More Paint Than Thought


I am not a fan of graffiti – I daresay few people are. Pure vandalistic garbage scattered over suburban fences and public walls is evidence of idiocy, not art. I rarely photograph it, and am pleased to say that it has largely disappeared from our suburb. I guess the law cracked down on it to such an extent that the worst of the taggers were forced to cease or move.

I do like the occasional piece of street art  – provided it is in an area that celebrates and supports the thing. Brunswick Street in Fitzroy – a Melbourne inner suburb – is just this sort of place and I’ve shown some of their stuff before. Images like this:


Derivative, but then Mucha isn’t doing all that much himself these days so they might as well  ” tribute ” it. In a pot-laden neighbourhood they like this sort of thing.

Not so sure about the art in the heading image. That’s the side of a small Asian hotel in Murray Street here in Perth. We’re seeing it through the barbed wire protection of a car park. No-one from the street gets a view.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that it has been painted by some sort of street artist collective. There have been other things put up on freeway underpasses and railway signal cabins in the past. In some cases they have lasted for years. We see them at the off-ramp of our local freeway but I note that the paint is not standing up to the constant sun. That may be happening to this heading image.

I privately wonder whether the hotel was approached by the artists with an offer or a threat – ” Either we paint the wall or the taggers do… “. How this would have been received by the Asian owners of the place is a matter for speculation, but perhaps they wanted no trouble and let this go up. They may have had advice from their security people about the East Perth railway signal box that was repeatedly daubed by taggers every time that Westrail crews went out and gave it another coat of uniform railway brown. Eventually the railway administration seems to have decided to let someone cover it with trite art rather than just tags and left it at that.

Well, it’s down a side entrance. There is that saving grace. And hotels do change hands. And if they can water-blast off hundreds of years of grime from Parisian or London buildings to reveal clean stone, they can do it here…


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