Check out some of the best street art south of the river!
The walls of Chapel Street Precinct house some of Melbourne’s most epic street art. Weave through back alleys, dodge cars and trip on uneven cobbles to see one of the best things about living and visiting Chapel Street. The street art.
Starting in Windsor…
Kenny Pittock – Murals to Uplift During These Dark Times
“Life is like a box of crayons” – Each light hearted crayon reflects a different aspect of this extremely challenging time. Kenny noticed that many people pass this fence multiple times a day, and so by painting this particular design which is full of many ideas and details, the viewer will be able to reflect on a different crayon each time they pass the mural.
“Trying to leaf things better than we found them” is an optimistic exploration of personal growth.
Running parallel to Chapel Street is Artists Lane (Aerosol Alley to southsiders), a long bluestone alley splattered in street art. The project was initiated by artist Wayne Tindall, who started by painting himself and his wife outside his studio in the laneway before getting other artists involved, with the blessing of the local council. Look for the painted bins and colour-splashed walls. Featuring artists include @luckylucks, @conrad_bizjak, @resio_, @mikeyxxi and @_bailer.
To The Happy Few
To The Happy Few mural lives on [MARS] Gallery’s ten metre high, east facing external wall. “Paintings are placed in interaction with the environment. Art looses its quality if it is not connected with the space. Art wins in cooperation with the space. The total should always be more than a sum of its parts.,” said artist Lars Breuer. Breuer’s work is site specific, the starting point for construction of his wall paintings is always the surrounding architecture. In doing so the artist is always working with space, which becomes modified and clearly defined by his large-scale interpretations.
Around twelve metres long and four metres high these bad boys are sure to catch you by surprise. Just off the main drag of Chapel Street before Morris Jones Restaurant and Bar, stroll down the side street, take a peak down the sneaky lane way and you’ll be wow’d! Tom Gerrard is a Melbourne based contemporary artist known for his paintings and murals of urban landscapes and used objects. This is one of the biggest walls he’s ever painted and he managed to do it with just a roller and pole!
‘Clean Up Our Backyard’ Mural
Clean up our Backyard commission by Natalie Mather and Steven Rhall. Rhall and Mather’s proposal for Clean Up Our Backyard responds directly to the area of Windsor and its distant communities alike. ‘Not About Us Without Us’ encourages the question of who and what, curiously engaging the viewer through their own subjectivity and personal narratives around voice inclusion and collectivity. Their strategy connects to the notion of empowerment through inclusion on a universal scale. Find it in the James Street carpark behind MARS Gallery. Supported by the City of Stonnington.
Few projects have impacted the Windsor skyline as much as Melbourne Polytechnic’s ‘Paint the Polytechnic’. Four seven story high behemoths by Reka ONE, Guido van Helten and Sofles can be seen from all around like beacons to the promised land. Our highlight? Guido van Helten’s dancer, literally takes your breath away.
Assorted political and pop culture inspired scribbles hidden behind Morris Jones. Go. Take the picture of Kim K’s butt or Donald Trump. Reflect on the current state of the world, then keep moving.
Street art was once an act of rebellion, and in some places, it still is. When one thinks of street artists, quite often dark hoodies, moonlit nights and police escape spring to mind. In Prahran however, this is far from the case. While those late night missions will always have their place, commissioned pieces are now the norm. Bold, bright and admittedly tamer than their illicit counterparts, commissioned street art murals are now taking pride of place on some of Chapel Street’s most iconic and visible walls.
Does this switch from vandalism to public art reflect a change in generational values? Or is that looking too far into it? Probably. Anyway, here’s a guide to the best street art in Prahran, commissioned or otherwise.
Along the creative hub of Chapel Street in Melbourne, one franchisee wanted to make his KFC store stand out from other establishments in the area. Sitting opposite a café, this bespoke, hand-illustrated mural was inspired by the vibrant and multi-cultural people in the local area of Prahran, spanning the height and width of the building. The characters were inspired by the diversity of the locals. Here you’ll find the graffiti artist, the pole dancer, the man in a turban, the lifeguard, the drag queen, the cyclist, and the lesbian couple all side-by-side.
Artist ‘Sugar’ is well known for his nature inspired murals which incorporate local flora and fauna. His latest work features three local dogs who frequent the pocket park alongside local bird life. Head down to 55 Porter Street, Prahran to see it come to life. #dogsofchapelstreet
Brad Eastman (Beastman) has sprayed a burst of multicoloured greatness onto the walls of Star Health Group in Prahran. Neighbour to his Crn of Chapel and Grey St masterpiece, stroll into Little Chapel Street for a peak at this beauty.
UK based, international street artist Phlegm was commissioned to paint this epic piece. Towering above Chapel Street, the robot is painted on the historic Love and Lewis building, attached to the Pran Central shopping centre. If you’re only going to see one piece of street art in Melbourne, make it this one. It’s imposing size is only half of it’s beauty.
Melbourne mural artist JUZPOP bringing the love to Chapel Street with her piece titled “Unconditional”. This fun loving wall popped up next to the Prahran Town Hall and you won’t be able to help but smile when you meet this one. The artist wrote, “Where infinite self-obsession is that status quo marriage has been re-defined as a false identity show, here to find passionate unconditional love is rare, but sometimes the very real thing emerges unlike anything you’d compare. This unconditional companionship views love only as ‘you and us’, absolute and total, holding each other still in the 21st century rush.“
US based artist ARCY poured his paint splash style of street art all over this wall (which is behind St Matthew’s Church on High Street if you’re wondering). It’s kinda a shame that it’s hidden down an alley, but trust that it’s worth the trip to find it. A commision, of course, brought to you by Chapel Street’s home of hip hop culture, Union Heights and Verb Syndicate. Go and check it out!
Welcome to Prahran
Welcome to Prahran. An ode to traditional bombing, but with manners. Scattered around this well-used park, with a basketball court and skate ramp are some of the coolest street art pieces. They’re not overwhelming, but they are reminiscent of scenes from movies in the 1990’s, and that’s bound to make you smile.
Blek Le Rat
Widely credited to be the originator of stencil art, Blek Le Rat is best known for his rats, symbolising the urban environment as “the only free animal in the city.” Spot this Blek Le Rat stencil on Commercial Road in Prahran.
Mike Makatron on Chatham Street
Street art in South Yarra? It’s not the first thing to come to mind! While Windsor & Prahran get the glory as the edgier sections of Chapel Street, people would be surprised by what South Yarra has to offer. In between high fashion retailers, are pieces of art that deserve mention. Here they are.
Tom Gerrard Mural
To celebrate the reopening of Bailey Nelson on Chapel Street, Tom Gerrard painted a mural on the inside and outside of the store, and it was everything a Gerrard mural ought to be. Recently, he gave his mural a facelift. Inspired by bringing more greenery into the concrete jungle of Melbourne.
Geometric patterns pulled from nature and symbolic shapes are just a few components that make Beastman’s art so goddamn good. Spot this splash of cool on the corner of Chapel and Grey St (across the road from Abacus Bar & Kitchen, South Yarra). The collaboration was a project put in motion by the Chapel Street Precinct Association and City of Stonnington to introduce more high quality and thought-provoking street art into the Precinct. Check out the timelapse video, here.