Legitimising Street Art

deTour curated by: Unimelb, 2015

This walking tour of Windsor and Prahran provides an insight into the works of street art that have been commissioned by individuals, the council and private enterprise.

Street Art was once perceived to be rebellious and in many ways a destructive form of expression. Property owners have spent thousands of dollars removing and repainting walls only to have them graffitied again. It is now not uncommon for these property owners to commission works of street art. Private corporations, private individuals and public bodies have all now embraced the notion of using street art to discourage tagging. Stonnington Council has been involved in an innovative program called “Hit the streets”. The program aims to provide young people with the opportunity “to develop and showcase their skills” and to utilise their “talents to best use through legal and commercial opportunities.”

But what does this imply for street art? As with any new art movement, there is a certain amount of controversy. Any concept that defies the mainstream is always questioned. Street art is no exception. Commissioned work or not, art inspires.

Locations for deTour

On the back wall of the National Storage building in Union Street, next to Windsor Siding is a series of large murals. The company commissioned a cohort of artists to create these murals in an attempt to discourage tagging. The positives of a…

Increasingly, more individuals are commissioning artists to create murals on their property to reduce the impact of graffiti. A compromise of sorts is negotiated. There is an element of irony in this outcome, that in order to reduce graffiti,…

Like most things that start off as a radical form of expression, often become a part of the mainstream world. And nothing could be more mainstream than the use of graffiti on the front fence of a newly developed apartment block. The company that…

In 1992 as part of a community project in Prahran, graffiti artists Duel, Pest and Mars collaborated to create a mural on the side of the Windsor train line. The original mural involved the use of kaleidoscopic colours and geometric lettering. Now 22…

Painting over graffiti only produces a blank canvas, inviting graffiti artists to continue to recreate art. For those opposed, in order to avoid this tedious, re occurring cycle, both individuals and local councils have commissioned artists to create…
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