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Art and Culture

Behind the Dumpsters.

Yes, I realize this sounds like the start of a crony teenage adventure novel (or it’s just me, I’m reading
too many of them) but; I’m talking about graffities.

Now, if you have lived in Melbourne for even a month you will realize one thing, these guys love
their art and architecture. Love may be an understatement, crazy would be more appropriate. Even
as I write I’m reminded of my art history professor going “Preposterous!” when he told us about the
new Art museum with an allocated budget of $150 million.

Most of the time when I’m out in the city I’ll come across at least one building or wall where I go “You are too shiny!” or “You are too pretty”
(Yes these are actual sentences my intellectual brain has said on certain occasions) or I’ll just stand in
front of it gaping. While researching this article I discovered that the city literally runs a street art
tour.

See? Crazy.

But, the graffiti in this city are absolutely beautiful. Graffiti is one of the freest forms of art. There are
no boundaries. Artist are not restricted by the size of a canvas or bound by rules of ideas in the art
world. As a student who studies art history, there were several pieces of modern art I just couldn’t
wrap my head around (somebody explain the Spiral Jetty to me), but graffiti I understand. From
social messages to faces of famous people to ridiculous scrawls.

Graffiti expresses a sense of freedom. A sense of being a rebel within the system. A lot of the time,
the street artist’s identity is kept a secret, in the dead of the night, they do their work and disappear.
Their work is not given a title, which adds another layer to the freedom of graffiti. Viewers can
interpret the work of art however they wish to do so.

One of my favourite pieces in the city is this on behind Woolworth on Elizabeth Street.

If you ever visit Melbourne, just go around the CBD and Fitzroy area on foot and you’ll most defiantly
see some amazing works of art.

-Surabhi Mishra.

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