Street art covering Melbourne’s famous Flinders Lane
The street art scene has undergone a massive shift in the past few years with artists like Banksy, David Choe and Blek le Rat growing cult audiences around the world, bringing the medium into the mainstream.
Once considered vandalism, street art has now become increasingly accepted by many local governments and businesses. The art is even considered integral to the culture and landscapes of some cities like Melbourne and Buenos Aires where street art locations have become tourist must sees.
Although street art is often associated with graffiti, it can come in almost any medium including paint, stencil, sculpture or even ‘yarn bombing’.
Street artworks are no longer saved for lane way walls and alleys with pieces by some of the more well-known artists displayed in art galleries and being sold for upwards of $1 million. While many of these pieces make political points, some are there to provide entertainment, for something to brighten up local neighbourhoods.
Although there’s still much debate whether it can be considered ‘true’ art or a step above vandalism, it’s undeniable that street art’s popularity has exploded across the globe.
What do you think of the pieces below – is it art or vandalism?
2012 Olympic Pieces, 2012 London, Banksy’s famous pointed critique on child labour during the London Olympics.
The World Turns, 2011-2012 Brisbane, Michael Parekowhai’s sculpture based on a dreaming story surrounding Kurilpa Point.
A Tank Wrapped in Pink, 2006 Cophenhagen, pink squares were knitted to cover the tank as a protest against Denmark’s involvement in the war in Iraq.
The Legend of Giants, 2013 Bialystock, Natalia Rak’s giant painting during the Folk on the Street Festival.
Borondo New Piece, 2013 Cotignola, experimenting with unusual mediums.
Hovering F-15 fighter, 2013 Leeds, innovative artist Replete pioneered this new street art form by painting his work onto stretched out cling-wrap.
Human-hand Hybrid, 2015 Buenos Aires, Surrealist artist Martin Ron experiments with hyper-realism on the streets of Buenos Aires.
The Last Ride, 2014 Portugal, Artist Mr Dheo created his own version of an anti-drink driving advertisement in a Portugal car yard.
CMYK, 2009 Trondheim, Skurtur Design Collective created this piece using stencil, spray paint and an umbrella cut in half.
Moonshine, 2013 United States, Polish duo Sainer and Bezt make up Etam Cru painted the large mural in a parking lot for the Richmond Mural Project.
Rennes, France, Artist MTO is best known for hyper-realistic, large scale portraits.
Mural of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photo, Times Square, Artist Eduardo Kobra’s colourful impression of the famous V-J Day photo.
Glasses, Spain 2013, Artist Man o Matic created this large photo-realistic portrait on the streets of Spain.
Underwater Dog, 2014 Mechelen, Artist Bart Smeets used spray paint to complete the mural of a dog plunging underwater.
Miami, Street Artist Bik Ismo created this realistic mural for Art Basel.
Winged Demon Mural, 2014 Montreal, Urban muralist created this vibrant piece for the local Mural Festival.
2014 Niscemi, Mural by urban artist Blu in the streets of Italy.
2014 Italy, Illusion piece by artist Anders Gjennestad aka Strøk using multilayered stencils to create photorealistic figures.
Nobody Likes Me, Vancouver, Created by street artist I♥ using stencils and spray paint.