments to create bespoke designs, tongue-and-cheek genre scenes or even spread political messages.
The Museum of Street Art was founded in 2012 and art by famous street artists such as Banksy, Invader, and Sheppard Fairey now fetches millions of dollars! Sheppard Fairey even designed Barack Obama’s iconic “Hope” posterand regularly holds art exhibitions in notable international galleries.
Invader, a French artist who places unique 8-bit, tiled style artworks in cities around the globe, even maintains his own world mapgiving hints on how many pieces he’s placed in a given city to assist in your search.
Melbourne is a perfect place to experience more well-known as well as new, up-and-coming Australian and international artists. The transient nature of the medium makes the “hunt” for art even more exciting! Not everyone knows that a bit of spray paint may be worth millions of dollars or be a tourist draw so street art may regularly be painted over, removed or otherwise destroyed in the regular course of building works.
Whilst you can find art on almost every corner of the city, prolific areas of Melbourne to experience street art include:
Take an official tour with Melbourne Street Art Tours —the first, and only, street art tours in Australia run by street artistswhich also offers lectures by artists and workshops to try your handat making your own art. You can also independently search for art with mapin-hand or simply wander about and see some of the best outdoor galleries the city has to offer.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy the city, remember to take lots of selfies with the art you find as you explore! You might also be a piece of art one day.
When chartering aircraft from ExecuJet, you receive a discreet, safe, comfortable and time-efficient personalised service. Our Melbourne FBO facility is conveniently located at Essendon’s general aviation airport, 10 kilometres from the city centre. Our team makes your experience smooth, assisting with Presidential, VIP, diplomatic and corporate flight handling; passenger handling including customs and immigration support; and of course ground transfers to the best art in Melbourne. ExecuJet takes the time to really understand your travel needs, on the ground and in the air – the service starts long before you take off. Talk to ExecuJet today and discover how we can help you go beyond first class.