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.
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 & 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.
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.
He came, he stencilled & he left a piece of art worth a small fortune on the wall. All the while, without being noticed. I’m talking about Banksy, a street artist with international notoriety and not a commission piece in sight. If you didn’t already know that one of the few remaining Banksy pieces in Melbourne is on Commercial Road in Prahran, go and see it. Even if it’s just for the dinner party story.