Tag Archives: Graffiti

Mike Makatron: The McDeath Burger on Smith Street, Fitzroy

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Last week, I decided to walk through Smith Street in Melbourne Fitzroy, where I discovered a piece of graffiti on the side of the wall. I immediately stopped at the side of the road and continued to stare at this vibrant and creative design.

The image features a skull along with an Australian flag, cigarette butts, piano keys, USB cables and a range of dollar notes that are enclosed within a burger bun. These items are combined with lettuce, tomato and mustard, all the elements you would normally find in a traditional beef burger.

The use of colour, shape and composition is striking, especially if you’re standing on the opposite side of the road. I was on my way to buy ice cream, however I decided to cross the road to take a closer look at the graffiti. The skull appears quite pixelated up close and the graffiti directs your gaze towards the very top of the building. From a distance the dots almost blend together to create a tonal effect, this also creates a unique perspective!

The detail is incredible and the design is quite different to anything I have seen before. I then began to wonder who designed this piece of graffiti and I suddenly recognised the artist’s tag / signature right next to the skull.

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Mike Maka aka Makatron is a local artist from Melbourne who specialises in graffiti, street art and illustration that often explores the relationship between mankind, technology and the natural world. This design in particular has questioned whether these consumable items affect our environment or our natural surroundings.

One could argue that the work reflects consumerism and mass production within contemporary western society, however the skull presents the notion of death, decay and decomposition. This creates a very innovative composition; each element appears to feature some kind of meaning or representation. I was intrigued with the connection between nature, death and commercialism; as a result I decided to search for additional information in regards to Makatron’s work.

According to Makatron’s Facebook page the design is also known as the McDeath Burger. This title definitely provides context towards the overall work, these commercial products could potentially cause death or fatality later down the track. The design directs the viewer’s attention towards each individual element and it quite difficult to focus on one specific area.

I decided to take some photographs of Makatron’s McDeath Burger and I began to search through the images on my computer. After a couple of weeks, I recognised an aboriginal flag at the very top of the burger and I cannot believe that I haven’t noticed this before. I began to question whether the flag would have any connection or association with the overall image.

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There is limited information in regards to the McDeath Burger, however the flag may represent the way the indigenous culture is used as a commercial attraction. I begin to search for all the possible meanings or explanations behind the work and this is what I enjoy the most, the McDeath burger definitely invites the viewer to consider how these material products may potentially affect the world around us.

The design bursts with colour and Makatron’s street art definitely adds vibrancy to Melbourne’s inner CBD. This is what I love about Melbourne, you can find the most extraordinary designs or creations with an abandoned alley way or the side of the street; once you go exploring, it’s surprising what you’ll actually find.

I would definitely recommend taking a walk down Smith Street to see Makatron’s design; if you live too far away, check out the artist’s website / portfolio, as there are some great designs on display!

References

http://www.makatron.com/biopropaganda/

https://www.facebook.com/MikeMakatronArt

http://mike-maka.tumblr.com/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemaka/page1/


Interesting Skull Illustration in Melbourne

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Illustration I discovered in Melbourne – Artist Unknown

While I was walking through Melbourne, I have discovered quite an interesting illustration that has been posted onto the back of a road sign. Most of the alley ways in Melbourne do contain graffiti and some other quirky illustrations; there some incredible designs especially in Hosier Lane! This illustration in particular features a skull, while the design itself is rather simple, the skull does feature some interesting characteristics.

I’m not too sure who has created this illustration, although I was definitely intrigued by this particular image, I decided to take a quick snap shot on my to the train station. So I have noticed something very interesting, I have suddenly decided that Melbourne is saturated with skulls! Every time I visit the city I cannot help recognising all the skull t-shirts, illustrations, graffiti art, coffee mugs, paintings, books, pencil cases and yes the list will just keep going and going!

Every time I walk down an alley way, I notice skulls imprinted onto the wall, they are just everywhere. Why is that? why are we all so fascinated with the skull? It’s who we are, under the layer of skin is a human skull and all of these images may encourage us to realise that death is an inevitable thing.

