Street art is still a sexy topic in the media and a good way to sell a product. It can be any product from shoes, to magazines, to books, to cars, to politicians. Victoria’s anti-graffiti laws advertising campaign is now, after the initial public poster campaign, used by politicians and some hardware stores to advertise their toughness and anti-graffiti credentials.
There is now the sub-genre of street-fabric-art. Perri Lewis reports about yarn bombing in the Guardian but ultimately this is simply promotion for a book. In Melbourne there has already been lots of street-fabric-art: the word “Material” made from stuffed fabric letters has been up in Hosier Lane for almost a year now and there is the crochet-covered tree on near the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick St.
The double page advertisement for the Suzuki Swift (Attitude, #62, 2009) exploits Melbourne street art. The background for the advertisement has been heavily photoshopped but includes a few easily recognizable stencils, paste-ups and aerosol work. For example, Debs phone-car image is visible although her tag has been altered to “Dep”. I hope that someone is taking legal action against Suzuki for this breach of copyright. (Yes, if you paint it on a wall, legally or illegally, you have published it and in Australia it is automatically your copyright.) Do not support corporations that exploit street art – I won’t be buying a Suzuki – a bicycle is better.
Finally, to end on an up beat, A1one is featured in a one-page profile in Juxtapoz (Feb. 2009) magazine. A1one is an Iranian street artist. I met him when he visited Melbourne last year for the Melbourne Stencil Festival; it was his first trip abroad. Like many street artists he is a quiet, intelligent young man with an interest in local history and the community. His work can still be seen on some walls around Melbourne. Juxtapoz may be an American magazine but it has never been isolationist in its view.