Some Guys In Masks Paintbombed Melbourne’s Famous Street Art Laneway, Hosier Lane, & Now It's A Mess
Melbourne’s famous for a lot of things. Right up there would be the street art that decorates the labyrinth of laneways in the city's CBD. People from all over the world come to explore the city’s urban art; works that take artists’ days, weeks and sometimes months to make.
So, unsurprisingly, it pissed a lot of people off when a group of guys in masks paintbombed the popular graffiti laneway, Hosier Lane, on Saturday night, ruining a fair few of the artworks, including a mural of queen Lizzo. See below.
Masked men have armed themselves with fire extinguishers and sprayed over the precious graffiti art in Melbourne’s iconic Hosier Lane. @cityofmelbourne looking into it. Video courtesy of Instagram/joe_musco @10NewsFirstMelb #springst @10NewsFirst (and thanks @RossAndJohn 4 tip) pic.twitter.com/Shbrb26OA6
— Simon Love (@SimoLove) February 9, 2020
— Iskhandar Razak (@Isk137) February 9, 2020
— Simon Love (@SimoLove) February 10, 2020
Street art is by its very nature, impermanent. It’s not meant to be there forever, that’s part of the deal, but the expectation is that what'll cover old works will be new art – not a random spray of paint thrown around by a few bored people. That's one take, anyway.
The other side of the coin comes back to a more murky question: what is 'art' anyway? After all, the lines between art and um, non-art, have been blurry ever since that gold toilet called 'America' turned heads at the Guggenheim, so what’s to say the paintbombing isn't a valid form of creative expression, too? Or, at the very least, a Banksy-esque FU to the commercialisation of Melbourne's iconic laneways.
The latter makes a lot of sense. Given the rise of ads masking as murals in the laneway, plus the worming in of cool, expenny streetwear shops (cough Culture King) and restaurants into a space that used to be solely for community, you can see why people would wanna go all 'scorched earth' on that stuff.
Street artist "James" has come to put his mark on Hosier Lane. Says recent vandalism is part of the culture, and it's a good thing it happened as it freed up wall space for others. pic.twitter.com/6u0Pq4sxbW
— Patrick Murrell (@pamurrell) February 10, 2020
To the arseholes who’ve gone into our Hosier Lane armed with fire extinguishers filled with paint, and covered the existing sensational artwork which brought so much happiness to many worldwide - Karma will get you & I hope you’re jailed #hosierlane #melbourne pic.twitter.com/CL5mEi0Id6
— Professor Profanattie 😇 (@readytorumble3) February 9, 2020
We’re not sure where we land on this. (Without knowing the masked guys intentions, we don’t know if you can fully have a final answer), but we are kinda devo about that Lizzo mural – it looked beaut.
Main Image Credit: joe_musco on Instagram
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