A 22-year-old man has been stabbed in the neck during a row in Melbourne’s CBD. Police confirmed an argument over graffiti broke out between two groups of men in Bourke Street about 1am resulting in one person getting stabbed.
1. a piece of paper or cardboard in which things are pasted to form a design, working diagram, etc.
2. a collage
Paste up Graffiti has been around for awhile now and has emerged in many forms. To many it represents a way to make a statement of a political nature, to others it is a way to satire a current day subject and again there are those that find Paste up Graffiti a way to express there art form.
Unlike other forms of Graffiti Art that require the Artist to create quickly and evasively to avoid the authorities, Paste up Graffiti is able to be created away from the street in which it will be finally displayed.
This allows the artist to spend more time on the form and content that will finally be created. In such it allows the artist to paint a canvas and conceive the concept as other art forms are generally created.
This ability to plan each step of the artwork allows the freedom to explore the meaning of the piece and ensures there is a depth that normal Graffiti can never explore.
Paste up Graffiti art is now readily recognised by underground art networks and the names of some of our most famous Paste up Artists are becoming house hold names.
These artists are no longer just producing public art in secular city but are leaving there mark in cities globally. For example SWOON must be recognised as one of the most recognised global Paste up Artists not confined to a cities boundaries – her work is displayed in prominent positions in some of the world’s major cities.
Beyond the city walls and deserted alleyways Paste up Graffiti is making head roads into our every day life. Artists are now being commissioned to complete artwork for CD covers/ Political flyers/ TV advertisements indicating that this form of Graffiti is becoming more and more accepted by General Culture.
Some Artists are now so successful that they also have the honour of holding exhibitions in Public Art Galleries. Being able to sell to the general public and have a market wanting there artwork has legitimated this form of Graffiti.
Who would have known that something so despised by many as vandalism would now be appearing in there homes, there cars, there offices, without them even recognising it.
Paste up Graffiti has taken things to the next level.
Step into the Future of Graffiti Art
With Graffiti becoming a global problem for our governments and harsher and stronger laws being put into effect, Graffiti artists are finding it tougher to express their art without facing the consequences.
This can deter a lot of artists and may see the end of Graffiti Art as we know it. But luckily a group of forward thinking artists are taking humble Graffiti to the next level in the form of Light Graffiti.
Light Graffiti is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night or in a darkened room by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In many cases the light source itself does not have to appear in the image. The term also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources.
Anyone who has checked long time exposure on cameras already knows the basics of Light Graffiti writing. It´s a simple but efficient photo and animation technique, which has developed only within the last decade.
It is by no means a new thing. Pablo Picasso already worked out this technique in his own way. Picasso was photographed ‘painting’ a quick sketch in mid-air in a darkened room with a torch, and the image was composited with a shot of Pablo in a studio to create the effect of painting with light.
Using this new method, a number of graffiti artists have been tagging the impossible without being caught. How? – it’s actually not illegal for them. They’re not using paint and they are not leaving a long term, ‘hard copy’ of their artwork on public or private property. Though this form of graffiti exists in cyberspace at the moment it wont be long before we see it in art installations in our cities.
As it turns out, time-lapse photography isn’t just for blooming flowers, skyscapes, or brake lights anymore. Tag artists are taking their ‘colour’ to an all new level.
Moving the Light Source
The light can either be used to selectively illuminate parts of the subject or to ‘paint’ a picture by shining it directly into the camera lens. Light painting requires a sufficiently slow shutter speed, usually a second or more. Like night photography, it has grown in popularity since the advent of digital cameras because they allow photographers to see the results of their work immediately.
Light painting can take on the characteristics of a quick pencil sketch. Flash lights or light pens or LED ‘throwies’ can also be used to create Full Bleed images. Different colored lights can be used to project an image on the CCD.
Moving the Camera
Making a light graffiti doesn’t necessarily need to be done in a dark room or at night. Sometimes using artificial light, like LEDs and mobile phones, or through the limited sunlight beaming in a curtained room creates a shadowing effect. Using a mirror creates a double image, which adds up to a more creative result.
Light Graffiti is also known as Light Writing/ Light Painting.
Darklight is the first international Light Graffiti writing festival, paying tribute to this virtual graffiti and urban space art. It’s goal is to invite the most outstanding artists of this genre to Berlin for one week to hold workshops, jam-sessions and to organise the exhibition for the public.
Light Graffiti Artists:
Other Light Graffiti Links:
- Environmental graffiti
- Interview with Artist Lichtfaktor
- Lichtfaktor Pics Library
- Lichtfaktor Video Starwars vs Startrek
- PikaPika Video Go Go PikaPika
- Light Graffiti Video
Step by Step Instructions on how to create your own Light Graffiti:
If you like the direction Light Graffiti is heading leave us a comment on how it makes you feel.