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Illustration – Artist Unknown

Well that’s not all to say that every person in this world is attracted to skulls, of course popular culture is completely saturated with the image of the skull that may emphasise our fascination with something that we all fear the most, the idea that we will never live forever, the idea that we can die at any given moment, as referenced by Elizabeth Klaver’s publication ‘ Sites of Autopsy in Contemporary Culture’1

Ok so I don’t want to go too deep, I was purely fascinated by this one particular illustration that I stumbled upon in the city. The image is quite minimal and there are some humorous features / attributes, to be honest the design would make a fantastic t-shirt design! Why it has been attached to the back of a road sign, I’m not entirely sure, although I do enjoy finding all these quirky patterns and designs around Melbourne. Stay tuned as I will try to find some information about the artist who has produced this image!

1. Klaver, Elizabeth. Sites of Autospy in Contemporary Culture.  New York: State University of New York 2005.


Melbourne’s Street Art


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Graffiti opposite Brunswick Street by House of Meggs

The Skull in Melbourne’s Urban Street Culture. 

Over the weekend, I decided to explore the graffiti around Flinders Lane and Brunswick Street in Melbourne, there are some designs around the city that are just incredible and the level of detail is very inspiring! All the different colours, patterns and illustrations add a creative vibe to the city, where the empty lane ways are transformed into an outdoor gallery space. Technically you are still viewing art in a public space without the frames and the technical equipment.

I have realised that the graffiti does change over a certain period of time, it’s almost impossible to walk into an alley way without noticing something different. Hosier Lane for instance regularly changes their designs year after year, the street is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Melbourne! This is what I find so interesting, every time I visit Hosier Lane, I know I’ll find something completely different, something unique, I know I wont be viewing the same old artwork.

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Random Skull in Melbourne Alleyway 

So I decided to wonder around an empty alley way on a saturday afternoon, I discovered some interesting street art that I just had to photograph! The whole street was abandoned, all I could see was overfilled rubbish bins, piles of cardboard and rubbish bags dumped all over the place. To be honest, the street was quite a mess, although I still enjoyed all the graffiti and street art along the walls.

I have realised that the skull is a very popular image in urban street art, I noticed a skull in almost every lane way I had walked through. So why is the skull such a popular image in Melbourne’s street culture? From billboard advertisements to printed t-shirts, the visual culture is completely saturated with skulls, it’s almost impossible to walk through the city without noticing a skull.

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Another Skull Image within Flinders Lane

Maybe we’re all trying to reproduce the skull in order to desensitise ourselves to the idea of death, the idea that life itself will not last forever. Or maybe it’s the other way around, the idea of death could be very fascinating to some of us and the skull may symbolise society’s own connection with death, who knows really. The skull appears to be a popular image that people are generally interested in whether it’s fashion, advertising or street art.

Before I walked to the station, I visited Hosier Lane for the last time and the entire street was buzzing with tourists, photographers and couples looking for something to eat. There was even a wedding and a photo shoot in one of the side streets, Hosier Lane is a very vibrant spot and the graffiti is amazing to say the least!

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Graffiti / Street Art in Hosier Lane

This is by far one of the most interesting destinations in Melbourne, it’s not everyday you see a skateboard super glued to a wall, a photo shoot featuring batman, dozens of milk cartons stacked one on top of the other and a bride having her photograph taken in front of the most creative street art I have ever seen. There’s always something random to find and it’s the spontaneity that makes this street so interesting, if you haven’t been before I would recommend visiting Hosier Lane if you are into graffiti and street art.


Photos on Hosier Lane, Melbourne

18/9/12 – Death and Graffiti 

On monday I also decided to visit Hosier Lane and I had asked my boyfriend to take photographs of me leaning against the wall that was covered in graffiti. I thought that the black and white makeup would make an interesting composition with the graffiti. The light wasn’t the best and I had to altar the settings for the aperture speed, although it was still a fun project.

I had spent the day acting in a film and I decided to end the day taking photographs around the city. It was also quite difficult taking photographs of myself in a busy area and I was worried that I would drop the camera. It was strange letting someone else take the photographs, although I was impressed with the results!


The Skull in Urban Street culture.


21/7/12 – Hunting for skulls around Hosier and Flinders Lane. 

Since last Thursday I have visited Hosier Lane numerous times for the Graffiti and urban street art. I decided to walk down the alley ways within the city of Melbourne in order to determine whether the skull has become a popular art from within Australian street culture.

