A discussion for another day is whether in fact Street Art is more graffiti than art per se. I happen to be totally biased and love street art and mostly dislike graffiti, in fact I absolutely loath tagging. That said many of today’s top urban artists have graduated from a scrawl on a wall to very realistic street art appearing in galleries in NYC, London & Sydney. Oh and some pretty hefty commissions.
I started appreciating street art a few years ago. Slowly but surely the laneways at the end of my street, in the hipster suburb of Brunswick in Melbourne, began to transform from ugly 1970s brick edifices into something much more appealing. At least I thought so, and I wandered amidst this transformation most days as part of my commute to and from work. One of the first major works in these laneways was the Geisha below by famous UK artist – Hush.
From memory this was around 2011/12 and married with a dramatic increase in the fame and, if not at that time, fortunes of some of Melbourne’s top street artists. Names that are now revered in the genre and should only be approached with a suitably fat cheque book should you wish to get a commission work done. Artists such as RONE and Adnate in particular were becoming well known locally for their realistic street art and in particular their incredibly life-like eyes.
However not all of Melbourne’s crews or individual artists were following along similarly ‘pretty’ lines. Another piece that shone for me in my local environs was by controversial artist C.D.H. Although painted over as part of a ‘street feud’ to me this piece still haunts. Those eyes, so different in style to an Adnate for example, capture you. There is a story in there, a connection with the viewer.
One of the most impressive aspects of the works of the top artists is the scale of their creations. The image below shows the magnitude of some of these works. This beautiful lady was painted by RONE in Christchurch in December 2013 as part of the RISE Festival. A gathering of some of the world’s greatest urban artists to try and colour a city that had literally been torn apart by a massive earthquake in February 2011. An example of street art and community in harmony.
Why I like street art so much is works of this quality would have formerly been commissioned and hidden behind the high walls of the elite. This form of art is transitional, it very well might not be there tomorrow. That’s part of the intrigue I guess. And all the more reason to get out there and look for it, and why I am oft to go hunting these pieces out with my SLR.
I’m going to shut up now other than to say look below at the incredible works about which I write. Below the gallery are some ‘links’ you may find useful.
Street Art Eyes/ Realistic Street Art. A Gallery.
(Click an image to enlarge)
- The best way to stay up-to-date with the new works of these artists is on Instagram. Just search for their name & profiles.
- View more works by many of these artists in my post about Melbourne Street Art that is now painted over.
- Check out our Thirty Summers Instagram for many more of our photos of Urban Art.