If you have any further pics or videos on Light Graffiti please send them to us – we would be happy to share them.
Posted in Graffiti Documentary, Street Art | Tags: Camera Painting, Darklight, Environmental Graffiti, Future of Graffiti, Graffiti that is not illegal, Graffiti using LEDS, Graffiti using mobile phones, Hamburg, How to beat the Graffiti Laws, how to graffiti without it being illegal, Kaalam, Karl D Willis, LAPP, LED throwies, Licht graffiti, Lichtfaktor, Light Drawing, Light Graf, Light Graffiti, Light Graffiti a photographic technique, Light Painting, Light Sketch, Light Tag, Light tagging, Lightdoodles, Marko93, Mishel Churkin, Nash, Pablo Picasso Light Sketch, photo technique, Pikapika, Pipslab, Quick Sketch, Tofa
See below the video of our YouTube call for entries. As long as you activate a YouTube account you will be able to respond to it there (text message or video). You can state your opinion in a short video that can be uploaded onto our YouTube site.
There is a set of 8 questions (see below) to guide you to make the video, but these questions can be adapted or changed to suit.
The focus is therefore on the content and not on the quality of the footage. If interested check for details at the link above (Call For Entries) or send us a note if you have any questions.
1. Which city / country are you in?
2. Are you for / against / neutral towards graffiti?
3. What do you think of graffiti / tagging / stencil work / paste-up?
4. When is it Art / Vandalism?
5. In what way does graffiti add value / in what way does it devalue an area?
6. Do you feel uneasy around areas with a lot of graffiti?
7. What is your government’s policy on graffiti?
8. Can you imagine a world without graffiti? What would it be like?
Stencilling or stencil art has been around for more that a quarter of a decade and has become a popular form of expression within the street art scene. During these years this style of street art has transformed into a worldwide subculture. It makes use of paper, cardboard and other media to create a piece that can then be reproduced. The design is cut out of a selected medium with the subsequent image is then transferred onto a surface such as a wall using spray paint or roller brushes.
Melbourne has built an international reputation for its diversity of street art amongst many overseas visitors seeking out some of the small laneways in Melbourne CBD which showcase this particular form of art. Surprised tourists who accidently stumble upon these laneways are often impressed by the vibrancy and the overall feeling that they add to the area.
This opinion is shared by the National Gallery of Australia, which recently bought its first collection of contemporary street art. The 300 stencil designs by more than 30 artists took three years to compile. According to the gallery’s curator of Australian prints and drawings, Anne McDonald, Melbourne was deliberately focused on “because it seemed to be the most dynamic area of stencil art.”
Those who practice this form of street art have many motivations. For some it is the immediacy and the instant recognition that it can give them. Banksy one of the most famous street artists in the world uses stancilling extensively with some of his pieces fetching up to $250,000. Although it is still illegal this has not stopped it gaining respect and becoming a worldwide phenomena.
It has also been appropriated by those with a political message and can be seen in diverse places such as Tehran, Cuba, Barcelona amongst many other places. It can not only be a backlash against drab surroundings with its practitioners wanting to provide an aesthetic alternative to the onslaught of advertising messages or to highlight political causes very often ignored by the mainstream media.
No matter what way you look at it stencil art looks like it is going to be around for quite some time yet. The desire to create images has been with us since the dawn of history. It seems to be evolving and reflecting the current political and social climate we live in. Perhaps like the street sounds that came out of the Bronx in the 1970’s to later become the music we hear on our radios and on TV it will finally be accepted as a legitimate art form.
We thought that it was time to shine some light on the polarised debate on graffiti.
Melbourne is a unique place with many multi-faceted people and individual points-of-view and the debate on graffiti is not short of these. It appears that there is a large group of residents that are either angry or upset about the amount of graffiti throughout Melbourne.
From my personal experience and after talking to various friends and family members I was surprised to hear even some abuse about graffiti and the graffiti writers. On the other hand I find that most friends either do not care too much about the topic or feel inspired by most street art in Melbourne. Most of my friends seemed to share their dislike for ‘senseless tagging’.
Well, I am sure that many can relate to my personal experiences in one way or the other, but it is obvious that there is not just one view on graffiti. There has to be a valid debate between two mostly polarised groups and we are interested in fostering this debate.
The Victorian Government has clearly taken an anti-Graffiti position. This has been made clear with the creation of the Graffiti Prevention Act 2007. As the title suggests it aims at preventing graffiti by defining it as a criminal offense when the graffiti has been created without the permission of the owner of a property. The Graffiti Prevention Act gives police and security personnel of public transport companies new search rights.
Under the Act a person in the possession of a graffiti utensil (eg a spray can) can be fined on the spot and has the burden of proof.
