Street art continues to be at awkward standstill in Melbourne for 2015. It’s a topic I have expressed confusion and disappointment in for the last couple years, with little change towards the positive. That’s not to suggest that any change should be made, due to yours truly, but the wave we’re currently stuck in hasn’t been pushing us, to where we should be, for some time. With a number of this cities best street artists finding extended success overseas, only a handful have filled the void they once occupied. And despite all of this, there is still great public art to be found across the Melbourne outdoors, with this list featuring a loaf of artists who predominately practise graffiti. But to suggest that street art is truly “art in the streets” then, the idea of who does what, isn’t so far fetched. Melbourne’s graffiti writers have extended their skills over the last 5 years in particular, stretching their craft into form outside of letters, giving those who question their ability, a lot to be accounted for.
- This list is no definitive collection, rather the best of what I found for 2015. There’s a lot of work out there, but i unfortunately can’t get photo’s of everything.
- None of the titles found with these pieces are their official names.
10. CHOQ “SPRAYED CONFLICT”
It’s always nice to see artists having fun with a world that, at times, takes itself a little too seriously. French ex-pat Choq, kicked off a massive 2015 with this fantastic two tone colour piece combining precision and an always favourable sense of humour to create a piece anyone can appreciate.
9. DEM189 “A GOOD MIX” with FLICK
With his unique mixture of graffiti formation and mechanical exploration, France’s Dem189 produces amazing pieces regularly, with this being one in particular, worth remembering. Not quite a graffiti piece, not quite art, these are the type of pieces that truly blurs those two lines.
8. SOFLES & PUTOS “SLATER GATOR”
Sofles’ unmatched letter forms side by side with Putos’ always meticulously heated characters…? Need I say more?
7. RASHE “DEATH BY DIGITAL”
Rashe is an artist who has gone from strength to strength in 2015, improving on an already impressive body of work across Melbourne’s great outdoors. Putting the traditional through an ancient digital filter, Rashe has recently been creating works that are completely of their own, providing an interesting take on new and old forms.
6. SALAD “THE BIG SALADS”
A varied mish mash of letters, design and controlling use of space, these dual pieces were only faulted by their location. Tucked away in a (almost hidden) laneway in Brunswick, this mammoth sized duo is a sombre reminder of the large amount of talent found in this city and the lack of hi-vis walls provided for them.
5. MAYO “FRESH”
Mayonaize is an artist with many tools available for his craft. From canvases to walls, it’s amazing to see the clarity found in the varied scale of his pieces, with little to no differences found between big and small. This extra long piece takes the controlled chaos of his multi-layered works and spreads them out into an impressively condensed 9 lettered wordplay, giving plenty to explore.
4. OG23 “CORNER SHOP CRAWLER”
OG23 is a writer moving into directions rarely visited in the Melbourne graffiti scene. Not just content with exploring the ongoing possibilities of graffiti, OG23 expanded on his painting repertoire with a number of these design-heavy formations. Mixing the finer points of graffiti structure and graphic design engineering, these experimental walls have been a highlight for many of the public spaces bestowed them.
3. NEMCO “ANOTHER NEMCO BURNER”
2015 was quite a year for the visiting Nemcouno, distributing a swell of artworks for a number of shows around Australia, both in the gallery space and the outdoors. It’s hard to pin-point which of these works were the best for this year alone, but there has been a few that defiantly stand out, this being one of them. Featuring all the visual motifs found throughout his work, this lengthy piece shows the the varied technical skill, creativity and scope found in this talented painter.
2. STABS “FOR THE KIDS”
For The Kids is a collage of people, experiences and positivity found through recent travels by the artist, with images of smiling faces, dangerous objects and animals found throughout its structure. But it’s truly a piece that welcomes personal interpretation, something that I’ve found throughout a lot of the artists work in recent years.
1. DVATE “GRAND DESIGNS”
Dvate is an artist who simply continues to go from strength to strength, no matter what form he is working with. While a lot of Melbourne’s street practitioners are choosing the human form to present their work, it’s always refreshing to see someone going through a different route, with this beautiful eagle being a perfect example. Using the natural colours found in one of mother natures finest creatures, Dvate has not only produced an incredibly rendered piece of public art, but formed a matching piece to accompany it.
Undoubtably one of the best walls Melbourne has seen this year.