SUE JACKSON Therapist | Writer | Photographer | Activist

An avid blogger for the last fifteen years, I believe in the power of the word to change the world. I have participated in, and reported on, a range of protests during this period, including the successful East-West Link campaign and, more recently, our wonderful, home-grown Extinction Rebellion (XR). If you believe, like I do, that it is time for ordinary people to rise up in defence of the planet, I encourage you to explore this blog, share it with your networks, and – of course – take action.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Graffiti Art - Melbourne style

'Sistine sisters'

I love this image. It's just around the corner from my place on a wall behind St Georges road. I don't know who created it, but it reminds me of Michelangelo's God the Father reaching out his finger to his Son. So I not only get to enjoy this contemporary piece, but every time I see it I'm instantly transported to the the Sistine chapel in Rome where I'm lying on my back transfixed by the wondrous ceiling. Two for the price of one. Or in this case, for no price at all.
Because one of the great things about street art is that it's art for the people by the people and it's free to all. And unlike Michelangelo, the creator of what I have dubbed the Sistine Sisters, doesn't have to kowtow to noble patrons or work like a dog to meet their impossible demands. He (because Melbourne's graffiti artists are predominantly male) can work when and if he likes. And produce what he likes too.

Lord Ganesh?

Spotting this lugubrious elephant on the side of a house on Alexandra Parade, Ganesh the Elephant god, the purveyor of success and the most widely-worshipped Hindu deity, instantly sprang to mind. The elephant's eyes are somewhat red and watery - because he is reflecting on the sad plight of humans or simply struggling with the fumes from the adjacent freeway, we will never know.
But the clever way the creator has integrated the windows into his picture reminds me of one of my favourite art works ever. It was painted specifically for the wall it emblazons and effortlessly integrates a small window at its apex into the composition. Again it's in Rome, in a church off the beaten track called San Agostino. The picture was painted by the wonderful Caravaggio and is called the Madonna of the Pilgrims. It caused an uproar in its day because the dirty and cracked feet of the pilgrims was right at eye level and many viewers thought it improper.
I think Caravaggio, who was a wild and anarchic figure, would have applauded my comparison of his work with that of a graffiti artist. Like today's street artists, he was also a creature of the night and often made art that was derided.

Australia? Africa?... Wherever

Something that really appeals to me about graffiti art is that you often come across it in the strangest, most unexpected or even inaccessible places, obviously because those are the only places where the artists won't be caught or interrupted as they work. This powerful landscape, or is it a dreamscape? which seems to leap off the wall, is located in a dull, grey internal car park.

Who or what won't stop?

I don't understand this piece, but I find it intriguing. The house it adorns is right on Wellington Parade, and has huge numbers of cars and cyclists streaming past its front door, day and night. Perhaps it's the commuters who 'won't stop'. But, if so, why does the glamorous '50s-screen-siren-look-alike appear so unperturbed. As I said, it's very intriguing.

What's going on?

This picture on a public utility box, whose every surface is decorated with images that perfectly fit its limited space, worries me. I don't know what's going on in this picture by Kaff-eine, and I'm not sure I want to.

Astonishing scope and artistry

As I rattled past this huge fantasy piece on the tram, I noticed that I was not the only one who gasped when I spotted it.

Longing for a pat

I have to stop! But remember - Melbourne is one of the world's top cities for street art and Fitzroy is its epicentre. As you can tell, I'm a great fan and get a buzz out of scrambling down alley ways and behind buildings to discover new treasures. (I'm weird, I know). So if you'd like to see some more graffiti art, just let me know.


Anonymous Kelly said...

I think one of the most fabulous things about Melbourne is it's street art! Great post!

7:26 PM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

Thanks a heap for taking the time to give me feedback, Kelly. It's great to know we share the same passion for Melbourne's street art!

8:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home