Almost every alley way features at least one image of the skull through different styles, designs and representations. The graffiti around Melbourne clearly exemplifies the skull as a cultural trend or icon, that continues to influence contemporary artists and designers.

Does the actual image of the skull feature any connection with death what so ever? The image of the skull is easily recognisable within the urban environment, although I tend to wonder whether the skull has become mainstream through postmodernism and commercialisation.

My favourite image is the black and white skull, which features fluro or retro drops pouring from the eye sockets. The colours create a dynamic composition, between the shape or the form of the actual skull, which creates a very retro image. I recognised the image while I was walking through Flinders Lane

I decided to explore Flinders Lane, which also features art galleries, restaurants and local street art, which also replicates the iconic imagery of the skull. I did not take my camera to my visit to Melbourne although I did take some snap shots with the iPad so I would know where to go for next time if I had my camera with me.


Interesting designs spotted in Hosier Lane

19/7/12 – Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Last Thursday I visited Hosier Lane in Melbourne, which is renowned for creative street art and graffiti. I have always enjoyed walking through Hosier Lane ever since I was 16 and the graffiti does change quite regularly. While I was sitting in a cafe, I recognised a very interesting artwork from the corner of my eye and the image reminded me of the Mexican sugar skulls.

The design does feature similarities with the Mexican skulls through the visual elements that are used such as shape, colour and tone, which appear on top of the woman’s face. The nose and the mouth also features very faint outlines, which may reflect the image of the skull, when the image is viewed from another angle.

One could argue that the Mexican skulls do feature decorative illustrations, which is exemplified through the style of the artwork, such as the woman’s face, which may initiate a close resemblance to makeup or face paint.

The graffiti would create an interesting makeup design and perhaps I could take my camera to Hosier Lane in order to take high quality photographs of the artworks on display. There are other images or designs that I had recognised through my visit to Hosier Lane, which did become an area of interest for quite some time.

I did recognise a black and white image of the skull, walking past a mountain of skulls and bones through Hosier Lane, although I cannot specify the artist’s name at this particular point in time. I will find the name of the artist after a few more visits to Melbourne.

The image features an interesting composition between the skeletal figure wearing a sombrero and sinister or morbid representations of the skull, which are positioned towards the left hand side of the artwork. The image also provides a representation of Hosier Lane, which is evident through the placement of the images at the top, which are mini artworks that are usually displayed within an outdoor setting. There is a date at the top, which may exemplify how quickly the graffiti changes on Hosier Lane.

There is a large image of a horse, which features a very unique style. The image emphasises the horse’s skull and skeletal body through the sharp use of line or texture. The size of the image definitely impacts the viewer’s perception of the image and it is possible to feel quite small when you are standing next to the horse.

The image could be considered as quite surreal, although the colours may create a retro style, which also creates a dynamic composition between the elements within the actual design.

The horse is very creative and imaginative, which effectively demonstrates that graffiti is an acceptable art form within the postmodern culture. The purpose of this particular investigation was to determine whether the image of the skull has become a popular form or representation within urban street culture. From previous observations, there are alley ways around Melbourne that do feature the image of the skull within different styles or formats.

The objective over the next few days is to hunt for the image of the skull within the city of Melbourne in order to emphasise how the skull has become a cultural icon within the Australian culture. Stay tuned for further updates! Hosier lane is definitely worth visiting especially if you are interested in graffiti and street art!

Victoria Holman, Graffiti: art or crime? Aug 21st 2008, The Telegraph, 2012, http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/victoriaholman/4968827/Graffiti_art_or_crime/ (Accessed 19/7/12)

Hayden Case, Hosier Lane, Laneway Melbourne Talks Melbourne, 2011, http://lanewaymagazine.com.au/hosier-lane/ (Accessed 19/7/12)


Southbank

19/4/12 Skull at Melbourne Southbank

There was a skull on the pavement,which was created with pieces of coloured chalk. It was quite dark and was the flower on the forehead and the eyes which captured my attention. This particular skull does feature similar qualities or characteristics to the graffitti skulls in Hosier Lane, although the dark, red eyes significantly contrasts next to the fluro green flower.

The base of the skull is composed with subtle gradients such as the eyes, the golden tooth and the flower, which significantly emphasises these particular areas. The eyes do provide the skull with a sinister appearance although the flower contrasts from the other elements within the image.