Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lane graffiti, sorry ART

I was heading in to the city to the Apple store to get a gizmo, a dongle I think it's called, to connect the data projector SCSI to my Mac, but I had mis-read when it was  open and had to wait for 30 minutes. As I crossed the road I saw people looking at the wall of  laneway opposite so went to explore. The lane is Hosier Lane and is covered in Artists' self  expression; unfortunately vandals have also had a say over some of the works.

Though I should not call it graffiti, it hasn't been called that for several decades I gather. Street art now is a postmodern confluence of art forms; ornate spray-painted pieces, stencil-graffiti and pasting, or paste-ups. Stencilling, spray-painting over a cut-out outline, or Pasting, glueing painted paper images to a wall.

The vandalism is the ugly, illegal practice of "tagging", the scrawling of nicknames on walls and billboards, is widespread.  I must admit I can't see the sense of that when I can seldom work out what the word is supposed to be. But maybe that's an age thing!! 

Stencil art, and the vivid canvas that somewhere like Hosier Lane represents, is why Melbourne is regarded as the street-art capital of the world. This has been recognised by the City of Melbourne and the City of Yarra, which sanction stencilling in some of their lanes, despite recent bad press about removing Bansky's mouse while cleaning up the graffiti, and tagging around it.
But the art is skillful funny, beautiful and imaginative. Even political as well.
I especially liked this one

                                                    Bulldog In Footscray, leaping over the Westgate Bridge.
                                                                          It covers the whole wall.

This lovely fierce bulldog is on the end of a row of shops near the Mall, and is obviously appreciated as Art as it has been there for 12mths that I have seen, and have no tagging or other vandalism on it.

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