When family members from Adelaide visit us here in Melbourne, they often comment on the amount of graffiti around the city. Apparently Adelaide doesn’t have much, though I must say, I’ve never noticed its absence.
Their comments have caused me to look more carefully when I’m out and about, and I’ve got to say that there is graffiti, and then there is graffiti art.
Union Lane, which I’ve spoken about before, has some fabulous artworks, in as many styles as there were artists. I’ve put an example above, and another here:
I must distinguish here between tagging and more intricate graffiti. I’m not a big fan of tagging – it seems pointless and destructive – but tags are a far cry from the glorious, multicoloured creations seen all over Melbourne. To me, lumping these works in with tags, under the heading of graffiti, is wrong on many levels.
As with any art, what appeals to the viewer of a piece of graffiti art is subjective, and very much reflects personal tastes. Regardless of whether or not a piece appeals to me, though, the skills displayed by these artists, astound me. I am absolutely amazed by the intricacy of the designs that graffiti artists can produce with spray cans.
The photo below is of a building in Collingwood, around the corner from where I used to work. I don’t remember when this particular artwork first appeared, but I do know that I find it very hard to drive or walk past without stopping to look.
This type of art isn’t to everyone’s taste, but all I can say is that I would take Melbourne’s ‘graffiti’ over another city’s pristine sterility, any day.