The Act overturns a longstanding principle of the justice system: the presumption of innocence. It is a reversal of the onus of proof, requiring the person charged to prove that they had a legal reason to posess spray cans. Normally, a person is not required to prove his or her own innocence, but ‘the necessity of proof lies with the one who complains.’ (see WikiPedia)
The burden of proof is a corner stone of criminal law that has been introduced to protect the public from abuse by government representatives and institutions. ‘A person has to prove that someone is guilty (in a criminal case) or liable (in a civil case) depending on the allegations; a person is not required to prove his or her own innocence, it is rebuttably presumed.’ (see WikiPedia)
The Graffiti Prevention Act’s reversal of the burden of proof means that anyone caught with a graffiti implement on or near public transport is guilty (and can be fined A$550 on the spot) unless he or she can prove his/her innocence. (See also this informative post on the topic: Clamping Down The Graffiti Prevention Act)
The Premier of Victoria, John Brumby has recently critisised Tourism Victoria for using graffiti as a positive aspect of Melbourne when promoting graffitied lanes in a recreated cityscape of Melbourne at the world’s largest wine festival in Florida’s Disney World. The Premier was quoted that Melbourne should be promoted for it’s ‘openness, it’s little restaurants, it’s flower pots…’ He further said that the Victorian government does not want to promote graffiti overseas. “We’ve put through very tough laws to discourage graffiti – it’s a blight on the city.” (quoting John Brumby) (see more in: The Age)
There seem to be a few anti-graffiti groups in Australia.
Graffiti Hurts Australia (GHA) is a group that makes it into the media frequently. They were founded in early 2008 and based on a US-group by the name Graffiti Hurts. GHA has the sole purpose to prevent graffiti and is opposed to any form of graffiti.
Their founder, Scott Hilditch stated in an interview that any graffiti, council-approved or not, would lead to more vandalism in an area. He has recently worked in conjunction with Connex on the development of a community mural campaign to reduce graffiti.
Some other groups and organisations that oppose graffiti are:
Connex Melbourne have been attempting to reduce the graffiti along their train tracks and Keep Australia Beautiful is set up to make Victoria’s cities look beautiful, clean and tidy and improving the appearance of Victoria in general.
It is a safe assumption to say that the majority of businesses take an anti-graffiti stance. This would be particularly the case if they suffer with their property being constantly subjected to tagging and other graffiti.
There are other anti-graffiti groups, but they do not seem to exist for long. It also seems that most local Councils have a anti-graffiti stance. This should not come as a surprise with the introduction of the Graffiti Prevention Act and keeping in mind that councils represent the electorate. The Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin was elected in late 2005 with a campaign foucused on stronger anti-graffiti measures.
For further reading on Anti-graffiti groups I recommend: Anti-Graffiti a post by Mark Holsworth and Graffiti Studies a site by Lachlan MacDowall. Both posts write about a group called RAGE (Residents Against Graffiti Everywhere). This is another anti-graffiti group that is taking a radical stance against all forms of graffiti.
Finally, you might like to have a look at this site: This Is Vandalism. It shows photos of a variety of urban spaces with graffiti and tagging. This website is not against graffiti, but more a mirror of our streets.
To be Continued (Pro-Graffiti Views)
Rate payers from Melbourne have recently foot the bill to have a British street artist by the name of Mohammed Ali (unrelated to the boxer) aka Aerosol Arabic to display his mural in a recent exhibition in one of Melbourne famous laneways. The artist mixes conventional graffiti art and Islamic calligraphy to get his message across which he describes as …a majestic, elegant, fluid script which he claims is the geometry of the soul.
But not everyone is happy about the decision. Anti graffiti lobby, Graffiti Hurts Australia chief executive Scott Hilditch said any graffiti, council-approved or not, would lead to more vandalism in the area but Ali responded by saying that I make it crystal clear to the young people I work with that I don’t support illegal graffiti, but that I promote the techniques of street art.
Ali grew up in Birmingham, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, and as a youth found himself torn between an Islamic upbringing and the city’s thriving club scene. He soon found an outlet in street art where rather than scrawling tags on bus shelters he opted to creating ‘pieces’ on the ugliest wall he could find in town and resolve to turn it into a piece of art.
Now aged 30, he no longer works in the dead of night. He stopped creating art without permission eight years ago, after rediscovering his faith at Leicester University in Britain. As a result he seems to have been more received as an artist rather than a vandal. Although as Cr David Wilson said the city was strongly against illegal graffiti, but approved “wall art” that added a creative, quirky element to the CBD.
Ali maitains that aerosol art is like art spilling from the galleries; it brings positive messages to the people who don’t go to conventional art spaces. But recently Premier John Brumby denounced Tourism Victoria for promoting graffitied city lanes. It seems that there is still a strong stigma attached to graffiti artists who want to distance themselves from the vandal tag and be more accepted as artists in their own right and who are demanding more provision should be made for them to create their murals in certain locations.
Tell us what you think …