It’s all about Street Art. The kind of creative musings you find filtered throughout city streets, across just about any workable surface. Appreciated for its’ rawness, honesty and the sheer effort it takes to create something real in a public (often illegal) space.
One of the most influential and recognised artists of today is Banksy. Known mostly for his distinctive stencilling technique, he combines political messages with humour to create a style that hits the mark throughout the world. Banksy is still ‘unidentified’, his appearance is still a mystery; like a modern day Batman of the art world. Rumours however have been circling for years that the man of mystery is in fact 2pac Shakur.
What is fascinating about Banksys’ art is how accessible it is. Hollywood’s No.1 power couple ‘Brangelina’ spent over £1million pounds on a couple of pieces of his work back in 2006. However the people of Australia can see and even touch a piece of Banksys’ work just by chance walking through their neighbourhood.
A recent documentary on the Australian Art & Tourism scene labels the street art of Melbourne’s lane ways the number one Australian cultural attraction. Think about this for a minute, the National Arts Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art, MONA even the Opera House all come a mere second to the narrow, gritty alleys of Melbourne.
You can’t talk about street art without mentioning Shepard Fairey AKA OBEY. Best known for his Andre the Giant sticker campaign that he created back in 1989. Since then Shepard has gone on to be one of the most respected names on the scene for his political, environmental and social messaging. His unique style lead to the design of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign poster “HOPE”. This iconic design became one of the most widely recognised images in his campaign. Not bad for a days work.
A street artist I’ve recently discovered is Morley, he pastes up prints with bold text and an image of himself writing a message with a sharpie. The messages are very thought provoking, humorous and portray a unique perspective on life. He may not be as celebrated as the likes of OBEY or Banksy, but his approach and cut-through is admired. One to watch.
The street art movement is gaining so much momentum as the public starts to embrace it’s creativity. The layers of messaging, the colour, the techniques, the setting, the materials – it all makes for the ultimate statement. To experience the movement, grab a coffee and take a stroll down Sydneys’ King Street in Newtown, always a hub of artistic expression. The Bondi Beach wall is also an impressive stretch where can you check out some cool art, the swell and the skaters. It’s a win win.
For regular updates and Sydney street art initiatives check out www.sydneystreetartproject.com