Graffiti-ing down to business

deTour curated by: Unimelb, 2015

The origins of graffiti as a medium of street art lies in its role in the rise of the hip hop culture and the counterculture movement. Graffiti establishing itself as a legal form of expression has had an impact on much more than street art; it has challenged and changed varying elements form law enforcement to architecture to urban planning. While some may argue that the legalisation of graffiti results in the loss of the rebellious aura that is associated with graffiti, the commercialisation of graffiti can be considered to be an evolution of the art form to becoming more than just some cool spray painted things in alleyways. This is exemplified in many business employing graffiti as a form on advertisement for themselves.

This tour will take you to five local businesses that have used graffiti as a tool to advertise their store, either by commissioning pieces of their own, or embracing graffiti that already existed on their property.

Locations for deTour

We begin our tour in the inner streets of Fitzroy, a suburb with so much street art, you are completely forgiven if you detract from this tour for a few minutes to check some of it out. Ishka is a clothing, jewellery, furniture, and other cool…

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…

We now take a tram down to Brunswick for our next stop. (All hail Melbourne’s public transport). Villain is an independent Melbourne brand oozing an urban, contemporary, funky vibe. It sells things for the rebellious; from skull printed T-shirts…

A short walk from stop 2 is our next stop, Currency Communications. What is interesting about this store is that unlike the previous two, it has no connection to the graffiti culture. This leads me to wonder if this is perhaps a piece of vandalism,…

Our final stop is a short walk/ tram ride down Sydney Road from our previous stop. Despite the complete lack of connection between nuts and graffiti, there is no doubt that all of the graffiti on the walls of the Royal Nut Company are indeed…
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