Local street artists have used the city as their canvas, injecting colour and intricate designs into previously dark and desolate alleyways and lanes.
, the host of Australia Network’s Fashion ASIA, was given a close up tour by artist Luke McManus who says street art in Melbourne is almost impossible to miss.
“It’s on the back of signs, fire hydrants, theatres, it’s everywhere…every corner you turn.”
Hosier Lane off Flinders Street resembles an outdoor post-modern gallery, and should be the first stop on any tour of the city’s thriving spray can scene.
“Hosier’s probably recognised as one of the most iconic laneways in all of Melbourne for street arts,” Luke says.
“Anybody that comes into town they’ll come here and paint on this [lane] once.”
Melbourne’s street artists have tried to distance their intricate works from the more common tag-based graffiti, and in the process have won over the general public.
“I think perhaps that’s to do with the influence of street art being a little bit more appealing to everyone versus graffiti, where it’s all about letters and styles,” Luke says.
It also gives the city council less of a reason to come by with a scrubbing brush and ruin hours of good work.
And like any community, the key to success and longevity is respect for the work of others.
“Deb’s [artist] piece on Ganesh has been there since 2010.”
In a competitive and ever-growing scene, credibility doesn’t come from being around for a decade or two, or possessing a broad colour palette.
It’s all about how high you’re prepared to go.
“Someone that gets up is someone that works really hard, that gets up in lots of different areas across the city and earns a name for themselves,” Luke says.
For more colour and street style, take a trip to the Australia Network’s Fashion ASIA.