Sydney, like many other great cities around the world, has some incredible street art. The difference between Sidney and other cities is that they have a strict policy against graffiti. For the past decade, the city has continually inspected “hotspots”and removed many great murals as they get made. The government has a zero tolerance for street artists, and it is against to law for anyone to sell spray paint to a minor. It’s also against to the law for a minor to have any graffiti tool in their possession, and violators will be fined heavily. The stakes are high for these artists who wander the Sydney streets at night armed with spray cans, wanting to express themselves.
There are people who want to lobby for a change in the policy, feeling that these beautiful murals should be preserved and the artists encouraged. Under the current rule, street art is only legal if there is express permission from the owner of the property. There are a few places in the city where graffiti is sanctioned, and walls are made available by the proprietor for street art purposes.
My trip to Sydney would not be complete without a jaunt to the inner-city suburb of Newtown and Enmore, well known for its wide range of prominent graffiti. Some of these art works change from week to week. There, you will see many different styles and methods of execution, ranging from large murals to stencil art to concrete graffiti. The last two styles are something that I was not familiar with and had not seen anywhere else. Here are a few photos of my favorite street art:
Street art is often not appreciated by society because it’s seen as a symbol of vandalism and gang territory. Often these art works are not only engaging, but also a voice for the artist to comment about our political and social issues. Yet, in our capitalistic world, people are less likely to appreciate art when it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. But that’s also the reason why I am drawn to it. As you know, I feel strongly about art being available to a wider audience.