In almost a year and a half now, I’ve been blessed with witnessing some of the best street art around this side of the world. I don’t know what it is about cities in the Southern Hemisphere, but there are so many that produce intriguing and talented street artists.
I didn’t realize how much California was lacking in this area until I moved abroad. Of course as in any big cities, there are certain suburbs that are better than others in terms of being artsy and creative: North Park in San Diego, Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, Venice Beach in LA. For the most part, however, graffiti is limited to tagging and gang names in California.
Melbourne to me is the epicenter of amazing street art. Many times I would be walking to work early in the morning and come across a street artist in the process of creating a huge and intricate mural on the side of a building. In Melbourne, they have alleyways dedicated to street art, and the city seems to approve and encourage it, a big difference from how local governments look at street art back home.
I’m still seriously contemplating using the font and words from my favorite Melbourne street artist for a tattoo.
Sydney wasn’t quite there compared to Melbourne, except for maybe in the suburb of Newtown, but regardless, when you did come across a piece of art on the street, the quality was astounding.
Wellington truly is a mini Kiwi version of Melbourne, and that’s especially true with the amount of street art and murals you can find throughout the city.
A couple weeks ago, I took my first trip in New Zealand since buckling down for the Winter in Wellington and working full-time. It was to the tiny yet tourist-centered mountain town of Taupo. I was pleasantly surprised to find street art down almost every side street I came across in the small town area.
There’s something about street art that makes me happy and inspired artistically even though that type of art is far from my forte. Drawing and painting has always been an art form I admire, but never something I’ve been good at.
When it comes to street art especially, which is so different from what you find in most museums, allowing you to enjoy art outside, and usually relevant and/or politically fueled, it hits a pleasant chord in my brain and brings me joy.
My last afternoon in Taupo, before jumping on the Naked Bus back to Wellington, I wandered around the streets capturing my favorite pieces of art around town, these were the treasures I found.
The world is a colorful place when you take the time to look around.