Tag Archives: Street Art

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/


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.


Tees: Exposing Melbourne’s T-shirt Culture

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29/12/12 – Skulls in Temporary T-shirt Exhibition at the NGV Studio

So today I decided to visit Federation Square in Melbourne, while I was walking through the building, I recognised a very large t-shirt collection that was displayed within the NGV Studio; the temporary exhibition was titled, “Tees: Exposing Melbourne’s T-Shirt Culture”. For those who have not visited Melbourne, The National Gallery of Victoria do have a small studio located in Federation square that often exhibits contemporary art, illustration and graphic design.

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T-Shirt Designs Displayed in Tees: Melbourne Street Culture Exhibition at Fed Square, Artists Unknown. 

In the first gallery space, I was amazed by all the different t-shirt designs that have been mounted to the wall. All the different patterns, colours and designs do add an interesting effect, the actual display immediately persuaded me to enter the gallery space. I had also realised that the skull was a very popular t-shirt design that continually reappeared throughout the entire exhibition.

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Design by Harvey Nichols 

The display was quite tall, all the different designs were attached to the wall, one on top of the other in a grid formation. The way the designs were displayed was very creative, it’s not everyday where you see t-shirt designs / illustrations displayed on a large-scale in an exhibition. According to Federation Square website, the exhibition features Eddie Zammit’s t-shirt collection, Zammit also works for a popular T-shirt magazine known as T-World, that often displays a range of t-shirt designs from artist’s, illustrators and designers. On the website, Zammit explains that has collected 4,000 t-shirts in total, Zammit is definitely a t-shirt enthusiast that’s for sure.

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Design by Meggs: I have also recognised this design in the streets and ally ways around Melbourne. I though this particular design was familiar when I walked into the exhibition! 

There is limited information on this particular exhibition so I will have to take another visit to find out whether the NGV have displayed all 4,000 t-shirt designs from Zammit’s collection. The gallery space also featured a range of photographs that featured a range of contemporary artists, designers and illustrators who are known for their incredible t-shirt designs. Each photograph featured a photograph of the artist, the artist’s name as well as a short description of the artist’s own professional practise. What I did find really interesting is the fact that most of the photographs did feature a skull within the background; either a metal or a plastic skull.

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Design by Grand Scheme

Has the skull become a popular icon in Melbourne’s t-shirt culture? Well for almost a year I have seen so many people walking around the city with skull printed t-shirts and the exhibition does feature skulls in almost every single corner within the gallery space. I would say that there is a growing interest for the skull in contemporary street art and design. In fact, when I first started the blog all I could recognise was skull printed t-shirts and now they’re becoming popular than ever before, it’s hard to walk into a clothes store without noticing an entire selection of skull printed t-shirts.

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This was my favourite design within the entire exhibition but I could not find the artist’s name. If you do know the name of the artist please let me know. 

I would definitely recommend visiting the exhibition if you are in Melbourne or click on the link below to visit their website.

http://www.fedsquare.com/events/tees/

http://verynearlyalmost.com/dev/2012/01/t-world-an-interview-with-eddie-zammit/

Image URL Links:

http://www.harveynichols.com/s400899-t-crew-liberate-whit-l.html

http://www.youngandfreeart.com/the-artists/meggs/

http://www.houseofmeggs.com/

http://www.grandscheme.com.au/


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!