There’s a long tradition of street art in Melbourne, but the city is no stranger to a vibrant, vibrant street culture.
This year’s Melbourne Art Week marks the opening of the new Street Art Melbourne exhibition at the Royal Melbourne Museum, with the artists’ collective, StreetArtFremantle, making a splash in the new exhibition, which will be on view until November 1.
The Melbourne Street Art Gallery has been one of the best-established galleries in the city for decades, but in the last year it has become increasingly popular with the young generation.
While the gallery’s current focus is on the art of street culture, the gallery will be returning to its roots by bringing together artists who have been working together for decades.
Street Art Melbourne’s inaugural exhibition will feature some of the city’s most celebrated street art projects, including a massive mural by street artist Tom Tindall, which was designed as a “message to the world”, and a huge mural by the Melbourne-based graffiti artist, The Pussycat, that was commissioned in 2014.
“The mural was created as a statement to the street art community, which is currently in a state of crisis,” said StreetArtMornings co-founder and curator, Andrew Miller.
“There’s a sense of the art world, of the street, of how people can have fun without it being dangerous, and there’s a lot of people in Melbourne who don’t have the opportunity to get involved in that sort of thing.”
Mr Miller said that in the past few years, street art has grown in popularity in Melbourne and it is this growth that led to the new gallery opening, with street artists working together in a collaborative fashion.
“We’re doing this as an extension of what street art can be, because we think it’s the future of art,” he said.
“Street art is about being free.
It’s about not feeling like you have to do the right thing.
It is about not trying to control what’s going on.
It means having a lot more freedom of expression.”
The gallery has worked with the likes of graffiti artist Tindalls, and the likes and artists of The Puff, who also created the massive mural, which has since been covered up and left to rot in a parking lot.
The new exhibition will also feature some works that are not street art, including some artworks that are inspired by the Australian national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
“It’s the anthem of the Australian flag, but we’re also incorporating the imagery of the Aboriginal flag,” Mr Miller said.
The exhibition will be open until November 11.