Melbourne, capital of Victoria, is absolutely worth a detour during your road trip in Australia. Immerse yourself in this cosmopolitan city and discover its multitude of graffitis and street art. It is full of small streets where local and international artists have expressed themselves. In this article, we share the best spots to admire street art in Melbourne. By discovering this beautiful city, the Street Art lovers will not be disappointed!
Table of Contents
The history of Melbourne Street Art
The first instances of graffiti originated in the United States in the early 1970s. Initially, their claim was political, spreading primarily in pubs, on doors, and in public restrooms. Then, between the late 1970s and early 1980s, words gave way to drawings. Melbourne quickly joined this trend. Artists began to emerge from this new wave, influenced by New York graffiti. They started to express themselves on the city streets, along train lines. They wanted to be visible!
Street art in Melbourne experienced a surge in popularity in the 2000s. It took the form of stencils, stickers, posters, murals, framing, or even wood blocking. Hosier Lane is often considered one of the first places where street art began to thrive.
Melbourne – Capital of Street Art
You’ll quickly understand. In addition to promising the discovery of a city rich in culture, leisure, and dining, Melbourne will also delight street art enthusiasts! Melbourne is undeniably Australia’s most artistic city, where street art is widely represented. Today, many national and international artists come to leave their mark on the streets of Melbourne or in its galleries.
You can easily spend hours admiring the works of graffiti artists on the walls of the alleys.
Melbourne’s Best street Art
So for the curious, amateurs and enthusiasts, here’s a little taste of the Melbourne Street Art!
Hosier Lane is undoubtedly Melbourne’s most famous graffiti lane. As you walk around the CBD, you’ll easily come across it on this cobbled street. And it’s hard to miss! Street art is everywhere, from the ground to the top floors of buildings. There are even some on the garbage cans!
Nearest train station: Flinders Street Station
AC/DC Lane and Duckboard Place
For music fans, AC/DC Lane was named in 2004 to honor the Australian rock band. The works, often large in size, present all sorts of musicians, both real and imaginary.
It is certainly here that you will find the greatest works. Street art even extends to store fronts, at the request of traders.
The Fitzroy area also has a lot of graffiti, feel free to stop by whilst looking around some of the second-hand shops, or spend some time in the back streets! Also stop at Fitzroy’s Rose Car parking lot.
Not far from Fitzroy, the neighborhood of Brunswick is home to a hippie community. You marvel at beautiful murals highlighting the Aboriginal people.
Street art is nearly everywhere in neighborhoods, even ChinaTown. Go to its heart to admire superb graffitis.
If you want more, also take a detour to Queen Street, Blender Lane, Uniacle Court, Prahran or Footscray. These streets and neighborhoods were also bombed.
Notable Melbourne street artists
There are visiting artists and regulars. There are Australians, and then any other nationality. The painted walls are rich in history and culture! However, some artist names are more ingrained in people’s memories than others.
You will surely hear of a certain Lushsux. This graffiti artist from Melbourne is talking a lot about him with his trashy creations. Besides Lush, we love it, or we hate it! For the anecdote, he even asked for the participation of pornstars for some of his creations… so it’s up to you to judge 🙂
You will also find works by Keith Haring, ABOVE and Shepard Fairey (Americans), Seth and Invader (French), Banksy (English)… and many more.
Also read : 10 unusual places to discover in Melbourne
Melbourne’s street art changes regularly, but artists are often more active in spring and summer when the weather conditions are more favorable.
As in most countries, graffiti is indeed prohibited by law. However, in Melbourne, some alleys deliberately escape this ban. Street art is a controversial form of art in terms of legality. Some works are authorized and supported by the city, while others are illegal. The perception varies depending on building owners and local authorities.
Yes, there are numerous guided street art tours in Melbourne. These tours allow you to learn more about the artists, the history, and the meaning of the city’s street art works.
Yes, Melbourne hosts several street art festivals, including the Melbourne Street Art Festival and the Big Picture Fest.