Street art, street art review


In a gallery you can’t write reviews all over an artwork but that’s always been done in graffiti. ‘Go over, go better’ is the street's mechanism to improve the art but this means the comments don’t usually extend beyond ‘I don’t like this’. Similar to the Street Museum of Art in NYC, I extended the traditional mutability of the street to create more comprehensive reviews. When I capped, I did so in the most benign way; loosely attached paste ups that could easily be reversed.


DVate 01

DVate 02

DVate 03


Junky 01


As street art is further appropriated by the mainstream, critical review from within the culture becomes progressively more important. Other mural movements like Mexican muralism or the Chicano art movement serve as good historical illustrations of what is likely to happen next; once the oppressive tension was lifted these movements were quickly exhausted. Without the hegemonic resistance, street art needs new mechanisms for challenging artists. There’s still politically activated and avant-garde practice at the periphery but mainstream street art, the pretty decorative ‘street art’ in galleries, is already hemorrhaging cultural capital.


ELK 01

ELK 02

ELK 03




Deb-Sofles 01

Deb-Sofles 02

Deb-Sofles 03


This got shared a lot online before I'd had time to published it. A review from Black Mark. Some of the flak on StreetSmArt below.

Deb-Sofles Online Comments


Big eyes 01

"Paint big eyes and nothing else really matters..." not even legible handwriting, apparently. (Under 30 mins to paint).



Phone eye. Phoney. Photo series painting it.


Two systems of public art exist side by side in Melbourne. The laneways contain unfunded, uncurated, chaotic street art. Fed Square and The City of Melbourne have well-funded and tightly regulated public art programs.

Paparazzi Dogs 00

Paparazzi Dogs 02

After replacing the ‘Paparazzi Dogs’ plaque in Fed Square, I hung around to take photos of confused tourists coming away looking deflated and slightly cheated. I felt like a legitimate part of the public art bureaucracy.

Paparazzi Dogs 03


I used an angle grinder to cut into a steel sheet and included a barbed wire border. I installed this in Hosier Lane in hopes of encouraging more productive artistic dialogue on a sign that was effectively 'uncappable'. But it got ripped down after just a few days.