Melbourne, Australia: Where the walls tell a story
Melbourne has a well-earned rep as one of the most livable cities in the world. That hospitality extends to the street artists who have also tagged the city as the world's street-art capital.
As you'd expect, there isn't universal acceptance for what was once called graffiti. But there's a lot more acceptance in Melbourne than you might expect. In fact, the street art here isn't considered so much counter-cultural as very much part of the culture.
The city has reacted in contradictory ways, both celebrating its street artists in official publications and passing laws with stiff penalties against the practice—a complicated position of love the sin, punish the sinner.
Anyway, a visit to Hosier Lane in the southern part of the city shouldn't be missed. The spray-painted artwork changes frequently on the building walls and ranges from the overtly political to more decorative murals (a giraffe with pearls), anime, tags, stencils, and stickers. The place (more of an alley than even a lane) is often used, in a counter-countercultural way, as a backdrop for photo shoots.
You may find street art objectionable and prefer calling it vandalism. That's an individual decision and a local, civic one. Even as Melbourne wrestles with the issue, visitors flock to Hosier Lane to see what's on the city's mind.