A short walk away is the gigantic and somewhat eerie ‘bogan’ mural.
The ‘bogan’ mural, a council commissioned piece by artists Sofles, Smug and Adnate is an iconic piece of street art in Fitzroy, for many reasons. Firstly, it is important for what it symbolises; the icon of the ‘bogan’ or ‘yobbo’, a portrayal of the Australian equivalent of ‘white-trash’, overweight, unsanitary, with his beer, cigarette and meat pie on hand. This is important as it demonstrates that graffiti has not lost its power in the counter culture movement. Secondly, and more interestingly in my opinion, this mural made the news, more specifically, The Age. For just one more piece of graffiti in the heart of one of Melbourne’s most street art savvy suburbs, this is quite significant. The news report was in response to a complaint that the bottle of beer in the mural had the label for the beer company Melbourne Bitter, by a resident who was concerned that the mural promoted the brand (Dow, 2014, The Age).
How does this relate to our tour? The mural is painted on the side of the store Nobody Denim, who have not removed the billboard advertising their brand, that sits right on top of the artwork. Despite the graffiti not being aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and quite unattractive, the company has continued to leave their billboard near the mural. This is clever marketing of the brand because all the media attention the mural drew also included the billboard for Nobody Denim in their images. Furthermore, being one of the more famous pieces in Fitzroy, graffiti enthusiasts and tourists go to Fitzroy specifically to look at this particular piece, and its quite easy to not notice that it is on the side of the store. Leaving the billboard where it is always ensures that anyone looking at the piece will also notice the brand.